Hypercom Inc. and Mag-Tek Inc. have formed an alliance to market a point-of-sale system for large retail establishments.

The product to be developed by the Hypercom/Mag-Tek alliance, called Quix, will be able to process any card or check with a single integrated system linked to any number of checkout terminals.

Merchants with multilane checkout areas, like supermarkets, drug stores, or discount department stores, want to accept a wide variety of payment options, but do not want to install different systems to handle each one.

"Debit POS is certainly a reality, but there are still a lot of locations that don't accept it, including some of the large discount chains," said Anne Morgan Moore, president of Synergistics Research Corp., an Atlanta-based consulting firm.

Hypercom, a Phoenix-based manufacturer of POS terminals, and Mag-Tek, a Carson, Calif.-based manufacturer of card and check readers, are not the first to team up to develop products for this particular market segment.

Earlier this month, Banctec Inc. formed a partnership with POS Technologies, a division of Southeast Switch Inc., for the same purpose. And last year, Card Establishment Services and National Transaction Network teamed up to push a similar product.

Hypercom's chief executive, Al Irato, said the alliance with Mag-Tek "makes good business sense for us because it leverages the core competencies of both organizations and provides efficient access to markets that might not be readily available to the individual companies."

Quix comprises POS terminals with an integrated check reader, pads for personal identification numbers, signature capture devices, and check readers. The devices will be supported by Hypercom's networking and telephone interface technology.

The companies anticipate initial rollout of Quix systems in the late third quarter. International sales will begin in the first quarter of 1996.

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