The Driv

e for the

by Michelle Graff

   FOR YEARS, ISOs HAVE BEEN CHALLENGED WITH THE PROSPECT OF DIFFERENTIATING THEMSELVES in what many merchants view as a commodity market: payment transaction systems. Not anymore. Today, consumer demand for alternative payment methods, merchant desire to improve efficiency at the point-of-sale, and open standards for connectivity are driving a sophisticated new world of POS transactions. Imagine a world where you derive more revenue per merchant in your portfolio — releasing you from the challenge of competing for merchants solely on the price of credit card transactions.
   Payment, payment-related and non-payment applications, including those that utilize the power of the Internet, can add value to the merchant countertop by attracting new merchants, improving merchant retention, lowering costs, and generating new revenue streams. As we witness the emergence of a global, multi-application environment in the payment industry, it is no longer enough to support simply debit and credit, and it is not practical to support merchant-specific solution sets. But for ISOs and acquirers seeking to capitalize on the multi-application environment, increasingly complex application development, certification and help desk operations are a real concern.
   The key to growth is in building more value into the merchant countertop in a way that builds on current business models. Most terminals being sold today are multi-function, not multi-application. Therefore, they are restricted in adding functionality beyond payment. ISOs and acquirers need a solid, fundamentally different framework that is designed to support the multi-application environment easily, efficiently and securely. This new architecture must enable true application separation, optimize the use of memory on the terminal, provide absolute security between applications, prevent fraud, facilitate simple terminal deployment and management, and make it all cost effective.

Enabling multi-applications with application separation

   Most terminals are structured to support one application with multiple functions, so when new functionality is needed, code is “chained” to the payment code and the entire chain must be re-tested and re-certified. This holds back progress because installing an innovative application can be more trouble and expensive

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