Vend will integrate its payment system with QuickBooks Online, making it the second point of sale company this week (along with Flint) to tout a link to Intuit's accounting software.
The move comes amid severe pressure by digital point of sale companies to bring more to the table than just payments. Intuit earlier integrated QuickBooks with Square and its own competing mobile payment product, GoPayment.
"There's an almost uncountable number of point of sale vendors out there. They are breeding like rabbits now and they are all touting their uniqueness beyond just capturing the mag stripe," says Nick Holland, a senior payments analyst at Javelin Strategy & Research.
The Auckland, New Zealand-based Vend offers a cloud-delivered point of sale system that is used by retailers in about 140 countries, including the U.S., Australia and Canada. The QuickBooks accounting integration, which is free, is available only in the U.S.
Accounting software integration is a way to free up a merchant's staff to focus on revenue-generating tasks such as sales and marketing, Vend says. "The link will allow retailers to save hours of work per week," says Vaughan Rowsell, founder and CEO of Vend.
The integration enables retailers to synchronize daily sales and payments data. Businesses can also avoid using paid third-party software connections to manage payments data and accounting, Rowsell says.
Vend's point of sale system can be accessed by iPads, PCs or Macs and connects to bar code readers, cash drawers and printers. Vend also includes programs to power loyalty campaigns and a dashboard to track sales and inventory.
Vend enables credit and debit card payments through integrations with card acceptance hardware and software partners such as Element, Authorize.net, Tyro and Payment Express. In the U.S., Vend additionally supports PayPal. Vend charges between $35 and $169 per month, billed annually, depending on the type of subscription.
"The integration with Intuit is clearly beneficial for these companies," Holland says. "Intuit sees themselves as the operating system for small businesses and QuickBooks is synonymous with business management."
As U.S. retailers adopt EMV-chip cards, pressure will increase on point of sale providers to diversify even more, Holland says. A number of mobile point of sale companies in the U.S. remain focused on magnetic stripe payments, he says. Though companies like PayPal offer EMV versions of their readers in other countries, Square has not offered an EMV version of its card reader in any region.
"To have a service or to integrate with an accounting program or have features beyond capturing card information will be table stakes," Holland says.
Vend handles EMV payments in countries such as Australia and New Zealand through partners. It does not support EMV in the U.S., but is developing that capability with a partner.
Flint, which uses the mobile device's embedded camera to capture data from cards or checks, is compatible with EMV cards, says Greg Goldfarb, Flint's CEO. "From what we can tell, EMV applies to Flint like it does for e-commerce transactions. So our current mode is compatible with EMV cards," Goldfarb says.