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Verifone: Using WSO2 Technology to Provide a Unique Payment Terminal that Increases Customer Engagement

In Honolulu, Hawaii, one man’s vision for the future of commerce has now become one of the world’s largest point-of-sale (POS) terminal vendors and a leading provider of payment and commerce solutions. Verifone still upholds this vision and keeps innovating for the future. At WSO2Con USA 2017 Ulrich Herberg, a senior Java architect at Verifone, joined us via Skype to speak about how they leveraged WSO2 technology when creating Verifone Carbon – a powerful device that combines elegant design into an integrated POS solution.

Verifone Carbon is a payment terminal that sets a new standard for a valuable and engaging consumer experience. It consists of two parts: a larger Android tablet facing the merchant and a smaller terminal with different kinds of payment functionality, such as Apple pay and payment through credit cards. These two devices are placed on a mobile base, which is used for charging the devices, printing receipts, and connecting to the ethernet.

What makes Verifone Carbon unique is that it’s embedded in an ecosystem called the Verifone Commerce Platform, which consists of a number of additional systems that provide more than what a typical payment terminal offers, explained Ulrich.

  • The developer portal allows third-party developers to create their own customer and merchant facing application by using Verifone’s APIs to download software development kits (SDKs) that can trigger payments, get information of successful or failed payments and more.
  • The app marketplace provides an interface similar to the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store where these apps can be placed and purchased.
  • The estate owner portal is used by large corporations that directly deal with the merchants to
    • Manage the estate (all the devices)
    • Get an overview of the devices
    • Manage, create, remove and update merchants
    • Purchase apps for the merchants
  • The merchant portal provides a smaller scope for the merchants only, which allows them to see their devices and purchase apps for their devices

With Verifone Carbon, merchants can now reward their best customers with loyalty points, display promotional media and coupons, leverage beacons for store analytics and invite customers to redeem personalized offers in real-time among other things.

Ulrich explained that for all of this to happen, they needed a solution that allowed them to manage and monitor all the Carbon devices. They started by evaluating commercial products. The commercial products worked on a pay-per-device model which would have been costly as they scaled up. At often times they didn’t have all the features they required and didn’t provide the flexibility to create any customized features.

The fully open source WSO2 Enterprise Mobility Manager (WSO2 EMM which is now significantly enhanced to provide enterprise IoT solutions as well as mobile device and app management in a single download via WSO2 IoT Server) overcame all of these challenges. “We were able to create a solution that fit our exact needs by either modifying the product on our own or getting WSO2 support services to help modify it,” said Ulrich. They avoided vendor lock-in and are independent of anyone else because they have control over the source code. They were also able to easily integrate WSO2 EMM with their existing terminal management infrastructure.

Ulrich then went on to discuss three major use cases of WSO2 EMM in Verifone Carbon.

Use case 1: Blank Android devices are shipped to the merchants so that they all have the same operating system image. WSO2 EMM uses individual device certificates to identify, authorize and authenticate these devices using mutual Transport Layer Security (TLS).

Use case 2: Verifone already has a legacy terminal management system which runs on a different operating system that can’t directly connect with and use Android features. So they used WSO2 EMM to communicate with the tablet.

Use case 3: Verifone doesn’t use the interface provided by WSO2 EMM so they had figure out how to use WSO2 EMM as a black box. They call it from their terminal management system, sends commands and monitors all the devices through it without having to know how it works internally. They did this by working closely with WSO2 to create a thorough list of RESTful APIs that were documented in Swagger.

Ulrich went on to list a few more WSO2 EMM features they currently use including

  • Getting device information including location data
  • Over-the-air (OTA) update that allows you to update the OS remotely
  • APK installation/update/removal in the background
  • Remotely locking, rebooting or factory resetting the devices
  • Debugging and sending Android logs to the server
  • Sending pop up notification to the tablet

He concluded by explaining in detail how they plan on scaling WSO2 EMM as the number of devices becomes larger.

To learn more about how Verifone used WSO2 technology to increase customer engagement through a unique payment terminal watch his talk at WSO2Con USA 2017.