Founded in 2002, ViVOtech made a name for itself through its tireless efforts to develop the U.S. market for POS technology based on contactless systems, including NFC, a short-distance, interactive radio technology for communicating data between the payment terminal and a chip card or a smart phone with an NFC chip. The company did make some headway. Former head of global sales Todd Ablowitz, now a mobile payments consultant based in the Denver area, notes that ViVOtech made many of the contactless readers for VeriFone Systems Inc.’s POS terminals a few years ago, and its readers are attached to Ingenico S.A. terminals in The Home Depot Inc. stores.

“To compete in hardware you’re competing in a marketplace that is VeriFone, Ingenico, and a U.S.-only Equinox,” says Ablowitz. “That marketplace forces ViVOtech to be in competition with their former partners at exactly the wrong time, from a competitive standpoint.”

ViVOtech’s hardware business was much bigger than its software unit when Ablowitz worked there from late 2005 to late 2008, but he says the latter has grown and has strong intellectual property. “They’ve made quite significant strides in their software business that may not all be visible,” says Ablowitz, president of Double Diamond Group.

Digital Transactions, August 7, 2012