For the first time, Shopify is introducing its own payments hardware to the market with what they are calling a unique approach to the standard card reader. The new EMV-compliant device made its first public appearance at the firm’s Unite developer conference in San Francisco.
Since 2013 Shopify has taken an increased interest in POS – but has until now been content to outsource the hardware end of things to third-party players and partners.
“We’ve learned a ton over that period of time, in bringing people hardware and scaling point of sale to many tens of thousands of merchants,” explained Shopify VP of Product Satish Kanwar in an interview. “What we’ve seen is the evolution of the retail store as a place that was primarily a first channel for someone, to being a great experiential marketing strategy for people, and just a necessary part of the growth and evolution of any retail brand, whether you started online first or not.”
About a year ago, Shopify created a dedicated hardware unit with he aim of redesigning an in house product around the collective lessons learned from merchant partners experiences.
“What people forget is that it’s not just the merchant that’s touching the hardware, like a cash register,” Kanwar said. “When it comes to a card reader, it’s the shopper that’s interacting with the device and inputting their card as well. What we realized is that it’s really hard to get a good balance of good quality, versatility and something that provides that delightful experience in something that’s also affordable.”
The new reader will also be free – for new merchants and existing merchants without a Shopify POS solution. For others, the hardware can be purchased for $29 via the Shopify Hardware store online.
Currently on offer to its US-based merchants in pre-order – the device is expected to ship a the end of June.