Ingenico Card Machine Provider: Who is Ingenico?

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Ingenico is a leading merchant services technology company. They facilitate secure electronic transactions, manufacture POS payment terminals and offer tailored payment software solutions.

Ingenico services large retailers, banks, merchant services, and fintech companies. It does not sell card machines directly to small and medium size businesses. These are sold through the merchant service providers that Ingenico supplies. We will explain who Ingenico serves further down in this article.

In this guide we are going to explain who Ingenico are, who their customer is, what they offer and what to look out for if a merchant services provider offers Ingenico products.

A Brief History of Ingenico

Jean-Jacques Poutrel and Michel Malhouitre founded Ingenico in France at the beginning of the 1980s. Its first notable achievement was the launch of the first ever payment terminal with chip reader in 1984.

Since then, Ingenico has grown through acquisition, taking over payment companies with the goal of integrating their payment technology or entering a new market. In 2017 it acquired Swedish payments company Bambora to gain access to the Nordic markets. And in 2023 it acquired Phos to help develop a software only POS solution.

In 2020, Ingenico itself was the subject of a takeover. Worldwide, a global payments leader, acquired the company in a deal worth $8.6 billion. However in 2022, Worldwide sold Ingenico to Apollo Global Management.

Who are Ingenico’s Customers?

As we mentioned in the intro, if you’re a small or medium sized business, you can’t buy a card machine directly from Ingenico like you would from Square or Zettle. On the card reader product pages on their website, it gives the option to visit a reseller to purchase the card reader.

Instead Ingenico provides payment processing hardware and software to the following:

  • Large retailers: In 2019, UK retailing giant M&S selected Ingenico as it’s instore and online payment provider. It looks after all device performance along with servicing and repair.
  • Banks: Most banks offer merchant services for businesses and offering POS infrastructure is part of this. Lloyds Bank, for example, offers a payment solution called Cardnet. The Ingenico Move3500 is one of portable card machines provided with this service.
  • Merchant service providers: UK providers like Takepayments and Retail Merchant Services offer Ingenico card readers on their website. As well as providing card readers, Ingenico offers estate management, online payment solutions, security, and repair.

What Services Does Ingenico Provide?

Ingenico’s provides portable, mobile and countertop card machines, and an mPOS solution to banks and merchant service providers. It also provides software and terminal management services through its PPaaS and TaaS offering. Let’s take a look at each in more detail.

Card Machines

  • Portable card machines: These terminals are perfect for businesses that need to provide payment options to customers away from the till. Ingenico has a range of different portable terminals operating on both its AXIUM and TETRA OS. These devices are ideal for the likes of brick and mortar hospitality, food and drink trucks, taxi services and delivery services
  • Mobile card machines: Ingenico offers two types of mobile card machines – retail mobility and card readers. Both are suitable for fast-paced retail and hospitality settings where there may not be space for a fixed terminal. Their card readers run on Moby OS, while the retail mobility machines are on AXIUM and TETRA.
  • Countertop card machines: Ingenico offers two types of portable card machines – Countertop and PIN Pad, and Retail PIN Pad. The former is suitable for most retail and hospitality environments while the latter is suitable for shops and supermarkets with checkout lines.
  • Self-service machines: As well as offering in-store and portable payment terminals, Ingenico also offers self service payment terminals. These are typically used at fuel pumps, self-ordering kiosks in fast food restaurants, and public transport or paid parking stations. They need to be durable and tough to deal with excessive use and environmental conditions.

mPOS Solution

A lot of Ingenico’s success is down to acquiring other payment processing companies at the right time, and this is the case with its mPOS (mobile POS) solution. In 2023, Ingenico acquired POS software firm Phos, whose system is now known as Ingenico’s SoftPOS.

SoftPOS allows you to use an app on your phone that can take contactless payments, eliminating the need for a physical terminal. Today, more and more people are paying with contactless cards or NFC-enabled smartphones, so this payment solution is ideally placed to serve this growing market.

Using SoftPOS, anyone in a mobile profession with little space for a terminal can accept payments with the same level of performance and security on their smartphone. This solution will suit tradespeople, pop-up shops, hospitality trucks, street entertainers, and solopreneurs.

Merchant Software and Hardware Infrastructure

Ingnenico’s helps banks and merchant service providers with their merchant offerings by providing payment terminals, backend software, estate management and repairs. PPaaS stands for Payment Processing as a Service while TaaS stands for Terminal as a Service.

PPaaS was launched in 2021 and allows merchants to combine their online and instore payment processing into an omnichannel experience for the customer. Ingenico recently announced that its customers can now offer Klarna as part of their merchant services. TaaS stands for Terminal as a Service and is a solution for payment processing providers to help them manage their POS hardware and software.

How Does Ingenico Compare to Other Payment Service Providers?

Because it was founded in 1980, Ingenico has long been a leading player on the market. In recent years, though, more payment processing solutions have emerged to compete with this legacy player. Here’s how Ingenico compares to other providers.

  • Price: It’s difficult to compare Ingenico to other payment processing providers as its prices aren’t transparent and dependent on what a merchant service provider charges. However, in our research into EPOS systems, we’ve found that Vend is the most affordable provider.
  • Card machines on offer: Ingenico boasts the largest selection of card machines of all the providers we’ve evaluated. However, they aren’t necessarily the most visually appealing devices. If you’re looking for something sleeker, try Square or SumUp’s modern and compact readers.
  • mPOS solution: SoftPOS is unique as the only mPOS solution that turns a NFC-enabled mobile phone or tablet into a card reader. This saves on the cost of buying a reader, which you’ll need to do to take payments with providers like Square, Zettle, and Shopify.
  • Self service terminals: Ingenico is one of the key providers of self service terminals in the market, but Verifone, which  also sells in-store POS terminals and readers, provide similar self service solutions (read more in our VeriFone review).

Ingenico offers one of the widest range of card readers and terminals on the market. It’s a leading industry player with a large market share. Thanks to this variety, Ingenico is a suitable for both retail and hospitality, as well as other industries. A strong selling point for smaller vendors is Ingenico’s SoftPOS solution, which turns NFC-enabled devices into card readers – a unique feature among payment service providers.

However, unless you run a large retailer like M&S, you won’t be buying card machines or merchant services directly from Ingenico. Instead banks and merchant service providers will likely be powered by Ingenico’s software or resell one of a number of their card machines.

Of course, it’s always wise to compare your options before settling on one payment service provider. Our free quote finding tool can help you get tailored quotes from the providers that suit you best – just answer a few questions about your business and what you need, and we’ll match you up with providers who’ll be in touch with bespoke quotes.

Written by:
Eamonn is an experienced B2B writer and content manager, having managed and grown several B2B business blogs in the fitness and hospitality space.