VeriFone Holdings Inc., which is trying to build the audience for its payment-enabled media operations business, said Monday that it has purchased the Clear Channel Taxi Media business.
VeriFone did not say how much it paid Clear Channel Outdoor for the unit. VeriFone entered the line in 2007 when New York taxis began using its payment terminals, which can also display advertising to riders.
VeriFone expanded its taxi advertising operations to several other cities last year. Last week the San Jose company announced plans to offer the same system, which displays ads on payment terminal screens during the down time inherent in any transaction, to large retailers.
Chris Polos, VeriFone's vice president of U.S. media sales, said payment terminals can be an effective advertising medium.
"On TV you can skip commercials," but on a terminal at merchants' checkout lines, "the consumer is really captive in front of a monitor, consuming whatever information is being displayed on that screen," he said in an interview last weeks.
Polos reports to Bulent Ozayaz, the general manager of VeriFone's payment-enabled media operations.
Both men's positions were newly created as part of a move to promote the color screens on VeriFone's payment terminals as advertising space.
Douglas G. Bergeron, VeriFone's chief executive, said in a press release that "as consumers shift to electronic transactions in taxicabs and other media-enabled locations, we have a unique ability to deliver dynamic and interactive campaigns."
Clear Channel's focus is the advertising space on top of taxis. It entered the taxi advertising business in 2000 and moved to digital ads within taxis in 2007. VeriFone said that buying the Clear Channel unit gives it more than 20 new sales representatives and access to 5,000 more taxis in New York alone.