Vend has announced a partnership with online payments provider PayPal, which will allow Vend retailers to accept PayPal at their stores.
This announcement is part of a wider range of deals made by PayPal with point-of-sale (POS) providers in order to gain a traction in retail payments.
In March, PayPal unveiled a mobile credit card reader to compete with Silicon Valley company, Square.
At an event held early Thursday (early today NZ time), PayPal announced it has also signed deals with POS hardware and software manufacturers Verifone and Equinox.
PayPal says small-to-medium business POS services like Vend, ShopkeepOS, Leapset, and Erply will give it access to 50,000 merchants in the US.
Vend founder and CEO Vaughan Rowsell told Computerworld in February the company was looking to integrate itself with other mobile wallet systems, specifically Square, which lets retailers take credit card payments using the earphone jack on their iPhones and iPads.
“Our goal is to make Vend ubiquitous with retailers. We want this thing in every store, everywhere. To do that we need to connect with other fantastic services out there, like Square, so yes we are looking into that,” says Rowsell.
(Picture: Vaughan Rowsell, Vend CEO, with Randall Davies, head of business development at PayPal)
How It Works
Customers at a Vend retailer checks in to the store using the PayPal app on their smartphone. Once signed in, the POS software updates with the customer’s information - including a photo for the store clerk to use as reference. The customer purchases and pays for goods using the app, and through an internet connection the Vend software updates with the transaction information.
Vend says it has started trialing PayPal integration in the US. The company is also taking registrations of interest for retailers in Canada, Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong. There is no news on when it will become available in New Zealand.
Vend’s $2 million
It has been a busy week for Vend, which yesterday announced it raised $2 million in funding led by European investment firm Point Nine.
Point Nine led Vend’s last investment round in August 2011, and Rowsell says the company did not stop raising capital then.
“We started looking for additional funding at the end of last year when it bacame obvious demand was huge for what we had,” says Rowsell.
He says the company was looking to break even, but changed its goal posts once uptake for the service increased. Wanting to take advantage of this, he and his team set out again to raise more money.
“We talked to VCs [venture capitalists] in the Valley and on the East Coast. In the end we found we had a pretty impressive team of current investors who were happy to fill up the tank, and let us keep doing what we were doing, without the huge distraction.”
Rowsell says the most recent funding will be used to grow the team to around 40 staff, a “good chunk” of which will be in sales, marketing, and support.
Currently Vend has offices in Auckland’s Parnell, and a sales office in San Franscisco. Rowsell says the UK might be their next opportunity, but says there is a lot of interest in Asia and Latin America.