Verifone Inc., by far the largest supplier of point of sale terminals to U.S. merchants, has released the first in a series of planned additions to its market-specific software line.

The new software, known as Veridine, is designed for restaurants. Point of sale terminals driven by Veridine will feature a group of easy-to-use transaction screens resembling those on automated teller machines.

In addition to simplifying the operation of restaurant-based terminals, certain versions of Veridine also speed transaction-response time and allow for the addition of debit, private-label, and customer loyalty card programs.

Upgrade Being Considered

Verifone officials said that their company, based in Redwood City, Calif., is also looking at upgrading software for the lodging and car rental industries.

"What we've done is to develop a new architectural approach to creating packaged software for certain vertical markets within our business -- specifically those that require above average functionality," said Michael J. Shade, director of marketing and planning at Verifone.

Verifone has vertical market software for gas stations, convenience stores, and high-traffic, multilane supermarkets.

Merchant Processors Eyed

Part of Verifone's goal in revamping the software is to get merchant processors and transaction-acquiring banks to install the software at their processing facilities.

Verifone has percertified several of the nation's leading processors, including First Data Resources Inc., National Data Corp., MasterCard's automated point of sale program, and Visanet.

These processors can deliver the functions of the new software to their restaurant clients.

As processors embrace the software, portions of their client base will presumably buy Verifone POS terminals to avail themselves of the new services.

Keeping Tabs on Tips

Among the services boasted by Veridine are electronic tip adjustment and reporting capabilities that simplify end-of-shift settlement.

The settlement function enables restaurants to sort tip income by server and print reports to help in tax reporting.

Verifone is the dominant player in the POS authorization terminal business, accounting for almost 60% of the more than one million terminals sold last year, according to POS News, a Chicago-based newsletter.

But with several companies, including Diebold Inc. in Canton, Ohio, and Hypercom Inc. in Phoenix, making a play for a larger share of the POS terminal market, Verifone is moving to solidify its position at the head of the pack, experts said.Verifone LeadsThe Pack Market share of top POSterminal providers Verifone 59.8%Hypercom 14.0%NBS 6.7%Data Card(*1) 5.3%International Verifact 5.2%Omron 4.8%Other 4.0%Total terminalsshipped in U.S.during 1993:1.03 million (*1) EstimateSource: POS News

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