TouchSuite says the cloud is the perfect place for salon owners to operate their point of sale systems.

The Boca Raton, Fla.-based POS provider and payment processor developed Cloud Salon with the small salon owner in mind, says Afshin Yazdian, president of TouchSuite.

"Hard-wired POS systems are valuable, but the cloud is cheaper for salon owners who operate only one or two chairs, because they can use their own hardware," Yazdian says.

Cloud Salon enables business owners or independent hair stylists to use the features of TouchSuite's traditional POS systems, while operating it on Apple, Android or Microsoft Windows devices.

"A major benefit of Cloud Salon is that it allows the spa owner to manage the business from afar," Yazdian says. "The cloud offers all of the bells and whistles needed to run, manage or expand the salon."

TouchSuite also offers payment processing to Cloud Salon users, Yazdian says.

"We develop software ourselves and the hardware is 100% ours, plus we do the payment processing," he adds. "The customer only has to make one phone call and we can address any issue that may come up."

TouchSuite currently concentrates on serving small salon or restaurant owners, though these merchants have yet to widely adopt mobile payments, Yazdian says.

"Our systems are mobile-enabled, but merchants don't want to spend their money on that right now, because people are not knocking down the doors asking to pay through their phones," Yazdian says.

TouchSuite systems will add Near Field Communication and EMV-chip card acceptance "when the time comes," he adds.

TouchSuite clients won't have to buy an entirely new POS system when, or if, they decide to upgrade for mobile payments, Yazdian says.

"Our bread and butter is the smaller merchant, the one owning a hair salon on the street corner," he says. "Those are the types of merchants who are just waiting to see about mobile payments."

Smaller merchants, such as salon owners, may eventually ask about mobile payment capabilities if they intend to offer a "mobile spa" in any way, says industry analyst Todd Ablowitz, president of Centennial, Colo.-based Double Diamond Group, LLC.

"If a salon owner were participating in off-site events or in wedding planning and things of those nature, they may need mobile capabilities in a variety of ways," Ablowitz says. "By being on the cloud, it sounds like TouchSuite could offer some of those things already."

Yazdian did not share specifics of his company's pricing, but says TouchSuite is "a bit cheaper than Square … we are super competitive on rates and we want to deal with our clients every day as their payment processor."

More payments technology providers are focusing on salon owners. C-Sam Inc., Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd. and HyperSoft Co. Ltd. worked together to develop "Salon de Wallet," a mobile wallet for beauty salons in Japan. Intuit Inc. has showcased salon owners who use its GoPayment mobile card reader.

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