Jason Richelson, founder and Chief Executive Officer of New York-based ShopKeep POS Inc., said he was inspired to create a cloud-based POS system while running his own business in 2008.
"I decided I couldn't deal with my Windows-based POS system," he said. "The software was great - it had all the features I wanted - but the problem was that my database kept crashing; the network would go down.
"Another problem was that because my system ran on a server, if I was off site or at another store, the POS data wasn't accessible.
"Those issues made me realize that things had to change. Also, there was a cost in downtime, server maintenance and networking support. I knew I wasn't the only one having these problems."
Richelson believed a cloud-based POS system would alleviate these problems for merchants. He looked for such a system but found it didn't exist. His solution - ShopKeep - uses simple, intuitive software on a cloud-based iPad platform that can be installed and ready to use in minutes, he noted.
"Nearly every industry had gone into the cloud except POS," Richelson said. "One of the reasons was that there wasn't good Internet access everywhere. That's not nearly as big of a problem today."
Recently, ShopKeep was the winner of the 2013 Technology Innovation of the Year Award given annually by the Electronic Transactions Association's Star Awards Committee. In addition, ShopKeep POS was selected to be one of only four companies included on the 2013 ETA Technology Tour.
According to ShopKeep, tablet-based POS technology is revolutionizing the modern cash register, providing retailers with a low cost, cloud-based service with all the functionality they need to run and manage their stores.
By combining ShopKeep with their existing offerings, ISOs and merchant level salespeople can offer an attractive end-to-end solution to their merchant customers that will keep them at the forefront of this revolution, gaining a tablet-based POS solution to take to market attached to their own credit card processing and value-added services.
Richelson pointed out that the ShopKeep POS system is nimble and can be configured for use with any credit card processing system. "Because we run on iPads, the training is minimal," he said. "Our software is designed to be so simple that training is completely easy. It's an intuitive product."
He also noted that the ShopKeep system solves the problem of lost sales and frustration due to downtime caused by finicky servers: if the Internet goes down, ShopKeep allows a merchant to continue to ring up sales during the outage. When the connection is restored, all sales information automatically syncs to the store's system.
Gone are the days when a merchant has to go into the back room and print reports from a server: with ShopKeep, ISOs can offer a system that provides easy access to real-time data on sales and inventory, the company said. Merchants can download ShopKeep's mobile app to their phones and hit refresh to view all updated data anytime and anywhere.
ShopKeep reported it has grown swiftly since the company's launch five years ago. Today there are 76 employees supporting businesses in the United States and Canada. According to Richelson, the ShopKeep system is slated to be in 250,000 locations by 2017.
ShopKeep's POS specialists provide and support all equipment necessary to use its system, including bar scanners, cash drawers, printers, iPads and stands, and encrypted credit card scanners. The team can also recommend vetted partners to set up merchant accounts for credit card processing.
Richelson emphasized that in addition to the ease and convenience of its system, ShopKeep offers a high level of support to its customers. "We have great reviews from our customers," he said. "They can call us any time day or night, and someone will answer the phone and help with any problem or issues they have."
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