Credit card acceptance applications for mobile phones are unlikely to eat into business for point of sale terminal makers, according to executives.

In fact, applications that let merchants accept card payments through their phones may "wind up expanding the card-acceptance base rather than pirating the traditional merchant space" because they might entice more small merchants to accept cards in addition to cash and checks, Chris Justice, the president of Ingenico SA's North American operations, said in an interview.

"It's not a cannibalization of existing products," he said.

Tim McWeeney, the vice president of North American sales at Way Systems Inc., a Woburn, Mass., terminal maker, said mobile acceptance applications could boost demand for traditional wireless POS systems.

"I believe long-term equipment sales will rise because of mobile apps," as merchants will eventually require additional terminal features, such as PIN-debit capabilities, he said.

Stuart Taylor, the vice president of global solutions and marketing at Hypercom Corp., said mobile phones are not designed to meet the Payment Card Industry data security standards, so merchants cannot rely solely on phone-based acceptance tools.