Allentown, PA (10/15/14) – Harbortouch, a leading national point of sale (POS) system and merchant services provider, has unveiled Harbortouch Echo, a sleek, built-for-purpose POS system that is considered a “tablet killer”. Harbortouch Echo combines the power and functionality of a traditional POS system with the simplicity and sleek design of a tablet-based system. The company has also redesigned its flagship Harbortouch “Elite” system with a thinner profile, streamlined design and dramatically improved performance over its predecessor. Both systems are offered as part of the company’s ground-breaking free POS system program.
“In recent years, there has been a lot of attention surrounding tablet-based mPOS systems,” notes Harbortouch CEO Jared Isaacman. “However, we have started to see a backlash against these tablet systems as merchants realize their limitations. These systems utilize underpowered consumer hardware and have limited software functionality both on the front-end and back-end. They often lack key features that businesses need to operate efficiently and offer limited back-end reporting capabilities. Harbortouch Echo delivers an answer to these problems in terms of both hardware and software.”
“The Echo software includes all of the front-end and back-end features businesses need, with functionality for both retail businesses and restaurants. There are no two businesses that are exactly alike,” Isaacman stresses. As a result, Harbortouch has developed unique module-based software for the Echo system which allows businesses to hide features they don’t need in order maintain an uncluttered interface for simplicity and ease of use. This allows the business to make the system as simple or advanced as they require. This approach also enables the software to scale with the business.
“Our built-for-purpose hardware is custom manufactured to stand up to the rigors of everyday use in high traffic restaurant and retail environments,” Isaacman noted. Harbortouch Echo has an all-in-one design and brushed aluminum finish for maximum durability and a sleek, modern appearance. It features a 13.3” screen to deliver better usability compared to the considerably smaller screen size of the tablets in the marketplace today. The Echo’s base can swivel to allow the customer to sign on-screen for credit card transactions.
The redesigned Elite model shares the same sleek appearance and modern design elements as Harbortouch Echo to create a uniform style across the company’s equipment lines. Harbortouch Elite features a 15” screen and includes more advanced features than Harbortouch Echo to cater to larger restaurants and retail stores. Three software options are available for Harbortouch Elite: Hospitality, Retail and QSR & Delivery.
Both models utilize hybrid cloud technology to provide the benefits offered by the cloud such as real-time reporting and redundant back-up while maintaining the advantages of a local system including faster speed and the ability to operate if the Internet goes down.
In addition, Harbortouch has also developed a proprietary networking technology called HTNET that creates an encrypted wireless network at the business’s location to deliver superior reliability and security compared to traditional Wi-Fi.
Another reason that many merchants have become disenchanted with tablet systems is the lack of support offered by their providers. Isaacman points out, “Most of these tablet systems are developed by startup companies who don’t have experience in the industry or have the ability to adequately support their customers. Merchants can’t afford to wait for someone to get back to them if their system has a problem or they need additional training for new staff. In our 15 years in business, Harbortouch has had time to learn our customers’ needs and establish the support infrastructure required. We offer 24/7 customer support and extensive training and support resources.”
Tablet systems have appealed to many business owners due to the perceived low cost compared to traditional POS systems. However, mPOS systems typically require a surprisingly significant up-front investment in addition to an ongoing monthly service fee. “For example, in order to get set up with Square Register, a business owner needs to spend $500 for the tablet itself, $100 for the stand, $230 for a cash drawer, $220 for a receipt printer, and $120 for a barcode scanner. Those prices are directly from the company’s website and are pretty standard among most of the tablet providers.” Isaacman notes, “That’s nearly $1,200 before the merchant even gets started and then they’re on the hook for a monthly fee in the $79-$99 range for as long as they use the service.”
Harbortouch’s free POS program, on the other hand, provides merchants with all the equipment they need to get started with absolutely no up-front costs. With this unique POS-as-a-service model, the only charge to the business is a monthly service fee of $69 per month for Harbortouch Elite or $39 per month for Harbortouch Echo. This program represents the lowest cost of ownership for any POS system on the market. “In addition to the dramatic cost advantages, this approach offers many other significant benefits to the merchant such as free software updates and feature upgrades, access to innovative new services as they are released, 24/7 support, and most notably, free equipment replacements if their system ever breaks or malfunctions for as long as they’re processing with Harbortouch.” Isaacman adds, “This lifetime warranty on the equipment is unheard of in the POS industry and offers a tremendous value for any business.”
Harbortouch’s unique position as a provider of both POS systems and payment processing services ensures that the company’s customers will always be able to support the latest payment technology such as EMV, NFC and Apple Pay™. Harbortouch has also developed numerous innovative technology add-ons for its POS systems including online ordering, online reservations and tableside ordering.
Harbortouch Echo will be available in November 2014.
For more information on Harbortouch’s free POS program, visit www.harbortouch.com.