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Restaurants Take The mPOS Cake

May was a big month for the mPOS players, with the hospitality sector driving demand and user adoption. Starbucks, in the beginning of May opened an express store in New York’s Financial District, where employees take orders on their handheld device to reduce customers’ wait time. The pop up store is a pilot project and one can expect more such stores over the year.

NCR, the consumer transaction technology business launched a mPOS solution tailor-made for the hospitality industry named Orderman7 at the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago in May. The software runs on Aloha Mobile in the U.S. and aims to be more efficient during peak traffic time at nightclubs and restaurants.

One company that is trying to make this happen with increasing operational efficiency at restaurants is Palo Alto-based talech. Irv Henderson, CEO and Co-founder spoke to PYMNTS about what his company does differently in this overcrowded mPOS ecosystem.

Why don’t you tell me what differentiates you in this crowded mPOS space?

IH: Point-of-sale is a platform play for us. We look at it as a Trojan horse of what the next generation retailers will use. We are focused on two verticals: Restaurants and retail. We think that in this space, you need to have an equally outstanding distribution strategy. So, our go-to-market strategy is banks. We lead with banks because of the halo effect and their preexisting relationships with the merchants. That strategy works for us. We work with U.S. Bank, many community banks and it works successfully.

What is it that is compelling enough for the banks to want to do this? And how would you differentiate yourself?

IH: Banks are processors and most of their portfolio rests between restaurant and retail and in the space we are good at both. The bank also has your deposits and that works as an important referral source. In restaurants we work from quick to full service. We have deployed 8-10 iPads at tables and bars. We do complex implementation like table management, pay at the table, etc. In our equation what matters is the dual purpose vehicle, where we need to have a product which we believe that addresses a large base of your partners. We are a reseller model and so the distribution partnership is also crucial. Beyond that, we are launching a customer targeting program.

What is it that you are doing with the EMV? How are you incorporating POS to accommodate the requirements of restaurants who want to protect cardholder data and does not want to disappoint their customers?

IH: Restaurant experience is very different from a product perspective, we do managing a table, we do reservations, we do split orders, we do all of that complexity. We do table layout, reservation, merging and splitting tickets between tables. And on EMV, we do pay at the table for the last year. You bring the bill to the customer and pay on the tablet at the table.

Is your platform open to or integrated with table reservation apps like ChowNow, GrubHub, etc.?

IH: Not today, but in the future, it will be. Ordering ahead is a space that has a lot of competitors and I can see how well POS can get integrated into that. We are launching something that allows restaurants to use their presence on the Web like their website or Yelp to order ahead. It is a companion experience that makes a lot of sense.

What kind of traction are you getting in terms of business?

IH: We have thousands of customers across the country primarily through the bank channel. The business typically ranges from $300,000 on the low side to $4 million on the high side both on restaurants and retail. If you are a full service dining restaurant, you get a more expensive package. In retail, any location with inventory in the 20,000-30,000 range is whom we serve. Another emerging area are venues. The University of Mexico uses us on various locations on the campus.

User adoption grew globally. The wave of adoption was global with Mint Payments, the Australian omni-channel payments processing solution, launching “PayClip” in collaboration with Bank of New Zealand to allow businesses to accept payments through mobile. It was an opportunity waiting to be seized given the growth of New Zealand’s electronics payments market which recorded 125 million card transactions in January of 2015.

mPOS players collaborate with Apple Pay. iZettle, the Swedish mobile payments company jumped on the Apple Pay bandwagon and launched Card Reader Pro Contactless in May. The tool will let retailers get paid with Apple Pay in addition to Google Wallet, payWave and PayPass. Retailers across the U.S. and U.K. can avail of this service.

Philippines inching ahead with rapid growth. Moving east, Globe Telecom, Philippines’ mobile service provider, posted 60% growth in its mPOS user base. The country has over 800,000 businesses and services, a market ripe for mPOS solutions. Visa also partnered with GrabTaxi, the country’s premium limousine service, to install Globe’s mPOS terminals in cabs.

mPOS Tracker Updates

In this month’s mPOS Tracker, we added 8 new players: Ambur, ConCardis OptiPay, Kounta, Lavu, LifePay, Lightspeed, Moka, and UCS Baltic.

We also provide updates on 14 existing players: Apriva, Global Payments, goSwiff, Groupon, iZettle, Mint, NCR Silver, payleven, Nobly POS, Paynear, ShopKeep, Square, SumUp and Verifone.

The details on these entrants and updates can be found in the Player Directory.

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