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QuickBooks introduces new point-of-sale solution to pull in small businesses

The news: Intuit’s QuickBooks launched new portable point-of-sale (POS) hardware, QuickBooks Card Reader, that lets small businesses accept contactless payments and chip cards. The hardware integrates with QuickBooks Payments to enable automatic transaction reconciliation and includes a feature that lets merchants customize tipping options.

More on this: QuickBooks has long operated in the small-business space through its accounting software, but it’s moved further into mainstream financial services in recent years: It launched small-business lending service QuickBooks Capital in 2017, and last summer, it introduced a business bank account offering called QuickBooks Cash. And although QuickBooks already offers bundled POS solutions—including hardware from third-party providers—it may be looking to delve deeper into small-business payments through proprietary hardware solutions. Intuit’s online service revenues grew 34% year over year (YoY) in its fiscal Q3 (ended April 30, 2021), driven in part by payments processed through its digital accounting software, QuickBooks Online.

Why it's worth watching: QuickBooks Card Reader opens up new in-store opportunities for Quickbooks as competition in the space heats up.

  • The new hardware can increase QuickBooks’ in-store presence. The contactless payment solution could be appealing for merchants transitioning back to in-store operations that want to cater to pandemic-driven consumer habits: More than 50% of US consumers now use contactless payments, per Mastercard. The hardware also helps QuickBooks expand and further capitalize on in-store payments: US in-store retail and food services transaction volume is projected to reenter positive growth this year and hit $5.621 trillion, per Insider Intelligence forecasts.
  • The contactless solution can keep customers tied to QuickBooks. The provider already has a large addressable market: In 2019, QuickBooks Online had 3.2 million subscribers. Its vast user base can help QuickBooks fend off competitors like Square as it pushes deeper into the in-store payments space. Offering a new hardware solution that's compatible with existing QuickBooks software might be appealing to merchants—it’d let them handle all transaction processing and accounting from one platform. It also lets QuickBooks push other branded software and products to its customers, helping increase revenues.