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Table of Contents

Lead Story

MLS certification: Boon or bane?

News

Industry Update

Prepaid cards make for big stored value - Part II

KKR can't resist First Data 'cash-flow machine'

Features

In the words of John Shepherd-Barron, the ATM's creator

John Shepherd-Barron
ATMmarketplace.com

MAC: The friendly fraudbusters

Views

TJX turbulence: Time to board the PCI ship

Patti Murphy
The Takoma Group

Paying the payments dues

Ken Musante
Humboldt Merchant Services

Apple is a small potato here

Ben Goretsky
USA ePay

Education

Street SmartsSM:
Proficient prospecting

Dee Karawadra
Impact PaySystem

The concern du jour? PCI

Ross Federgreen
CSRSI

The ABCs of portfolio sales

Adam Atlas
Attorney at Law

Anyone up for a chat?

Joel and Rachael Rydbeck
Nubrek Inc.

A blue route to green pastures

Biff Matthews
CardWare International

Company Profile

National Bankcard Systems

New Products

ET: Phone home via ATMConnect

ATMConnect
Hypercom Corp.

ISOs' secret interchange weapon

Acquire360
Planet Financial Services

Inspiration

Sales stars are people stars

Departments

Forum

Resource Guide

Datebook

A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

April 23, 2007  •  Issue 07:04:02

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Apple is a small potato here

By Ben Goretsky

The battle has raged since the first personal computers hit the market: Microsoft Corp. versus Apple Inc., the Windows operating system versus Mac OS. And these giants continue to vie for dominance in computer, software and related sales. But how has this intense competition affected the bankcard industry?

Microsoft at work

With the release of Windows Vista and the ever-growing popularity of Mac OS X, the line between Microsoft's and Apple's loyal home users is almost split down the middle.

But in the payments space, up to 80% of office computers are likely using a version of Windows. Most of our merchants use Windows, too. And I have found that almost 95% of industry professionals who travel to tradeshows and other industry events use laptops loaded with Windows.

Thus, it is almost impossible to find bankcard processing software written for Apple computers. Most popular software packages in our market (VeriFone's PCCharge and Tellan Software Inc.'s PC Authorize, for example) are made for Windows.

This leaves merchants who favor Macs out of luck, unless they are willing to invest in custom solutions. This is usually something only larger retail establishments can afford.

Next up – mobile

The next frontier in the ongoing war between Microsoft and Apple is the mobile payment market. Windows Mobile has already taken a solid stand, and Apple is trying to speed up with the recently announced iPhone.

Merchants are already using applications and peripherals for credit card processing via the Windows Mobile environment. As yet, no payment processing software has been written for the iPhone.

Also, while Apple will have only one device, the iPhone, on the market, the Windows Mobile environment can already accommodate the Palm Pilot, Samsung BlackJack, HP iPAQ and more.

Since these all come loaded with Windows Mobile software, they can all support existing bankcard processing software.

In addition, price is a factor. Right now you can find a Windows Mobile-equipped smart phone for under $100; the new iPhone's least expensive model is slated to sell for $499.

The force is with Microsoft

Even as a Windows user, I love Apple's witty advertising. But entertainment aside, the Microsoft environment, at least right now, is the way to go when dealing with bankcard payments.

Apple computers are fun, easy to use and have interesting features no Windows machine can touch. But Apple has no juice in the payment processing arena; it's been squeezed out.

Ben Goretsky is the Chief Executive Officer and head of IT Development at USA ePay. He has been working with his brother Alex since they started the company in 1998. E-mail him at ben@usaepay.com or call him at 866-872-3729, ext. 350.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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Spotlight Innovators:

North American Bancard | USAePay | Impact Paysystems | Electronic Merchant Systems | Board Studios