GoPago Inc. reported it has rapidly expanded from its San Francisco base of retailers to merchants across the United States since the August 2012 release of GoPago Live, a free POS system that transforms GoPago from a payment software provider to a cloud-based payment-as-a-service and mobile payment provider. Leo Rocco, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at GoPago, said that in just one month, 1,000 merchants in 35 states have adopted GoPago Live.
Therefore, Rocco is optimistic about his company's prospects in an increasingly competitive mobile payments market. "We believe all brick-and-mortar retailers must have a mobile presence," he said. "We provide software and POS services to neighborhood brick-and-mortar stores that allow them to broadcast to smart phones in the area."
Though GoPago competes with other well-known mobile POS systems, such as those offered by Square Inc. and NCR Corp., Rocco believes his company has the upper hand. One advantage is that GoPago offers an app that allows customers to order and pay for products before they get to the store, he noted.
Rocco said GoPago Live offers merchants an alternative to the way they've had payments processed in the past. "We've been listening to our merchants, and they are telling us a lot of the payment process is broken," Rocco said. "They are being told their POS is out of date, and they are being strong-armed to update. The POS industry is instilling fear in merchants to get them to go ahead and upgrade."
Rocco also said merchants tell him payment companies and ISOs are unclear about what merchants pay in interchange rates. GoPago has a fixed interchange of 2.85 percent for all card brands, and merchants receive payment within 48 hours.
Rocco called GoPago's interchange rates competitive, given that GoPago Live comes with a free Android tablet preloaded with GoPago software that includes built-in analytics, business products, services and mobile app interface; 4G connectivity; tablet stand; cash drawer; receipt printer; credit card reader; 24/7 merchant support; and no startup costs or monthly fees.
"We offer the most integrated solution, we are connected to the cloud, we have fixed rates and we are connected to the Internet with 4G," Rocco said. "This is a plug-and-play POS with a mobile storefront. Other companies charge extra for that. We believe these services should be provided free of charge. We make money only when the merchant makes money."
Rocco added that other POS systems require merchants to get Internet connectivity themselves. "It can take weeks to get up to speed on those systems when GoPago can have the merchant up and running in a couple of hours," he said. "The merchant can upload the system themselves or they can pay us to do it."
Rocco said the simplicity of GoPago Live is a value proposition that allows businesses to focus on their core competency while GoPago focuses on changing the consumer's experience by making it better and more seamless. For instance, Rocco mentioned the cloud-based POS system has a single interface for mobile and in-store purchases.
"I like keeping things simple at the POS," Rocco said. "We are simplifying mobile. You can operate a business with GoPago Live. When you remove the IT guy and you remove the cable company - that's value."
GoPago is working on improving GoPago Live. "It's only the beginning," Rocco said. "Our next release ... is something no one else is looking at and should be ready at the end of November or early December. We will also be providing businesses with the ability to sell their products and services as if they were gift cards through GoPago."
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