Harbortouch, an ISO that provides merchants with free point-of -ale systems, is offering a $10,000 prize this summer to the retailer who submits the best video on how the winnings would advance his or her business.

“The economy is improving but a lot of merchants are still struggling,” says Nate Hirshberg, Harbortouch marketing manager. “This is what we came up with to help out with some extra capital.”

The promotion, called the Harbortouch Business Upgrade Contest, could also generate social-media buzz that would put the company’s name in front of lots of retailers.

“We’re hoping it will go viral, Hirshberg says.

To alert even more potential contestants, the company’s public relations firm is touting the contest to trade journals written for the hospitality and retailing industries, Hirshberg says.

ISOs and agents affiliated with Harbortouch could help spread the word by using the contest as a conversation-starter with merchants, he suggests.

Competition begins Wednesday and runs through Aug. 15, Hirshberg says.

Harbortouch is hoping for humorous and entertaining videos lasting one to five minutes, he says.

Merchants enter by posting a video on YouTube and completing a brief form at http://www.harbortouch.com/contest/. On the site, the company encourages retailers to share the video through other social-media sites, too.

Besides offering the winner $10,000, Harbortouch is waiving the $69 per month service fee on a Harbortouch POS system for one year.

Harbortouch, formerly United Bank Card Inc., pioneered providing merchants with free terminals and free POS systems.

The company has conducted contests for ISOs, but the current competition marks its first contest for retailers, Hirshberg says. The company will review the entries and pick the winner.


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