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Hatim Tyabji, the president of the San Francisco electronic transaction systems company VeriFone Inc has recently been in Britain to promote its UK subsidiary VeriFone (UK). The subsidiary was set up eight months ago to market electronic financial transfer terminals in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and has so far received orders from the Union Bank of Finland, Allied Irish Bank, Petra Bank in Jordan, Spain’s Caja de Ahorros Provincial de Alicante, and Sweden’s national Bank Card Administration & Retailer Services Organisation, but, as yet, there are no orders from the British market. The parent company, which is eight years old, has 65% of the US banking electronic transaction network market, and claims to have been the first company to integrate a proprietary low cost card reader into its system. Under the slogan, for people who don’t know they’re using computers, Tyabji extolled the virtues of the company’s terminals, which will retail in the UK for UKP200 to UKP500. The terminals are manufactured at VeriFone’s plants in Taiwan, and have built-in communication, card readers, data security, and data storage. For example, the Tranz 330 has 300/1200 baud communication support which can operate on networks such as Telenet and GE Information Services, a 32Kb random access memory, and, like all VeriFone terminals, it automates the transaction, passing the processing to a backroom system such as an IBM mainframe or Tandem Computers mini. The terminals operate off a telephone line and, by using ZonTalk, can be maintained from a remote host. The company is going after financial institutions in Europe for its products and, probably with an eye on the French market (which is a little coy about Taiwanese products!), is expecting to open a manufacturing plant somewhere in Europe towards the end of 1990.

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