Shift4 Touts Service Expanding M-POS Capabilities for Larger Merchants via Software (Sept. 22, 2015)
Shift4 Corp., a merchant payments gateway provider, today announced a software-based m-POS service enabling larger merchants to accept all types of payments anywhere—via any mobile device—without disrupting existing relationships with processors and acquirers, which analysts suggest is an example of a new breed of payments services.
Summerlin, Nev.-based Shift4 devised the new service, VT4, after hearing their larger merchants complain about the difficulty of adding on m-POS solutions to existing systems and fixed cash registers, according to Jeremy Fried, the company’s systems architect. “Many m-POS systems like Square were designed for micro-merchants to accept card payments at fairs and festivals, but those systems aren’t easily scalable for larger merchants looking to break into mobile card acceptance,” he explains.
With midsize and larger merchants in mind, Shift4 developed a software solution for any merchant operating in the U.S., Canada or the Caribbean to accept payments from any type of smartphone, tablet, laptop or Internet-connected device—using any bank or processor—according to Fried. Merchants may accept credit, debit and gift cards, as well as cash, and also charge transactions to customer membership accounts. Merchants control payments acceptance via a remote dashboard, enabling them to turn it on and off through any combination of devices at temporary venues, such as outdoor events. VT4 support all card formats, including EMV and NFC payments, through an encrypted, tokenized process, Fried adds.
The PGA Tour piloted VT4 over the last year at several of its golf courses, accepting payments through different types of m-POS devices from third-party services like caterers, ticket-takers and event volunteers, Fried says. “For hotels, resorts and restaurants, the ability to deploy any type of mobile device for payments is a huge improvement over buying a bunch of iPads or other devices specifically configured for m-POS, because they may only need these devices temporarily for a particular event,” he says. Shift 4 generates revenue through VT4 by collecting a fee Fried says is modest, based on merchant transaction volume.
Shift4 isn’t the first company to introduce a software-based m-POS solution, says Rick Oglesby, head of research for Double Diamond Payments Research. But the service is part of a new breed of providers that are expanding the ways merchants can layer m-POS into existing systems. “What’s different about what Shift4 is offering is that it’s designed for larger merchants with more diverse needs, who need to extend—not replace—existing capabilities to accept payments in mobile environments,” he says, adding there is a “significant” growth opportunity for companies serving this niche.