Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Affordable, Full-Featured Harbortouch POS - Reliable Testimonials Speak Volumes

Harbortouch continues to offer one of the more compelling full POS systems on the market. While I am a proponent of software like PhoneSwipe / PayAnywhere and Registroid, which work on tablets and offer considerably better pricing for the use of the software and hardware, there are times when a business simply needs more muscle under the hood. Whether this is a retail situation, a high volume coffee shop or restaurant, or even a hotel, Harbortouch can be configured to offer best-in-class service that provides over 80 customized reports while managing everything from consumables in stock to employee hours and a customer's preferences. It is a very fluid system that works through the cloud, offering a complete backoffice experience from anywhere with an Internet connection, keeping multiple stations in sync and even has the ability to tie in a roaming station that can take tableside orders or payments. Plus, the equipment costs are folded into the service agreement at about the same (or lower) cost as other comparable services without the thousands of dollars those other services might expect up front in hardware purchases.

But what I really like about Harbortouch is that the company is starting to show a bit more proof about their customer satisfaction. Most of the big players have plenty of high profile clients. Squirrel, for example, doesn't need to convince anyone that their equipment works, because they have a pretty substantial slice of the pie, as does Halo. However, an upstart like Harbortouch which is offering a radically different type of pricing approach and the promise of "Free Hardware" (in quotes because, frankly, nothing is free -- here you have a time commitment of five years to make it worth their while and cover their costs, which is only two years more than most other companies sign merchants up for even when they buy the equipment upfront), needs to be able to show merchants who might not be able to attend a hands-on demo that the system is worth jumping into. No sensible merchant wants to rely on blind faith, even if there is a "trial" window available. So it is pretty impressive that Harbortouch has been slowly releasing testimonial videos from some of their clients.

Monday, March 10, 2014

New PayAnywhere (Free) Tablet Storefront Solution Is Here

First the good news: North American Bancard (NAB) has a new PayAnywhere branded mobile tablet-based processing program which offers the placement of a free counter-top system and some great new options built around a 10 inch Android tablet (plus an additional mobile card reader for phones or tablets). It is one of the most affordable processing solutions on the market that takes advantage of mobile solutions at highly competitive rates with a future-ready, upgradable combination of hardware and software. It will become EMV compliant and is consistently being updated on the software side to take advantage of the latest technology while offering more enhancements to merchants. The program is very similar to the previous Phone Swipe Tablet Program which NAB been providing, but without the high volume requirements.

Processing of Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and the new PayPal card are all available with Next Day Funding and a lower swiped rate than Square or any "Pay As You Go" style programs, and still without additional transaction fees.

Having stated the good news, you might expect that there is bad news to counter it. But there isn't, at least not in the sense of anything new about the processing industry. Instead, there is the caveat that merchants still must deal with the same basic pricing and service of typical merchant accounts, including the PCI responsibilities and standard fees. Moreover, however, this program is not a "one size fits all" solution. If merchants are not processing over $5,000 in monthly charges, there is a good chance this program is not for them. On the other hand, it could save the right merchants a lot of money, offer a forward-thinking alternative to standard terminals and increase both productivity and profits. All will be revealed after the jump...