Surround 360, a package of transaction processing and value-added services for iPads from ShopKeep POS, protects independent sales organizations from competitors out to “steal” merchants, the maker says.

Rivals can’t secretly take away an ISO’s accounts because the would-be “thief” can’t reprogram ShopKeep software the way he or she could alter conventional payments terminals, says Jason Richelson, ShopKeep CEO.

If a retailer wants to reset the terminal to switch ISOs, ShopKeep informs the original acquirer, giving him or her a chance to retain the customer, Richelson says.

Retailers could replace the ShopKeep software with a competing brand while keeping the same tablet but probably wouldn’t want to after putting after inputting inventory, customizing the POS user interface, collecting customer email addresses and information, and training staff, Richelson says.

His company designed Surround 360 for ISOs and other resellers that want to provide small and medium-sized bricks-and-mortar stores with cloud-based iPad POS systems.

Besides transaction processing, the package provides merchants with reports and remote access, while also offering inventory and personnel functions, Richelson says. More functions are on the way, he notes.

ISOs can white-label the services, meaning that they can brand the offerings with their own names, Richelson says.

Some 600 resellers are offering the ShopKeep platform, more than 6,000 merchants are using it, he says.

The software won the Technology Innovator of the Year Award at the recent Electronic Transactions Association annual conference for its advanced use of the iPad and cloud computing.

Using the system costs merchants $49 per month, ShopKeep says in a press release.

Asked if the recently introduced Square Stand, which purportedly turns electronic tablets into POS systems, will compete directly with ShopKeep, Richelson responds with praise for the stand’ looks..

“It’s a beautiful stand – there’s no denying that,” he says.

In Richelson’s view, Square is using the stand to move up from micromerchants into smaller bricks-and-mortar stores.

But merchants want the value-added services that ShopKeep provides and aren’t available from Square. Richelson drew upon his own experience as a retailer to develop the software, he says.

Besides, many retailers want to choose their processors, as they can with ShopKeep, while Square requires merchants to use Square processing, Richelson says.

And Square processing becomes expensive for anyone with high-ticket merchandise or high transaction volume, he notes.

“Square’s awesome for the 26 million or so merchants who need to swipe a card a couple of times a week,” Richelson says.


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