How did you get into the Mobile Point-of-Sale Business?
By accident. OK..not really. When Bindo started, we focused on making local shopping incredibly easy and accessible by anyone with access to a computer or iPhone. We launched with an aggregator website that allowed consumers to shop the ENTIRE inventory of all of our partnering stores, kind of like Amazon, except with much more inventory and choice. For the readers familiar with Milo, it was very similar to that, but with greater inventory control options for merchants. After launch, we experienced great success with an average of 15% increase in business for our partnering local merchants. The issue: Merchants don’t have the want or time to manage ONE MORE platform. And we didn’t want to be one more. On the contrary, we knew we would be THE ONE platform they could use to manage their operations, their sales, both online and offline, and their analytics platform. Thus came the need to build a POS and mPOS platform. And if we build, we might as well be the best.
What do you believe is hesitation of companies using traditional POS systems from adopting m-POS technology?
It is still absolutely an emerging space. If there was one player, then merchants would be less hesitant. But when there are dozens of mPOS players, each saying that they are the best option for them, then it is easier to maintain status quo and not change. The other major concern is the concept of the cloud and not physically seeing where the data is stored. At Bindo, security is one of our biggest advantages as an mPOS player, so it is just a matter of educating the market.
Where do you see your industry in the next five years?
The question of all questions. POS and its recent evolution into mPOS will continue to grow. The tablet is here to stay, with its minimal counter-space footprint and maximum scalability from a software perspective. But the major issue is how will mainstreet compete with the e-commerce retailers. And does it have to compete, or can they become “coompetors”, i.e. cooperating competitors. The latter is true when merchants can streamline their offline and online operations (which even the biggest have difficulty doing). Once offline and online is streamlined, then certain (ahem…) mPOS players are capable of bridging the gap and allowing merchants to post into platforms that they never really took the time to do, such as Twitter, Pinterest, etc, and generate new targeted customers. Online and offline don’t have to be the same. mPOS has the potential to become the gateway between the two.
As technology evolves at a rapid pace what is Bindo doing to keep up with that change?
I once gave a talk at GA, and a question came up: “In the midst of so many POS players, how do you stay competitive and also keep your ahead above all the noise?” This was a good question. After thinking for a few seconds, my answer was simple, but true: “Just focus on being the best”. Thus, our focus at Bindo is to lead the market in features and empowering opportunities for all of our merchants. What is to come is nothing less than a game changer in the way that merchants do business and in how consumers interact with these merchants.
What are some of the issues Bindo sees that are faced throughout the m-POS industry?
So many players, so many expectations, and a boat-load of features. In the POS world, every merchant has their own way of doing business, and their own expectations on how certain things work. The biggest thing is building out the entire mPOS suite within the real-estate that you have working with a tablet, whilst maintaining high standards for design, functionality, intuitiveness and still keeping in mind the big picture.
What is Bindo doing to help remove some or all of those issues?
There will never be a shortage of features that have to be built out, especially for larger organizations that have certain feature-sets specific to them. This being said, we have built a highly modular platform which can be accessed via API in many ways, making it a retail platform as much as it is an mPOS. Furthermore, with our specialization in O2O (offline-to-online), Bindo has an immense opportunity to redefine the way in which both small and large enterprises operate and interact with their consumers.