Intuit, best known for its Quicken, QuickBooks and TurboTax accounting software, is making a big push into the burgeoning mobile payments business with the launch today of a free version of its nearly two-year-old GoPayment service.
GoPayment, designed for small businesses that don't yet accept credit cards — think babysitters, plumbers, dogwalkers and flea market vendors — aims to compete with Square, a mobile payments company launched in 2009 by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. Fortune has learned that Intuit will begin promoting its new services through television ads and YouTube videos starting this week.
"This will attract the smaller businesses that couldn't take credit card payments before or are taking them but not getting enough value," says Chris Hylen, general manager of Intuit's payment solutions division. "It's for people who are on the fence because they don't want to pay a monthly minimum."
7:50 pm on Jan 10, 2011 (gmt 0)
Interesting. Shot across the bow of paypal.
I think there's a lot of room to move in this marketplace yet, paypal's dominant but I think there's lots of opportunity to win their share.
12:48 am on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)
Shot across the bow of paypal
Kind of like shooting a BB at a tank that will roll right over and squish you.
12:25 pm on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)
Intuit is already inside and trusted by gobs of small businesses. Paypal isn't. If intuit simply puts this into their software they have instant market share.
2:22 pm on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)
paypal's dominant but I think there's lots of opportunity to win their share.
Exactly. Perhaps a profitable, useful large niche that PayPal isn't really interested in.
Of course, I've tried unsuccessfully twice with that kind of thinking, so don't listen to me.
Intuit is not the company I would think that could do this kind of sophisticated management, however. For example, they tried to ignore Apple for years.
3:39 pm on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)
I'm surprised at the responses to this post as non of them are even close. This has nothing to do with PayPal or software for on-line transactions. This is a gizmo that plugs into to a cell phone to take "card present" transactions. It's a CC slider for people that don't have a merchant account and want to accept CC payments while outside the office. Flea markets, art shows, plumbers and repair people can use this device to swipe credit cards and collect payments from customers.
3:51 pm on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)
It's a wee tiny little step from getting a business that's using your accounting software to start using this as their credit card payments.
It's an even smaller step to go from that to taking their CC processing inhouse and on their website.
They take those two baby steps, and all of a sudden Paypal has a serious contender - that's the point. Not like that thing Google tried.
4:14 pm on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)
Every serious business person I know that needs mobile processing uses a cell based terminal like the Verifone VX610. These new systems are for beginners and one man shows that can't see the point in having a merchant account or paying monthly fees. These new trinkets that hook to a cell phone are cheap or free from the providers and the fees for using them are 2 to 3 times higher than a regular merchant account. I've seen people pull them out to collect a $10 bet from a friend.
8:01 pm on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)
Square (squareup) is another entry into this field - Ive been testing it and despite some glitches, it is great for small biz - also good are some devices that just hook onto your phone like Ipaypos - works great and links to whatever merchant account you want. THere are quite a few options out there - the interesting thing is the ones that (like squareup) are going after the merchant ACCOUNT money, not just the connections .....square up announced huge funding today, so it'll be interesting to see how it deveops.
8:02 pm on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)
I will also say that I signed up for intuits merchant account a year ago and have still to see a card reader - and getting thru to their support is a nightmare - they use that old trick of no-reply mail from all their emails - virtually impossible to get in touch with them, so I"ve given up. I also can't stand quickbooks and have moved over to outright, a web based service. Lots of options out there besides intuit.
9:47 pm on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)
oh and re the trinkets being 2 - 3 times higher cost than a regular merchant account. THey aren't - I"ve tested all - from paypal, to a 'regular' merchant account, to square. The regular ones - even the ones with a so-called low discount rate, charge you up the whazoo for fees and end up being higher than paypal or square, fyi.
11:12 pm on Jan 11, 2011 (gmt 0)
Just took a quick look at the square rates posted on their site and compared them to the rates I'm currently paying. The majority of my business is web based so only card present sales were used in the comparison.
My rates for 2010 compared to the current square rates saved me $1100 for the year. The trinket comment was based on about a dozen friends that tried the little plug in devices over the years. None of them ever lasted for a whole year of weekend use.
9:24 pm on Jan 13, 2011 (gmt 0)
I was responding to the idea that a traditional merchant account is what you need - if you look at paypal website pro - and compare it the fees and charges you get with a merchant account (and mine has a 1.6 discount rate) I still pay exactly the same or MORE for a trad merchant account with all the cross border, rewards card, etc fees. With square it is slightly higher - but it is a gadget that is incredibly easy and convenient if you are only doing a bit of processing. the widget that hooks on and lets you use paypal pro with the handheld is exactly the same as the paypal pro site.
I do agree with you - I had square send me TWO of the widgets - I am extrememly uncomfotable relying on a dongle-type processor and don't know what they were thinking - but the IMAGE card reader is solid and you insert your iphone or other device in and it is rock solid - funcitons as a stnad, too.
1:20 pm on Jan 14, 2011 (gmt 0)
I think it's a handy little device and a clever entry by Intuit to provide a solution to a need. Around here in Vermont, we have many small vendor setups that last a day or only a few hours. Everything from farmer's markets & musicians to kayak lessons and vendors at a festival. A portable device like this will make the bookkeeping and fund transfers much easier for them. The ability to accept credit cards if they couldn't before is also a nice addition.
7:13 am on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)
Of course, free is never really free. The new flavor of GoPayment comes with higher discount rates—the cut that gets taken out of each credit card transaction and divvied up among Intuit, the credit card companies and banks. Instead of 1.7%, the new discount rate is 2.7% (which is still a teeny bit lower than Square's rate, 2.75%).