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Lost in the recent flurry of VeriFone news, including its partnership with MasterCard and low earnings, VeriFone apparently has sold its SAIL Pay mobile point-of-sale business. A notice quietly appeared on the SAIL website saying VeriFone "will soon begin the process of transferring our direct sales business to new ownership." No information on who the buyer is or the terms of the sale are available at this time.
SAIL merchants also received an email from VeriFone Vice President David Talach last week informing them of the sale. The email said the sale was completed on Jan. 31. Merchants were notified that, due to the transaction, VeriFone will cease offering the SAIL service as of March 1.
A toll-free number was provided in the email for merchants to call with additional questions. A customer service agent answering the number confirmed the sale but said she had no information on the transaction or the future of the SAIL business.
VeriFone announced in December it would no longer offer the SAIL mPOS solution as a stand-alone product due to increasingly thin margins. Company CEO Dough Bergeron said VeriFone intended to divest itself of customer acquisition, risk management and customer bill assets supporting the business in the U.S. The sale of SAIL would appear to be the end of that process.
The shuttering and sale of SAIL likely puts an end to a product that barely saw the light of day. SAIL only made its debut in May 2012 to compete with mPOS solutions from companies like Square and Intuit.
When VeriFone announced it would be eliminating SAIL it said the product would still be offered as a white label solution through third-party partners. It's unclear whether or not that's still the case. Additionally, VeriFone indicated only U.S. business would be affected by the decision to end support for the product. The company had planned on introducing SAIL, including an EMV version, in several international markets. It's uncertain how SAIL outside the U.S. will be affected by the sale.
VeriFone will be discussing its quarterly earnings for Q1 2013 in a conference call on March 5. The SAIL transaction will likely be included in that discussion. Bergeron said last week that results for the last quarter will not meet expectations. Since making that announcement, shares in VeriFone have lost around 40 percent of their value.
More information to come as it is made available.
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