Groupon Gets Physical, Adding Traditional POS to Merchant Offering (Aug. 20, 2013)
Aug. 20, 2013
Groupon bucked the mPOS system from the outset with its unique merchant pricing strategy, and its latest move to embrace traditional payment terminals seems equally novel as mainstream acquirers like Chase Paymentech are now getting into dongles. Groupon last week said it will add traditional credit card terminals to its merchant payments offering in an effort to target a broader array of prospective customers. By reconfiguring merchants’ existing VeriFone and Ingenico countertop POS devices, merchants can stick with “familiar hardware” and still use Groupon’s services, said Sean Harper Groupon’s director of product. Groupon also will sell or rent VeriFone or Ingenico POS devices to merchants, the company said.
The Chicago-based company in May refocused its payments services around Breadcrumb by Groupon, a service that includes various marketing and business analysis tools with a lower-than-average rate of 1.8 percent plus 15 cents per transaction for card-present Visa, MasterCard and Discover card transactions. (American Express rates vary by business type.) Breadcrumb PRO, which includes additional setup and training services, caters exclusively to restaurants and bars.
Groupon may be on to something by enriching its services at a time when mPOS offerings are becoming harder to differentiate, Zilvinas Bareisis, a Celent senior analyst, tells Paybefore. “Many mPOS providers are trying to expand their services, typically into analytics and information services, while others are partnering with banks to enable financial institutions to enter this market segment,” he says. Examples include Fiserv Inc., which targets banks and credit unions with its SpotPay mPOS offering and First Data Corp., which targets both banks and small businesses with Pogo>.