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Mobile Point of Sale: Moving Beyond Micro-Merchants

A European startup is introducing a new pricing model for mobile point of sale solutions aimed at attracting larger merchants.

JUSP, a European mobile point of sale provider, announced a new pricing model to entice larger retail merchants to its point of sale solution.

Mobile point of sale solutions have gained some ground among micro-merchants in several geographies around the globe, including here in the U.S. with the recent growth of Square. The common pricing scheme for many mobile point of sale solutions, which is based on a commission per transaction, suits the micro-merchant segment, but is not cost-effective for larger merchants, Stefano Calderano, JUSP’s CEO, argues.

“For many micro-merchants the traditional commission-based fee is affordable, but it doesn’t make sense for many larger merchants because they often are already paying less for processing [than they would with commission],” Calderano explains.

Square and other mobile point of sale providers typically charge 2.5% per transaction or more, where as the average U.S. retailer pays about 2% per card-present transactions and 2.3-2.5% for card-not-present transactions, according to CardFellow, an online marketplace for merchants to find and purchase processing services.

JUSP, which operates in Europe and is expanding to Asia and South America, is switching to a monthly fee model that Calderano says will be cheaper for larger merchants. The startup will begin offering its EMV mobile card reader for 39-69 euros per month. The pricing will vary within that range each month according to the volume of the merchant’s sales, according to Calderano.

The pricing model will be more beneficial for mid-size merchants, Calderano notes. The average mid-size merchant in European does around 35,000 euros per year in card transactions, but a commission fee usually doesn’t make sense for a merchant doing over 20,000 euros in card transactions per year, he adds.

Square released its own monthly fee rate (of $275 per month) last year after its headline-grabbing deal with Starbucks. But the company has announced that it will discontinue that offering next February. While the mobile point of sale space has grown more competitive in the last couple of years, no provider in the U.S. has yet come up with a pricing model to attract larger retailers like JUSP’s.

[See Related: Square Offers New Monthly Price Rate Following Starbucks Deal]

Jonathan Camhi has been an associate editor with Bank Systems & Technology since 2012. He previously worked as a freelance journalist in New York City covering politics, health and immigration, and has a master's degree from the City University of New York's Graduate School ... View Full Bio

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Nathan Golia
Nathan Golia,
User Rank: Author
11/19/2013 | 4:36:51 PM
re: Mobile Point of Sale: Moving Beyond Micro-Merchants
What are examples of mid-size merchants? Small bookstores, maybe? I wonder how big the "sweet spot" really is for this technology.
User Rank: Author
11/18/2013 | 8:37:06 PM
re: Mobile Point of Sale: Moving Beyond Micro-Merchants
I would imagine that as more retailers start to take up new store models that include staff walking around with iPads to help customers, there will be more interest form those retailers in mobile point of sale. But they will definitely not be interested in paying a commission on each transaction given the volume of low-value transactions that some of these larger retailers conduct.
User Rank: Author
11/18/2013 | 5:07:14 PM
re: Mobile Point of Sale: Moving Beyond Micro-Merchants
It does seem that Square and similar offerings have been successful in attracting small businesses, coffeehouses etc., but obviously haven't made the inroads with larger retailers. Will be interesting to see if that happens at all over the next year.
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