Square Competitor SalesVu Ups Its Game With New Features For Restaurants, Retailers & More

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SalesVu, the maker of a mobile payments service designed for business customers, is launching a major update with SalesVu 2.0, live now in the iTunes App Store. The company is somewhat similar to Square, in that it also includes a dongle that plugs into an iPhone or iPad and works alongside an accompanying mobile application. However, the company is focused on providing tools that address more complex business needs than simply taking credit cards via a mobile device. For example, SalesVu currently offers real-time analytics reporting and the ability for businesses to post offers directly to Facebook through social sharing mechanisms.

With the release of SalesVu 2.0, a number of improvements have been added for business users, including things like receipt printing, barcode scanning, employee timekeeping, and online order processing, to name a just few.

While competing in the same general space as Square, Austin-based SalesVu is different in that it has never gone after the market of individuals users who had always relied on cash-based transactions. Instead, its focus has been the business customer processing at least $1,500/month who was looking for a mobile payments solution with a specific emphasis on integration with other backend systems like order management, deals and discount management, and social marketing.

With the release of SalesVu 2.0, the goal is to better improve on the feature set these customers need. For retailers, the company has now added receipt printing and barcode scanning functionality, which customers demanded. They also asked for the newly added employee clock-in/clock-out function, which is now tied to SalesVu’s online timekeeping solution. Plus, SalesVu 2.0 has improved the close-out process with new cash drawer functionality also new in this release.

For restaurants, the company has added features like the ability to split checks, print orders to the kitchen, adjust tips at the end of shifts, and receive orders from the web. The online orders are also displayed in the SalesVu POS app for immediate processing, as opposed to being sent out as emails, as is typical with some online ordering integrations targeted towards the SMB market. This feature now also makes SalesVu a competitor to traditional POS systems, says SalesVu CEO Pascal Nicolas.

“The online ordering feature is probably the most important one we’re adding in this release,” explains Nicolas, “because we’re going from a convenience app to a revenue-generating app. These are orders that they may not have received, if they had not received them online,” he says. The feature was heavily requested by restaurants, for obvious reasons, but the functionality is available to anyone, including retailers, Nicholas adds.

Finally, for service businesses (think salons, spas, plumbers, etc.), SalesVu 2.0 has added the ability to route appointments from a business website to the app on the iPhone or iPad, and now supports the ability for the business to take a deposit at the time of reservation. Invoicing and recurring billing have been added, too.

Despite these business-friendly features, SalesVu’s biggest challenge for now is brand recognition and awareness – even Square itself isn’t a household name yet. Plus, one of Square’s bigger draws is that free dongle it hands out to any who ask. SalesVu, meanwhile, only gives out the first dongle per location for free and then requires businesses to pay $99 for each additional one. However, it has now dropped the monthly subscription fee ($9.95/month) for use of its cloud system in order to be more competitive.

SalesVu is also competing heavily on pricing, in terms of processing fees. To combat Square’s low 2.75%, SalesVu negotiated with its partner Mercury Payment Systems to take the risk and go even lower to a flat 2.7% in the U.S. In Canada, rates vary from 1.73% to 3.26% depending on card type, which means it’s (sometimes) lower than Intuit’s GoPayment. The company has a profit-sharing arrangement with Mercury which allows it to generate revenue from those fees.

Currently, SalesVu’s mobile apps have been downloaded 15,000 times, and now nearly 6,000 businesses have signed up and are actively using the system. The company is iOS-only for now, but plans to release an Android version this summer.