Intuit Inc. recently announced that it will end support for its QuickBooks Desktop Point of Sale 19.0, one of the oldest payment-accepting POS systems in the market, as of Oct. 3. Intuit is referring users to Shopify Inc., but other payments companies are scrambling for the business.
The date of the launch of QuickBooks POS, as it’s commonly referred to, could not be immediately determined, but merchant-acquiring industry observers say it’s about 20 years old.
“It is super old, it is ancient,” says Cliff Gray, a senior associate at Omaha, Neb.-based The Strawhecker Group, a consulting firm specializing in the acquiring industry. “That thing was commercially operational effectively before the Internet.”
Gray adds that the discontinuance is “long overdue.” He says the system was hard to update, and newer systems have many more features. And many of Intuit’s numerous other accounting and business-management products offer access to payment services.
Intuit also has a major merchant-processing business. Strawhecker’s latest acquirer rankings place Intuit at No. 22, with $58 billion in volume last year and 996,000 merchants.
A spokesperson for Mountain View, Calif.-based Intuit did not respond to a Digital Transactions News inquiry Thursday morning about why the company is ending support for QuickBooks POS.
Not many small merchants still use the product. Kirkland, Wash.-based research firm Enlyft Inc. estimates QuickBooks POS’s market share at 2.1%. Its chief rivals are systems from Square, Toast, and Worldpay.
But some merchants stuck with QuickBooks POS in part because of its functionality beyond payments could make replacement a major undertaking, particularly for small businesses that aren’t very tech-savvy. “You might have to rebuild your whole inventory system,” says Gray. “The inertia is very difficult to overcome.”
Now independent sales organizations and software companies are looking to land QuickBooks POS users before support ends in October. On Thursday, Lisle, Ill.-based ARBA Retail Systems put out a news release touting ARBA’s offerings, including cashless payments and contactless ordering.
Details of Intuit’s referral deal with Ottawa, Ontario-based Shopify were not disclosed. But Gray believes Intuit will still have ties with former QuickBooks POS users. “My suspicion is Shopify is the payment switch, where Intuit remains the ISO,” he says.