In late July, NFC industry news site NFC Times reported that ViVOtech, a software and systems provider which makes everything from smart posters to transaction management infrastructure, was shutting down. The company soon after released a statement explaining that it wasn’t closing up shop, but it was “restructuring its operations.” Today, ViVOtech has made progress on that front: it has unloaded its reader business to ID TECH, and says its focus will now be on making software.
The company states that it has completed the sale of its ViVOpay reader business, effective today. The buyer is Cypress, California-based ID TECH, which manufactures and supplies smart card and credit card readers for secure PCI payment solutions, which are used in point-of-sale terminals and mobile applications. ViVOtech’s existing customer base and supplier relationships will be transferred over to the new owner. The NFC Times’ original report had stated that the likely buyer for the business was PAX Global Technology, the owner of Shenzhen, China-based PAX Technology, but that turned out to not be the case.
Unlike ViVOtech, ID TECH is not solely focused on NFC products, but also makes things like MagStripe card readers and writers, barcode readers, POS keyboards, secure PIN entry products and more. It sells to point-of-sale, hospitality, access control, gaming, transportation and kiosk industries through a host of VARs, OEMs and distributors.
In an additional statement, also posted online, ViVOtech says that with the sale of the reader business behind it, it will now focus on its ViVOnfc Software business instead. “We are focusing 100% of our energy on the continued support of our customers, contracts and partners, and on growth of this business,” reads the official statement, which was just shared with us courtesy of ViVOtech CEO Mick Mullagh.
ViVOtech has been one of the more notable names in the NFC technology space, and was responsible for over half the NFC terminals found in big-name retailers such as McDonald’s, Home Depot, Whole Foods and more. It had shipped almost 1 million terminals worldwide, had over 80% U.S. market share for NFC readers, and was reporting sales in “double-digit millions” back in 2011. The company also partnered with Google on Google Wallet, and it partnered with Isis, the NFC joint venture between U.S. mobile operators AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
Despite recent growth due to smartphones, NFC adoption has been slow, in part due to the confusion around mobile payments, the failure of the industry to establish one standard way to pay via mobile, and Apple’s decision to hold off on NFC integration in its iPhone devices, which have significant market share.