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GoPago sweetens pot for mobile payments with free tablet, 4G connectivity offer

GoPago is offering merchants a free tablet and 4G wireless connectivity so they can start processing in-store payments via mobile and enable customers to place orders and pay for them via their smartphones.

GoPago, a mobile payments app used by local residents and merchants in several cities, is targeting a national roll out and using an offer of a free Android tablet and other hardware to entice merchants to sign up for its new GoPago Live service. The company is positioning itself to compete against Square Register, NCR Silver and other mobile payment systems designed for merchants.

“We’re releasing the first solution around payment as a service that allows merchants to have a tablet, card swiper, cash box, receipt printer, all connected together,” said Leo Rocco, CEO of GoPago, San Francisco. “This enables the merchants to not have to spend thousands of dollars for one of those big of POS systems.

“Everyone talks about mobile payments by using NFC or a QR code,” he said. “That is really not much more beneficial than using your credit card or cash.

“Our philosophy is to create value around mobile payments – the value of not having to wait in line for customers and, from a merchant’s perspective, of being able to easily handle orders.”

Eliminating upfront costs
GoPago,  which has financial backing from JPMorgan Chase, started out as a cloud-based mobile payment app that is being used in San Francisco and Dallas.

The new GoPago Live system comes with free 4G-enabled tablets, wireless connectivity, point-of-sale software, a tablet stand, cash drawer, receipt printer and credit card reader to make it easy for merchants to enable mobile payments.

When paired with the GoPago mobile app, customers can also place orders and pay for their purchases via their smartphones.

There are a growing number of third parties offering mobile payments services for merchants.

One of the big ones is Square, which recently reported that it is processing over $6 billion in annual payments. In its first year of availability, Square signed up 1 million users and that number doubled in the past six months.

A few of the others include PayPal Here, Intuit and Verifone.

GoPago’s point of differentiation is the offer of free hardware and software.

The company makes it money by charging a fixed 2.85 percent fee every time a customer makes a purchase using the system.

Modern cash registers
The automated system also provides real-time data analytics, so merchants can spot behavioral trends and adjust inventory accordingly.

To pay in store using their mobile phone, customers need to download the GoPago app and link a credit card or debit card as a method of payment. Then a user can discover nearby merchants accepting GoPago as a payment method, browse what they offer, place an order and enter a four digit PIN number. The order is communicated to the merchant and the customer is informed when the order will be ready for pick up.

“The vision is that every bricks-and-mortar business should have and will have a mobile storefront,” Mr. Rocco said. “Because a smartphone is with you at all times and that is where businesses need to be.

“We are replacing old cash registers that merchants have with a modern cash register, one that is future proof and built to handle payments of today but also able to handle payment methods of tomorrow with a simple upgrade,” he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York