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GoPago enters tablet POS market with GoPago LIVE

The tablet-as-point-of-sale market didn't exist two years ago and it's already a fiercely competitive space, with solutions from companies such as Revel Systems, NCR and Square. Now mobile payment app-maker GoPago is jumping into the market, and it's offering a pretty compelling sales pitch: The company is giving its hardware away for free.

GoPago started as a provider of a cloud-based mobile payment app that offered small merchants, mainly restaurants, the ability to create a mobile storefront quickly and easily. With the success of its mobile app, the company received substantial backing from JPMorgan Chase earlier this year. It's now taking that support to expand its offerings with a new GoPago Live POS system. With GoPago Live, the company is offering a turnkey, app-based tablet point of sale solution.

GoPago Live, like other application-based tablet POS systems, is meant to replace a traditional cash register with an application running on a tablet. With GoPago Live, merchants get an Android tablet and all the necessary GoPago software to turn it into a POS. It also includes the other necessary bits and pieces like a tablet stand, cash drawer, card reader and printer. For merchants like food trucks where an Internet connection might be an issue, GoPago Live comes bundled with wireless connectivity from Verizon as well.

Along with providing basic payment services, GoPago Live also includes functionality to offer and track loyalty and rewards programs, reporting capabilities, and the ability to integrates with marketing and social media channels. It also works with GoPago's mobile app so that merchants can incorporate options like mobile ordering and line-busting. GoPago even offers full 24/7 support.

"We think GoPago Live will turn the payment industry on its head," said GoPago CEO Leo Rocco in a statement. "This is so much more than POS. It’s a total solution for brick-and-mortar business owners. We’re redefining and resetting the bar for modernizing business payments and loyalty programs."

To entice merchants to use its POS system, GoPago is offering the hardware to merchants for free, meaning small merchants don't have to shell out for anything to start accepting payments. The company isn't charging monthly fees either. Instead, merchants pay a single rate of 2.85 percent per transaction.

GoPago's fee is higher fee than competitive products. For instance, its rival Square charges only 2.75 percent per transaction. But no upfront costs could prove attractive to merchants looking to buy POS hardware and software before they've made a single sale. POS terminals, cash registers, readers, printers and everything else needed to process that first transaction can cost thousands of dollars. Even the app-based, tablet-as-cash register solutions on the market require a merchant to pay a few hundred bucks for an iPad.

Additionally, when it comes to accepting electronic payments, the market can be hard to understand. Merchants have to deal with payment processors, merchant acquirers, and the independent sales organizations that resell their services. They all offer a panoply of terminals, readers and equipment and a confusing array of plans, fees and rates.

In a conversation with Mobile Payments Today, Rocco explained the problem GoPago is looking to solve with GoPago Live. He said the company listened to its merchang clients who deal with payment providers and ISOs and found there's a lot of noise in the market. To deal with that noise, GoPago wanted to create a simple solution — one that targets neighborhood businesses — and give merchants everything they need to accept payments straight out of the box.

"Those days of merchants paying several thousand dollars for a POS terminal are over. The cash register is dead," Rocco said. "We're modernizing brick-and-mortar at the point of sale and we want to bring that technology to the little guys. We want to provide turnkey and friction-free payments."

Rocco said GoPago Live is already being used by about 100 merchants and will be available nationwide starting in the middle of August.

For more stories on this topic, visit the POS research center.

Photo from GoPago.

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