Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Harbortouch "Free" POS System Program, Simplified

I recently had the opportunity to expand my consulting service with the products offered by Harbortouch, aka United Bank Card, Inc. (UBC). UBC is a very similar company to the other processors I use, in terms of size and offerings and the flexibility of pricing, so there was little incentive for me to go through the paperwork until I looked deeper into their Point of Sale terminal program. As it happened, I had a client who was looking for a POS system and we decided to do some number crunching and some feature comparisons. What we found surprised me.   

My first impression was that the Harbortouch program would probably fall into the "too good to be true" category. Everyone who has been around the block knows that "free" terminals generally means that you get to borrow the equipment if your pricing structure is high enough. That's fine for most businesses, because the minimum pricing requirements to qualify for equipment placement are usually offset by the savings of not having to purchase new equipment combined with the ability to exchange a defective or outdated machine at little or no cost. The one thing that often does get merchants with equipment placement is that they are likely (but not always) locked into a 3-year term with a cancellation fee that is higher than the price of a terminal. But here we are talking about standard counter-top card swiping terminals and nothing beyond that. When moving into POS territory, things become a bit more complicated. And, in this case, more enticing.