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VeriFone Systems Inc. on Monday named Citigroup executive Paul Galant as its chief executive, ending a six-month quest for a permanent top executive

Galant has been chief executive of Citigroup Inc.’s Enterprise Payments business since 2010, where he oversees digital-payment services for the banking giant. Previously, he was chief executive of Citi Cards, the bank’s consumer credit card business, from 2009 to 2010, and from 2007 to 2009 he ran Citi Transaction Services, which offers institutional services.

That banking experience suggests services will remain a primary focus at VeriFone, suggests Todd Ablowitz, president of payments consulting firm Double Diamond Group LLC. “It’s interesting they chose someone from the banking side,” Ablowitz says. The days of making money from selling POS terminals are limited, he says. It’s the services associated with terminals that generate recurring revenue. “If you’re VeriFone, you have to have a compelling solution for smaller merchants and get into recurring revenue,” Ablowitz says.

VeriFone has made moves in recent years into payments services, including its efforts to run promotions as well as process payments in taxicabs and its introduction of a payments gateway and transaction-security services.

Digital Transactions, September 24, 2013