Wednesday , February 20, 2019

Eye on Integrated Payments: First Data Invests in Salido While Square for Restaurants Debuts

First Data Corp. is betting big on integrated payments, and Square Inc. is adding a restaurant-specific point-of-sale system to capture more transactions from larger merchants.

Atlanta-based First Data was one of the investors in a $12 million funding round for Salido Inc., a restaurant POS system provider, reported Wednesday. The site said First Data initially was interested in buying Salido and potentially adding it alongside its Clover POS system, but decided to make an investment instead.

In related news, First Data announced that the integration of CardConnect and BluePay Holdings Inc., two payments providers heavily focused on integrated payments, is progressing. First Data purchased CardConnect for $750 million almost a year ago, and paid $760 million for BluePay last fall. The brands have consolidated under the CardConnect name, though the BluePay payment gateway remains in place. The technology, operations, and sales teams have been merged, First Data says.

A user taps on the screen of the Square for Restaurants point-of-sale system. (Image credit: Square Inc.)

Meanwhile, San Francisco-based Square on Tuesday released Square for Restaurants. The new POS system is designed to accommodate the unique needs of restaurants for the customer-facing and kitchen areas. The POS system also incorporates Caviar, a food-delivery service owned by Square.

Owing to its cloud-based and customizable nature, the service enables managers to update menus and floor layouts remotely across multiple terminals and locations. For servers, Square for Restaurants offers a way to input orders tableside.

Other features include the ability to split checks, track how long each table has been seated, and synchronize inventory across all devices to alert staff when an item is out of stock. Its payments features include PCI compliance, the ability to accept offline payments, and next-day deposits.

“Now, we can serve larger restaurant customers, as well as grow with those who have been using Square services from the start,” said Alyssa Henry, Square seller lead, in a statement. “With Square for Restaurants, we’ve created a cohesive solution to help our sellers supercharge their entire restaurant business.” More than 100 companies are using Square for Restaurants already.

Square for Restaurants completes the company’s vertical POS lineup, Square says. The other two products are Square for Retail and Square Appointments, for service-based businesses.

Long known for its card-reader dongle for small businesses, Square is building out its larger merchant strategy. Released in 2017, Square Register appears to be helping. Merchants signing up for Register average $300,000 in annual payment volume, and one-third of them are new to Square. In April, Square bought Weebly Inc., which provides Web stores for entrepreneurs, that could boost the larger-merchant effort.

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