PNC Merchant Services has begun offering Clover Station, a tablet-based point of sale system, to restaurant owners and managers.
The technology, from First Data's Clover Network, is designed to replace the functions of cash registers, card terminals, receipt printers and bar code scanners. Restaurant owners can download software to manage transactions and handle other restaurant tasks.
"You can preload menus, print to the kitchen, take time and attendance, or add other programs that get developed over time," says Dave Shorten, senior vice president and general manager of PNC Merchant Services, a partnership between PNC and First Data.
Cover Station includes a touch screen, an encrypted card reader and a camera to enable payments by scanning a bar code or QR code. The tablet's app store adds functions that help assign and transfer tables between servers, or change pricing for menu items during different parts of the day.
Other services include access to employee time cards, transaction reports and inventory management.
PNC Merchant Services wouldn't name any customers using the technology or disclose its pricing, though Shorten says the company plans to undercut other restaurant payment providers, a move made possible by Clover's hosted technology model.
"There are things you can do in a cloud-based system that makes it less expensive. You dont have to set anything up or install technology," he says. "It's all plug and play."
After an initial focus on restaurants, PNC will launch to a broader set of merchants in the first or second quarter, Shorten says.
Restaurants are a popular industry for payment technology companies. PayPal and MyCheck recently partnered to target restaurants, and mobile payments developer CardFree focuses primarily on midsize food chains. Revel Systems, another mobile point of sale vendor, recently announced a deal to deploy its technology at more than 100 Pizza Patron locations.