Before Aron Schwarzkopf launched Leaf, creator of the purpose-built LeafPresenter point-of-sale tablet, he was obsessed with the concept of the paper receipt. He thought it was wasted potential, and he felt small businesses weren’t able to take advantage of what it could provide them.
If somehow the information could be aggregated using the cloud, it could bring a lot more business intelligence and value back to small businesses. That’s where Leaf started two years ago, and that’s where the company continues to stay focused today, Schwarzkopf said during a recent podcast interview with Market Platform Dynamics CEO Karen Webster.
(jump to: 0:45) “We want to bring innovation and level the playing field for the small-business owner, and we’re doing that around the point of sale,” he said.
The leadership at Leaf doesn’t consider Leaf to be a point-of-sale company. It’s a technology company that puts its resources around a platform because it provides the value, Schwarzkopf said. (jump to: 4:16) “We consider POS a product that we do here, and we have a bunch of other stuff internally that hopefully you’ll start seeing that has nothing to do with point of sale,” he said, without providing specifics.
Leaf’s strategy has never been to disintermediate traditional payments providers, but work with them. So it took a different approach than others in the point-of-sale environment. The company, whose tablets are used mostly by quick-service restaurants, connects to most payment providers, many of which distribute and use its products, either to replace credit card terminals or to help enable merchants who previously had no access to card acceptance, Schwarzkopf said.
Because Leaf provides its own hardware, instead of simply providing POS software for use in a consumer-designed tablet, it can control the entire merchant-user experience and can give more and better customer support, he said. Its LeafPresenter is preplacing credit card terminals, cash registers and PC-based POS systems.
As Schwarzkopf sees it, tablets are more than a cash register at the storefront. And that means new products coming from Leaf could involve things that have nothing to do with payments or POS, he said.