PHOENIX - Hypercom Inc. said it has established a presence in Santiago, Chile, with the opening of Hypercom de Chile.

The announcement followed a recent agreement with Transbank of Santiago to provide Hypercom point of sale terminals and a backbone network covering 19 cities.

Transbank is the country's largest credit card transaction processor, with 24 branches, 33,000 merchants, and 1.5 million cardholders.

Jairo Gonzalez, who as president of Hypercom Latino America Inc. in Miami has overseen the company's rapid growth in the region, said, "It was only a matter of time before Hypercom opened another office in South America."

The company claims to have garnered more than 90% of the terminal markets in Colombia and Brazil.

The phones have antifraud mechanisms that include verification of credit cards against a "hot list" of more than one million numbers. The chip and magnetic-stripe card-reading capability deters over-the-shoulder stealing of calling card numbers.

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