SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Verifone division of Hewlett-Packard Co. is offering large retailers a do-it-yourself alternative to buying gift-card programs from service providers.

It has signed up a first customer for the updated version of its Gift Card hardware and software package. TJX Companies Inc., operator of the discount retail chains T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, plans to use the software to offer a gift card that it will manage in-house.

Betty L. Kolanczyk, director of retail industry marketing at Verifone, said the Gift Card 2.0 payment application lets retailers save the transaction fees charged by companies that offer outsourced gift-card programs.

"A lot of organizations say, 'I don't want to manage it,' and you don't overcome that," said Ms. Kolanczyk. "Their option is to go to service providers. But if they look at dollars and return on investment and what it will cost to bring it in-house, they can make a decision based on cost."

Ms. Kolanczyk estimated that a retailer processing 200,000 gift transactions a month might save $500,000 a year using Gift Card 2.0 software instead of a service provider that charged 12 cents per transaction.

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