Erply ensures Square gets an NFC competitor that works with iPhone and iPads
Posted by Seth PlanckAugust 23rd, 2011 at 11:44 AM Filed Under Galleries, Latest News
Meet Erply who are set to be Square’s biggest competitor for retailers that use iPhone and iPads, however, Erply now uses NFC too
Erply is a startup company that develops retail inventory management software and has announced its new mobile credit card reader for iOS devices that is NFC enabled. You have probably seen iPads or iPhones being used as POS terminals. Square has been providing that service for some time now.
You may have even seen iPads on docks that remotely open cash draws and the retail inventory management software that comes bundled with those solutions. What we bet you haven’t seen before is an NFC enabled mobile credit card reader that accepts NFC payments and works flawlessly with iOS. Meet Erply and their solutions that could potentially rain on Square’s parade with cheaper transaction costs and NFC technology for Apple devices. In fact, if the mobile credit card reader and bundled software works as good as the company portrays, Verifone may have a new competitor on its hands also.
What makes the Erply iOS mobile credit card reader different from Square or any other service?
The Erply NFC reader plugs into the charging port on iPhones and iPads and can accept both traditional magnetic card and NFC payments. The reader then encrypts the data it has received and sends it off to the company’s POS software suite, that includes inventory management, to process payments. We have always known that tablets, retail and NFC payments belong together and now the stars have aligned and that combination of hardware and software is available. As NFC payments are set to explode within the next year or so, Erply has taken advantage of a lack of NFC tablets in the market and have also built in legacy payments that are secured.
How much does having Erply, its NFC card reader
To start with, the reader costs around $50 and whereas Square’s reader is free, the Erply mobile credit card reader has the encryption and NFC capabilities. As far as transaction costs, Erply is clearly more cost effective than most competitors in the space at this time with a 1.9% transaction fee. That, on a transaction fee basis, is more cost effective than Verifone, Intuit and indeed Square. The catch is that you also pay for the use of the software with Erply, which is said to range between $70 and $1000 per month. Square recently dropped their $.015 transaction fee and have moved to a flat 2.75%. So, if you are interested it is a matter of contacting Erply and seeing how much the software would cost your business and seeing whether it’s cost effective for you to take on the system. Square is the champion of small businesses and Erply could well give the service a run for its money. The NFC card reader certainly does make the concept compelling.
Erply’s software also handles gift cards and has a CRM available. We are more intrigued by the company’s customer loyalty program creation, tracking, and rewards though, and are eager to learn whether this facility has been built into the iOS apps. In summary, NFC payments have come to iOS for merchants and the transaction fees are very competitive. Just make sure you check with Erply to see how much your software charges would be and compare them against your full bill from your current provider to see if you pass the threshold to make the move a cost effective one.