VeriFone Holdings Inc.'s Payware Mobile payment software for Apple Inc.'s iPhone is now available from Apple's iTunes store, the San Jose terminal maker said.

VeriFone announced the service in December as a tool for small merchants to accept card payments. The preorder response was "phenomenal," VeriFone said, though it would not provide data.

The service and device were announced Monday. They were delayed from their planned launch date of Jan. 15. "Payware Mobile was one of the very first hardware/software combinations that Apple had to certify and the very first for this class of device, so the approval process was slightly delayed due to working out the kinks," a VeriFone representative said.

Merchants that download the software also connect the phone to a card reader that encrypts data as it is swiped. The entire system meets the requirements of the Payment Card Industry standard, VeriFone said.

Merchants with existing merchant accounts would pay a $15 monthly gateway fee and a one-time $49 sign-up fee. Merchants also pay VeriFone 17 cents per Payware Mobile transaction. The hardware reader is free, but users pay for shipping.

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