Trintech embarks on Linux strategy

18 May 2004

Irish e-payment firm Trintech has become one of the first companies in its particular field to embark on an open source strategy by introducing a Linux-based terminal platform for future point of sale transactions using American Express, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) based chip and PIN credit cards.

Trintech boss Cyril McGuire (pictured) told that he was excited at the potential business that the new product route will open up for the Nasdaq-listed business. “We are one of the first operators in the payment market to go down the Linux route; it’s what providers in the EMV (Express, MasterCard, Visa) market are looking for. As well as that we want to move towards open standards and the OEM licensing of our PayWare chipset to other providers is an exciting market also.”

One of the first new Linux-based products to come out of the Trintech stable is the OpenPay Secure Module circuit board, which the company says it will sell to its own customers as well as value added resellers, system integrators and value added partners. The platform allows e-payment firms to create their own payment platforms for in-store applications such as PIN pads for chip & PIN transactions at point of sale or other unattended environments such as kiosks, petrol pumps and ATMs.

Trintech is being spurred on by the move from magnetic strip-based credit cards to chip and PIN smart cards recognized under EMV security specifications.

The PayWare OpenPay platform utilizes a 32-bit ARM processor and a range of interfaces such as USB, Ethernet and IrDA (infra red) and shortens overall transaction time for cardholders and retailers.

Trintech said that the move to open source will help system integrators and OEM manufacturers to shorten development cycles and time-to-market for new applications.

Other Linux products to come out of the Trintech stable include the EMV recognised chip and PIN PayWare Smart 3000 and 5000 PIN pads for point of sale applications which the company will sell to financial institutions, retailers and telecom firms under its own brand.

McGuire told that the introduction of Linux products follows on a strict R&D policy that saw Trintech invest 20pc of annual revenues in a small but crucial set of products. The company has begun licensing an OEM chipset for other payment providers. “You could say we’re taking an Intel-based approach to the market rather than a Dell approach,” McGuire explained.

In recent months, after battling through the tech downturn and streamlining its operations, Trintech reported a return to profitability on the back of a 17pc revenue increase to US$12.3m. The company, which was founded by Cyril McGuire and his brother John in 1987, currently employs 350 people. During the quarter, the Sandyford-based company acquired US e-security firm DataFlow Services for an estimated US$5.3m.

By John Kennedy