Groupon rivals Square with new iPad register


Groupon is rolling out its own payments processing software, Breadcrumb, to restaurant partners in the US as the firm continues its push beyond daily deals. The POS software enables restaurants to manage orders and process payments via an iPad app, and is being trialled with 100 partners, StrategyEye reports. Breadcrumb is the product of Groupon’s purchase of a startup in May, marking the firm’s continued attempts at expansion after its poor post-IPO performance.

The move comes as Groupon’s corporate development SVP, Jason Harinstein, says that the firm is looking to acquire more startups as it broadens its offering. In a statement issued to the Wall Street Journal, Harinstein says that the firm is looking for companies that can further its strategy, such as reverse auction marketplace FeeFighters, bought by Groupon in March. Harinstein says that the startup “played a huge role in our ability to launch our payments business”. Groupon has already bought nine startups this year.

Groupon is hoping to entice restaurants to its new software with the promise of a low monthly fee for the service, rather than upfront charges. It does not go into pricing detail beyond stating that the software starts at USD99 per month, compared with more expensive payments processing systems. However, it will face tough competition from the likes of Square and PayPal’s mobile plug-in payment service, PayPal Here, which both target small businesses and restaurants. Previous reports claim that Groupon is set to roll out a plug-in reader of its own after a trial in San Francisco, indicating that the firm believes there is still an opportunity in the space despite the growing number of players.

The rollout furthers Groupon’s strategy to become what CEO Andrew Mason describes as the “operating system of commerce”, as it aims to shore up its long-term business strategy. After finding initial success with its deals offering, Groupon has found life as a publicly-traded firm difficult, with many investors and analysts sceptical of its long-term viability. Groupon’s latest move indicates a larger push into the restaurant industry, particularly following the acquisition of bookings and discount service Savored late last month.

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