As integrated payments continue to garner more interest from payments companies amid increasing merchant demand, two point-of-sale system providers are making it easier for developers to create software programs for merchants.
Revel Systems Inc. last week launched Revel Integrated, a program that offers developer tools and infrastructure to integrate their work into the Revel POS system. And Square Inc. in August debuted Orders API, a service that opens the Square platform to outside developers for the first time.
Why did these companies open their POS platforms to outside developers? It comes down to clients, both San Francisco-based POS providers agree.
“We have always provided open API capabilities as a core part of our service offering and now we are empowering developers to create and certify their integration to Revel’s robust set of APIs, which allows us to heighten the value of our platform,” Chris Lybeer, Revel chief strategy officer, tells Digital Transactions News via email. “We saw this as a winning opportunity: opening Revel technology to developers gives us the chance to work with cutting-edge technology partners while also providing industry-leading solutions to our customers.”
At Square, Carl Perry, developer lead, says the impetus is that many of its merchants, which it calls sellers, want one POS system that can handle all of their operational needs in addition to payments. For example, a seller might have to copy transaction data from the payments program into an accounting program. It would be easier if the two were integrated, Perry says.
Initially, Square thought it would provide all the software services its sellers needed, but “the reality is for some sellers having Square as their only solution won’t meet their needs,” Perry tells Digital Transactions News. They may be in transportation or health care, for example, which require specific operational software.
“The platform started to solve a specific program, but evolved to enable merchants to adopt Square and enable partners and developers to build integrations within the first-party solution set,” Perry says. “We really shifted the culture [at Square] from being an interesting space to the platform being a strategic investment for a seller’s business, and more broadly, Square.”
Lybeer suggests a similar emphasis for Revel. “With an integrated partner network, Revel customers will be able to benefit from the increased support that comes from a single streamlined system, and they will be met with solutions that are specific to the needs and capacity of their brand,” he says. “Revel Systems will benefit in its ability to understand and answer the needs of our clients, while also deepening strategic partnerships with technology systems that are continuing to shape the retail and restaurant industries.”
More is ahead for both companies. Revel’s program is open to all developers with an eye on working with those that can benefit its current and potential customers, Lybeer says.
Perry says Square, in addition to making investments in its own platform, anticipates further refinement of its developer strategy. Its Orders API release marked the launch of a broader set of capabilities Square anticipates an offering in the order spaces, he says. “Our core goal is to enable sellers to have a better experience when using Square.”