VeriFone eyes Chinese M&A opportunities

Updated: 2012-03-02 07:54

By Hu Yuanyuan (China Daily)

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The company is in talks with domestic firms as it looks to expand business

BEIJING - VeriFone Systems Inc, the world's largest provider of electronic payment solutions, is seeking merger and acquisition opportunities in China to fuel double-digit growth in the country, said the company's vice-president for the Asia-Pacific region.

"We've been in talks with a number of domestic companies, and a few deals are expected to be reached if everything moves smoothly," Zvi Mitlanski said.

According to Mitlanski, VeriFone has a strong interest in acquiring local business, especially technology companies with innovative products, technologies and local networks.

Last year, VeriFone acquired a gift-solutions company in China. "It is a small company, but its products and technologies are quite innovative," said Mitlanski.

Globally, VeriFone acquired Hypercom Corp and bought the terminal business of Gemalto NV last year.

However, organic growth remains VeriFone's major channel for expansion in China. Although he declined to reveal a specific figure, Mitlanski said he is confident that VeriFone can achieve double-digit growth this year.

When talking about the company's investment plans in China this year, Mitlanski said: "If there are good opportunities, we will definitely look and evaluate the benefits to VeriFone's business in China."

While it will continue to focus on its core business - serving financial institutions - VeriFone will also strive to expand its business lines, from finance to transportation, petroleum and telecommunications, Mitlanski said.

"We are augmenting our customers' businesses with value-added services at the point of sale, such as gift-card solutions and management systems," he said. "All these efforts are aimed at enhancing the customers' retail experience."

Meanwhile, the company plans to add 20 service outlets in China while expanding its offices in major cities as Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

"By the end of this year, our service outlets are expected to cover almost all the provinces in China," Mitlanski added.

VeriFone, which entered the Chinese market in 1993, is the only foreign provider of global electronic payment solutions in the country.

Currently, the company has a market share of 30 to 35 percent of product installation.

According to Mitlanski, the major challenge that VeriFone faces in China is the increasing number of business opportunities, the rising demand for products and services at the point of sale and the company's ability to introduce more core products and locally developed solutions to support growth in the country.

"You have to run faster to catch up with the changes and grasp the opportunities with your existing resources," he added.

China Daily