Wednesday, 20 February 2013 21:48

Following Groupon - Square now offers POS hardware package

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Four months ago Groupon released its point-of-sale system Breadcrumb and now Square is beefing up its own POS system. The company announced today that it’s releasing its new "Business in a Box,” a package that includes all the hardware merchants need to run Square Register at their brick-and-mortar stores.

Groupon released Breadcrumb last October. The POS system comes with a "Breadbox"—which is the hardware needed to get the POS up and running. The Breadbox includes an iPad that merchants can purchase, iPad stand, cash drawer, credit card swipe, printer, router, WAP, and cables.

Similarly, Square's "Business in a Box" comes with two Square readers, an iPad stand, a cash drawer, and an optional receipt printer. All work wirelessly with Square Register.

 

But there's the matter of payments.

Groupon's Breadcrumb is integrated with Groupon Payments (though it can support other mobile payment systems as well), which charges nearly half of what Square and PayPal currently charge. Transactions using Visa, MasterCard, or Discover are charged 1.8%, plus 15 cents when swiped (2.3% plus 15 cents when keyed).

And the rates apply to all merchants, regardless of whether they've run a Groupon deal before.

By comparison, Square charges 2.75% or a flat rate of $275 a month for businesses processing less than $250,000 a year. PayPal charges 2.7%. Although, for businesses processing less than $250,000 a year, Square offers a flat rate of $275 a month, which translates to a processing fee of 1.3% for a business doing exactly $250,000 a year.

The Square Register also isn't quite as versatile as Groupon's Breadcrumb, which was specifically designed to support not only merchants but restaurateurs as well, so using the Breadcrumb POS, servers can clock in, take orders, calculate checks, and process payments all from an iPad. They can also make notes on customized orders and split or merge checks.

Management can then see reports and analytics from an iPad or computer, manage time-clocks, and see real-time sales and labor reports. Square Register offers analytics, staff management, transaction history, inventory management, customer loyalty and rewards tools, and more.

According to Square's release: "Historically, business owners were forced to piece together multiple hardware components from various manufacturers, manage complicated contracts and pricing structures, and pay for expensive software licensing and service plans. Now, they can be up and running with Square Register in minutes."

Square's hardware package starts at $299 without the printer. 

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