Stockholm-based mobile wallet provider Seamless Distribution AB is seeking beta testers for a new digital cash register service that would become part of its SEQR wallet application.
SEQR users register bank details for the app, which allows scanning QR codes at the merchant location for payment approval and a bank transfer after a PIN entry. Like any company using QR codes as a primary method of payments acceptance, SEQR's success will rely on the technology remaining relevant, said Gareth Lodge, a London-based industry analyst with Celent.
The Merchant Customer Exchange CurrentC mobile wallet, continuing its testing phases, uses QR code technology as well.
"I have a personal belief that the QR code is possibly dead," Lodge said. "There is certainly far less talk about it than, say, two years ago, and I personally have not used one in the past two years."
Others in the industry have hinted that QR codes as a payment checkout tool may not resonate for long, and that merchants have to use the technology for marketing and other uses.
But the challenge for all innovators going forward is determining how long an emerging tech will hold, Lodge added.
"Square and First Data's Clover are incremental innovations, arguably simplifying existing POS devices and utilizing technology that has been around for years and will remain so in Bluetooth and headphone jacks," Lodge said.
Seamless' digital cash register enables small businesses or individuals to charge for services without a separate card reader and transaction costs, Seamless said in a Sept. 3 press release.
The seller receives payment for goods or services without any delays, as payments come directly from the wallet user's bank account, the company stated.
The digital cash register will be part of the SEQR app under the MyShop section, which also enables free marketing and sales of products and services in digital channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Tumblr.
Seamless sees the digital cash register as the component that will drive MyShop.
"This digital cash register will be the final piece of the puzzle for making MyShop a powerful pay and marketing solution for small enterprises and private customers who want to sell their products," Peter Fredell, CEO of Seamless, said in a press release.
When the register service is launched in the SEQR app, it means all SEQR-users worldwide have a digital cash register for free, Fredell added.
It's not likely that the Seamless digital cash register would steer many small merchants away from Square Register software or First Data's Clover mini POS, said Zil Bareisis, also a London-based senior analyst for research firm Celent.
"I don't think this directly competes with Square and Clover because those enable small merchants to accept cards, something they've not been able to do in the past," Bareisis said.
The SEQR system has always differed from card-acceptance models because it was built around bank accounts and QR codes, Bareisis said.
The service has potential to be popular to those who may use MyShop to sell goods in the social media networks, Bareisis added. "Anyone with the app can become a seller of goods, including consumers."
The digital cash register offering comes on the heels of Seamless' expansion last month of the SEQR wallet into the U.S. and the U.K.
Seamless had previously rolled out the wallet service in Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Italy in the spring.
If U.S. merchants see the SEQR wallet and digital cash register taking hold among American consumers, they will want to accept those payments, Bareisis said.
"However, this is most likely to happen in addition to, rather than instead of, card payment acceptance enabled by the mobile point of sale players," he added.