If more equals merrier, the mobile POS market is becoming the merriest market in mobile payments. Today, daily deal site Groupon joined the party with the launch of GrouponPayments, a mobile point-of-sale service touted as the lowest cost option for Groupon merchants to accept credit cards. It's similar to products from Square, PayPal and VeriFone and lets merchants turn their smartphones into mobile credit card terminals using a dongle and an app.
Groupon has added the new service to its latest version of the Groupon Merchants app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. With the app, Groupon merchants will be able to accept all credit cards and pay only 1.8 percent of the transaction amount plus a 15 cent transaction fee. American Express transactions are slightly higher at 3 percent. That compares with 2.7 percent for PayPal Here and 2.75 percent for Square.
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Additionally, Groupon said its merchants will receive deposits for credit card transactions in their bank accounts overnight.
"Our goal is to provide merchants with the most affordable and powerful tools to run and grow their businesses," said Mihir Shah, VP Mobile and Merchant Products at Groupon. "With groundbreaking pricing and service, Groupon Payments does just that."
Another benefit for Groupon merchants is that the app it uses to process transactions can also be used to scan and redeem Groupon offers.
Groupon said it will also offer non-Groupon merchants, meaning companies not using Groupon to run daily deals, the ability to process transactions using its payment service. Those merchants pay a slightly higher, but still comparatively low, rate of 2.2 percent per transaction plus a $0.15 per transaction fee. (Amex transactions are still 3 percent.)
Groupon has been nibbling at the mobile payment market for some time and its entry into the mobile POS market was first reported in May. (The company said that it first tested the new service in a pilot program in San Francisco.) Groupon also acquired tablet point of sale maker Breadcrumb earlier this year as well as buying Kima Labs, the company behind the mobile coupon app TabBuy.
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