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Q: POS Terminal Programming ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: POS Terminal Programming
Category: Computers > Hardware
Asked by: mhugo-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 05 Jun 2002 16:47 PDT
Expires: 12 Jun 2002 16:47 PDT
Question ID: 23118
How are stand alone basic POS Terminals (like the Verifone Tranz 330)
programmed? What is programmed on the terminal?

The following answer was rejected by the asker (they reposted the question).
Subject: Re: POS Terminal Programming
Answered By: omniscientbeing-ga on 05 Jun 2002 19:56 PDT
Rated:3 out of 5 stars
Question: How are stand alone basic POS Terminals (like the Verifone
Tranz 330)
programmed? What is programmed on the terminal? 

Answer: Verifone Tranz 330 terminals are programmed using TCL™
(Terminal Control Language), the VeriFone terminal control language
designed specifically for transaction processing.


Quote from the site: " can quickly add, update and create
applications using TCL™ the VeriFone terminal control language
designed specifically for transaction processing."

And, "It lets retailers accept debit (ATM) cards in payment, through
an optional PIN pad. Plus, it supports other point-of-service (POS)
applications involving the transfer of value, such as healthcare and
government benefits programs."

Additional technical information, and a downloadable .PDF (Adobe
Acrobat Reader file) are available on this same site ( ).

Users (i.e. retailers) program their own custom POS (Point Of Sale)
applications on the terminal (such as a list of products or items in
inventory and their corresponding prices and re-order levels,
suppliers)without having to pay for 3rd party software developers.

Google Search strategy: Keywords "Verifone Tranz 330"

"TCL VeriFone terminal control language"

For more general information on POS programming, try searching Google
for keywords, "POS programming languages"

One link from the above search is: Credit Card Verification System

from a RedHat docs tutorial.

Good luck in continuing your inquiries!

Request for Answer Clarification by mhugo-ga on 06 Jun 2002 09:03 PDT
Is the merchant bank's phone number programmed on the POS Terminal?  

Request for Answer Clarification by mhugo-ga on 06 Jun 2002 10:32 PDT
Can you program what the POS Terminal prompts you for? (i.e. price,
last 4 digits of credit card number, etc.)  

Clarification of Answer by omniscientbeing-ga on 06 Jun 2002 16:15 PDT
Most terminals work by swiping the credit card though a peripheral
reading device, so that all of the card number and expiration date
information is transferred.
Yes, the merchant's bank phone number can be displayed on the GUI
)Graphic User Interface) of the terminal.
This website, from, has a good POS page
loaded with information on various POS terminal solutions:
&lt;a href=&quot;<a href=""></a>&quot;&gt;<a href=""></a>&lt;/a&gt; 
This page,,  offers more technical details
on the Trans 330, as well as an actual photograph of the unit:
&lt;a href=&quot;<a href=""></a>&quot;&gt;<a href=""></a>&lt;/a&gt; 
Good luck!  
Reason this answer was rejected by mhugo-ga:
The researcher never answered the "how" the POS terminal is
programmed. Must you upload the program to the POS terminal? Can one
program it to say "item code" instead of "dollar amount"? How do you
program the central server telephone number- is it via TCL or just
entering the phone number on the display?
mhugo-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars
You never really answered "how" these terminals are programmed. Yes
with a langauge (TCL) you tell me- but How?? Is it on the terminal, do
you upload software to the terminal...

Subject: Re: POS Terminal Programming
Answered By: xemion-ga on 07 Jun 2002 14:26 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
As omniscientbeing stated, the Verifone Tranz 330 is programmed using
TCL.  All the information contained in my answer was found in the TCL
Programmers Manual.  It's a 10 MB download, but if you want more
detailed information on how to write programs in TCL, I suggest you
download it: 

In answer to your question, TCL is programmed using a text editor. 
The only requirement is that the editor must be able to store the text
in a standard MS-DOS ASCII disk file format.  I personally would
recommend using Notepad for this, but you can use practically

After writing your program, you can load it onto the terminal two
different ways.

The first method is to manually enter the program on the terminal. 
Because this can be a very lengthy process, it is not recommended by
VeriFone.  Entering programs by keypad doesn't sound very exciting to
me either.

The second method is to download the program to the terminal. 
VeriFone has two different programs for this.  The first is TCLOAD. 
It is used mainly for testing and development.  The second is ZONTALK
2000.  It's used once you're ready to actually send your application
to terminals in the field.  These programs are downloaded onto your
computer, not the terminal.  See Chapter 4 in the manual for
instructions on using the programs.  Depending on whether you're
debugging your application or actually sending it to terminals in the
field, you may connect to the terminal using a direct cable to your pc
or you may use the terminal's modem to download the program from a

Here is a some sample code that copies a memory location control

31$		;Get the location umbers
  B.5 		;Select buffer 5 as destination buffer
  G		;Clear it
  P299		;Display "COPY FROM LOC?"
  K2.3		;Accept 3 digits from keypad
  D1		;Delete the field seperator

This is just a small portion of the program.  I'm including it so you
can see what TCL looks like.  The ";" means everything after that
character is a comment and is not actually programming code.  If you
want to view the entire program, look at Appendix C in the manual.

Thanks for the question and if you require more information, don't
hesitate to ask for clarification.  And if you find this answer
satisfactory, please feel free to rate it. Thank you!

Request for Answer Clarification by mhugo-ga on 07 Jun 2002 14:38 PDT
This is nearly exactly what I wanted. But just a little more detail-
can you program what the POS Terminal prompts you for? (i.e. price,
last 4 digits of credit card number, etc.) and the merchant's server

Is this what the programming is for?

Clarification of Answer by xemion-ga on 07 Jun 2002 14:44 PDT
I'm in the middle of something right now, but I know I can answer your
question for you.  Give me a few hours and let me see what I can find.


Clarification of Answer by xemion-ga on 07 Jun 2002 16:08 PDT
The terminal can accept input from a cardreader, keypad or a barcode

If you want to specifically ask for data, you can set what the screen
says.  You can have it say "Enter your pin number:" or "What your
favorite number?".  Whatever you want.  And then just get the data
from the keypad.

You can gather whatever information you want using the keypad or
prompt them to slide their card through the machine so you can get the
credit card number, etc..

I hope this satisfies your question!

mhugo-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Precisely what i was looking for.

Thank you.

Subject: Re: POS Terminal Programming
From: mvguy-ga on 05 Jun 2002 17:51 PDT
I haven't been able to find out what's preprogrammed on the VeriFone
terminal, but new applications can be downloaded over the phone. 
Perhaps one of these documents will tell you or one of the other
researchers what you want to know (I didn't want to download multiple
Subject: Re: POS Terminal Programming
From: omniscientbeing-ga on 06 Jun 2002 08:44 PDT
Answer addendum: 

In addition to my official answer, as an afterthought, you might also
want to search Google for "Verifone Tranz 330 code examples" and even
"Verifone Tranz 330 programming [or 'code'] tutorials".

Good luck!

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