Is It Time to Start Feeling Bad for Legacy POS Companies?


Have you ever been walking down a street and you see something so anachronistic you have to stop and do a double take? Like you’re on your cell phone, strolling to your car, and you see some guy attaching a piece of parchment to a pigeon’s leg to carry off a message?

If you have never been unfortunate enough to see anything like that don’t worry: we have you covered! We write about brick and mortar after all, and there’s nothing as antiquated as what you’ll find here.

Our latest example comes courtesy of a legacy POS company. We’ve sanitized the document because it contains some sensitive pricing information. However, our point will be made clearly enough.

This is just ridiculous.

The idea that merchants should pay to access their own data remotely is crazy. Is there a fee to see your bank statement when you’re not at the bank? Is there a fee to pay your utility bill when you’re not at the water department?

Since this POS company has clearly decided not to pay attention, we’ll let them know that cloud POS has been available since 2009. That’s nine years ago. There’s no additional fee to access your own data remotely with any cloud system. In fact, accessing data remotely is so standard now it’s become a requirement just to be relevant!  Can you even buy a car these days without getting power steering?

Accessing merchant data remotely is table stakes.

End of discussion.

It’s amazing to us that this POS company believes merchants should be paying to access their own data. They’re acting as if there are no alternatives for the merchant! Is this POS company honestly going to wonder why their sales start declining if standard features cost extra money when you choose their system? Are they going to tell their dealers, “Hey keep moving our product because it’s very relevant in today’s market”? Are you serious?! Hell, we even wrote a model that shows exactly how much money it would cost to roll this reporting functionality out, and how much ROI could be had by doing this the right way.

What you have here is POS leadership that is totally oblivious to reality. They’re still living in 1991. There’s zero self-awareness. Their shareholders (if they have any), dealers, and customers are suffering immensely because of these horrible decisions. It’s so pathetic it’s almost sad.

Should we start feeling bad for them?

Well, here’s something to consider.

These POS companies – and their horrendous decisions – are going away. Payments companies are buying legacy POS companies and not only modernizing the technology but contributing IQ points to the decision-making processing. Global (Heartland), Shift4, and NCR are all creating unified APIs that will end the costly complexities associated with a merchant accessing their own data. It will also significantly improve integrations and extend the functionality of their POS systems enormously.

So in that vein, modernization will be putting these legacy POS companies out of their misery. That sounds like a humane ending to us.