WePay's bread and butter has been offering a streamlined e-payments hookup for online merchant platforms, and it's now adding in-person payments to keep businesses with offline needs from turning to the likes of Square.

"Ninety percent of payments are not e-commerce payments, so it's our big push to address in-person payments," said Bill Clerico, cofounder and CEO of WePay.

WePay today announced a white label mobile point of sale system that allows clients to accept in-person payments as well as digital payments.  

The white label mobile point of sale system's initial users are FreshBooks, an invoicing platform for small businesses; and Infusionsoft, which offers a small-business marketing service. These companies will offer a self-branded in-person payment solution to their clients.

Platforms add a few lines of WePay code to software and mobile apps to initiate the integration between the mobile point of sale readers and WePay's back end. The offline transaction data automatically syncs with the user's platform account to aid with tracking and payments management.

"These platforms have been asking for something that can give their users and omnichannel experience," Clerico said.

The company supports EMV and magstripe payments, and offers software development kits and fulfillment services for users of iOS and Android devices. WePay charges 2.75% plus $0.30 for each transaction, and the readers will cost between $70 and $80—WePay says it will not mark up the price of the readers and as such will not profit from their sale.

The benefit to WePay is to keep more of its clients' business in house. "The vision here is to allow any [platform] to compete with Square in the offline world," Clerico said.

While Square and other mobile point of sale companies offer card readers that can accommodate chip cards, WePay sees the adoption of chip cards as a backdrop to its own marketing. As companies change from magstripe to EMV, they must decide whether to stick with their existing mobile point of sale provider or switch to a new offering.

"The EMV shift away from swipe is bringing changes, and there's an opportunity to take advantage of that," Clerico said.

The new WePay readers do not accept Near Field Communication (NFC) contactless payments, though WePay plans to add that capability later in the year.

WePay, which started with a focus on enabling group payments, has been adding to its API over the past couple of years in an attempt to build a payments-as-a-service base among platform providers. It recently added technology to enable international payments and social network-based fraud vetting.

In its newest line of business, WePay will face a crowded mobile point of sale market with  the likes of Square, PayPal, First Data and Heartland Payment Systems targeting a range of merchant needs.

But WePay is also entering a market that's growing at a 32% compound annual growth rate, according to 451 Research.

In this market, WePay will have to address the number of suppliers by touting simple integration and ancillary services, according to Gareth Lodge, a senior analyst at Celent.

"There are over 100 other mPOS solutions in the U.S. alone," Lodge said. "It's a tough market that has already seen much bigger vendors pull out."

At the same time, clients are looking to reduce the number of vendors that they work with, Lodge said. "I don't think it's necessarily about the mPOS device that is the point of competition anymore, but the software tools that come with it," Lodge said.


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