Oline discount service Groupon has launched a new mobile payments service in the US that allows businesses and merchants to accept credit card payments through smartphones.
Groupon Payments is similar to services from Square and iZettle, and uses a free card-swiping device that plugs into the audio jack of an iPhone. Combined with a dedicated Merchants app, this allows traders to accept payments and Groupon vouchers without the need for a point-of-sale system.
Businesses that offer group discounts through Groupon’s online service will be charged 1.8% of the transaction value plus $0.15 per transaction for Mastercard and Visa cards. Companies that do no use Groupon’s discount services will be charged 2.25% plus $0.15 per transaction.
In a company blog post, Groupon’s vice president of mobile Mihir Shah wrote that Groupon Payments users would be paid overnight, rather than waiting the “typical” two or three days for credit card payments to process.
“With the Groupon Payments Center, business owners can view a live transaction history, check daily sales reports, track deposits to an account and analyze revenue trends,” Shah said. “It’s never been easier to calculate bill totals, process refunds, redeem Groupon vouchers, email receipts and most importantly, save money."
A Groupon spokeswoman told Information Age said that the company would be offering the payment device to all UK businesses “in the future”.
So far, the likes of Square, iZettle and Groupon Payments have targetted small businesses, traders and merchants, who typically do not have the money or premises to have a dedicated point-of-sale (POS) system. However, there may well be opportunities for employees at larger organisations to use these services to make sales on the move.