Square is an existing point-of-sale platform that allows customers to use their credit card at mid-tier shops everywhere. It also provides a really solid solution for mom-and-pop shops to accept credit cards, and offers some attractive processing fees. Apple Pay and the incoming EMV cards will be a shift in the credit industry, and are two modes of payments Square doesn’t support. A new startup — ShopKeep — does, and wants to eat Square’s lunch by offering their tech free to new customers.
The differences between the two platforms are currently noticeable, with ShopKeep’s ability to accept the newest form of payment tech the selling point. From there, it gets a bit more competitive, with ShopKeep also offering up a suite of tools that Square just doesn’t.
Though ShopKeep is a startup that seems keen on pinching Square’s energy, they’re also a bit more expensive. At $49/month per register, they are in the pocket of retailers a bit more than Square is.
The company also admits people aren’t clamoring to get Apple Pay worked into their stores just yet, though the mobile payment resurgence will likely play a larger role as time goes on. EMV cards also aren’t de rigeur stateside just yet, but will be next year.
Square is promising they’ll embrace both technologies, but are playing it safe regarding when that will actually be. They’ve begun accepting pre-orders for a new dongle that can accept the EMV cards, and have so far said they are going to accept Apple Pay; they just aren’t giving hard timelines for when that might be.
Still, as various point-of-sale terminals like Square, Clover, Poynt, and ShopKeep make their way to stores everywhere, their involvement with the latest payment technology is important.
Bring up Rite Aid, and some will recall them with disdain over the Apple Pay/CurrentC debacle. Smaller businesses won’t want that to be them, so being ahead of the curve might actually be ShopKeep’s early lead.