A new competitor has entered the burgeoning mobile POS marketplace, with an offering it believes is unique from its competitors
Erply, a startup software company based in Estonia, announced this week it is launching a new credit card reader for mobile devices. But the fledgling firm said its offering differs from competitors' -- such as Square and Verifone -- since Erply's POS system can also connect to its inventory management system app, which is also targeted for tablets. This would allow a business owner to combine payment and inventory functions into a single mobile device.
"Each of our customers are given an unique ID that is used in addition to username and password to login to their Erply account, similar to Facebook or online banking," said Erply Account Manager Eric Fung in an email to BS&T. "After logging in, they have full access to their inventory, point of sale module and customers."
Fung called Erply a "cloud hybrid" which he said gives retailers the benefits of a web-based software such as scalability, low barrier entry, and central management any where and any time with internet access. "Although our system can be accessed on the cloud, you're still safe if you have poor internet connection at your location because of our offline POS," he added.
Rock Oglesby, a senior analyst with Aite Group, said he sees Erply's offering not as a direct competitor with Square and some other m-payment providers around today. "It seems like they're targeting the larger retail establishment, whereas Square is in the small cafes and restaurants," he said.
Oglesby sees Erply's entry into the m-payment and POS market as part of a larger trend emerging. "A lot of players are trying to get into this space and carve out a niche for themselves," he said.
From a bank perspective, Oglesby said this entry into the marketplace is simply "giving them another option in terms of another competitive solution for their vendors."
Businesses can purchase an Erply card reader attachment for $50. The company charges a 1.9 percent transaction fee, which is considerably less than the 2.75 percent fee Square charges. However, while Square’s software is free to merchants, Erply’s software has a monthly cost ranging from $70 to $1,000 depending on the size of the business, according to its web site.