Cloud-based point-of-sale platform provider ShopKeep is making some preemptive technology upgrades to its hardware.
The New York City-based startup, which largely services small businesses like specialty retail shops and restaurants, has revamped its POS terminals to make them NFC and EMV compatible.
That means the new Ingenico-powered terminals will accept NFC-powered mobile payments such as Apple Pay, as well as EMV chip cards (short for Europass, MasterCard and Visa), which will become standard issue after the October 2015 EMV migration deadline.
"ShopKeep's goal is to provide local business owners with the latest tools and technology so they can run smarter businesses and stay competitive with their larger counterparts," said Norm Merritt, ShopKeep's president and co-CEO, in a statement.
For the more than 10,000 SMBs currently using the ShopKeep platform, the readers will set them back $249 - but customers new to ShopKeep can score the readers for free for a limited time.
The giveaway aspect is important to note, as it represents how tight the competition in the space and just how far platform providers will go to catch and keep new customers.
ShopKeep competes with the likes of Square, Poynt and First Data. Along with its POS hardware, the company also offers iPad-tailored software that helps small businesses manage transactions, inventory and customer information.
It's also worth pointing out that not all of the technology upgrades are rolling out at once. While the NFC/Apple Pay component is available immediately, EMV chip card acceptance is slated for availability some time next year.