a Dublin-based developer of Internet payments software, has filed for an initial public offering of stock.
The company, most of whose revenue comes from outside the United States, could get as much as $69 million in the offering, selling 5.8 million shares at $10 to $12.
Trintech would not say when it will make the offering.
The company was founded in 1987 by brothers John and Cyril McGuire. It sells Internet-based point of sale payments systems to merchant-acquiring processors and banks.
Such capability is becoming increasingly important to the emerging electronic commerce market. Forrester Research, a Cambridge, Mass., research firm, predicts that on-line transactions will grow to $327 billion in 2002.
Traditional banks may have trouble taking advantage of this growth because many Internet merchants fail to meet the credit criteria established by merchant banks, said Gary Craft, an electronic commerce consultant and personal investor in Trintech.
By weeding out fraudulent transactions, Mr. Craft said, Trintech's software helps banks reduce payment settlement risk, chargebacks, and fraud the problems they cite most often in refusing to clear and settle Internet merchants' card transactions.
"Trintech is going after banks in the U.S. who want to get into the Internet merchant banking business, which many banks have been slow to embrace," Mr. Craft said. "There is a big void in the market right now, and a big opportunity for the right folks."
Trintech's software can capture card transactions in either a Secure Electronic Transaction or Secure Socket Layer protocol from an Internet merchants' gateways, such as Cybercash Inc. or Visa. The software then routes transactions to the appropriate authorization network and to the credit card association networks. It also informs merchants whether transactions are accepted.
Visa would play an integral role in Trintech's future. The card association was an early investor and has combined its own technology with the Irish company's to give Visa member banks a service that simplifies merchant accounts set up under their brands.
Visa, Mr. Craft said, appears to be developing Internet processing capabilities for its member banks "that historically have been processed by third-party processors such as First Data, Equifax, and Paymentech."
Trintech officials declined to be interviewed for this article, citing Securities and Exchange Commission rules. Visa officials did not return phone calls.
Trintech's plan to become a public company has considerable momentum, considering the company's financial backers. In an April 1998 private placement it raised $20 million in all from Visa, BancBoston Robertson Stephens Inc., Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown Inc., Security Dynamics Technologies Inc., and RSA Data Security Inc.
Trintech said it had $21 million of revenue in its fiscal 1999, which ended Jan. 31, but the company declined to reveal revenue growth rates or profitability. Its close competitor in the United States is the publicly traded Digital Courier Technologies Inc., which has a strategic distribution and software licensing agreement with Transaction Systems Architects Inc.
In June, Transaction Systems, an Omaha-based vendor of payments software to banks, invested $6.5 million in Digital Courier for 1.25 million shares of stock. Transaction Systems has warrants for an additional million shares at $5.20 each. Digital Courier's stock closed Friday at $6.0625.
Trintech said it would use the proceeds from the IPO for typical corporate purposes, such as product development, sales, and marketing. A preliminary registration statement said it has 250 employees. The company will be listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange and Neuer Markt, Germany's Deutsche Boerse AG's market for high-growth companies.
The IPO will be managed by Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown; BancBoston Robertson Stephens; Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp.; and WestLB Panmure Ltd.