Square | May 20, 2022
Square announced a suite of new software and hardware restaurant solutions. Built on the company’s experience in serving hundreds of thousands of restaurants over more than a decade, these new solutions help restaurants of all types and sizes, particularly full-service restaurants (FSRs), improve their bottom line and increase the efficiency of their operations.
Square launched Square for Restaurants mobile POS, which gives servers the power of Square for Restaurants, an all-in-one restaurant POS, in their apron pocket - enabling them to quickly and seamlessly take orders and payments tableside or in line. Restaurants using the Square for Restaurants mobile POS beta program have been able to turn more tables and grow their sales even when they were short on staff. Square for Restaurants mobile POS runs on two handheld devices: Square Terminal and the forthcoming Restaurant Mobile POS kit, and as a launch promotion, restaurants will be able to use the software for $0 per location until early next year and just $50 after the promotional period ends.
“We're seeing a lot of additional efficiency in our operations with Square for Restaurants mobile POS because our staff are spending more time on the floor rather than out of reach putting in orders, With the layout of our restaurant, Square for Restaurants mobile POS is saving a lot of physical steps, which has increased staff satisfaction and alleviated some of the stress on their positions. Alcohol sales also rose by 22% and we have seen voids due to out of stock items decline by 57%.”
-Frankie DiCarlantonio, owner Scaffidi Restaurant Group.
Square also announced Square Stand Mount, a versatile iPad point-of-sale that can be easily affixed to any wall or countertop right out of the box, or used as a kiosk. Coming soon, Square Stand Mount will allow restaurants to optimize space by mounting their POS to their ideal surface and helps waitstaff make checkout more efficient with integrated payments built in.
Further, the company announced updates to the broader Square for Restaurants POS system, including:
Coursing, a feature that helps restaurants manage the flow of orders to and from the kitchen, is now available on Square Register, Square for Restaurants mobile POS, and Square KDS. Now significantly more powerful, Coursing enables servers to send items as additions to courses already sent to the kitchen. At the same time, prep stations and expeditors will soon be able to flip between viewing everything fired, held, or completed, improving ticket readability, reducing errors, and providing diners an exceptional hospitality experience.
Square KDS will soon enable restaurants to route tickets from a specific POS to a specific KDS, giving restaurants more flexibility in how they organize their kitchens to better support growing delivery and pickup orders. Along with other recent KDS feature launches such as seating and kitchen-facing names, restaurants can now use KDS as a full digital replacement for messy and expensive kitchen printers.
Square’s powerful ecosystem offers first- and third-party integrations to seamlessly and efficiently power every element of a restaurant’s business operations, from delivery orders to team management.
With Square Loyalty, sellers can schedule one-off or recurring promotions to drive more business on slower days. Square Payroll can help restaurants attract and retain staff in a challenging hiring market, with popular employee features such as On-Demand Pay, which enables W-2 employees to access up to 50% of their earned income before the pay period ends.
Square will soon be introducing its first reservation & table management system integration with OpenTable, which will allow restaurants the ability to connect the data from their POS with the data from their OpenTable reservations system, unlocking better, more personalized customer experiences.
Restaurants can now use SoundHound to take voice orders automatically without having to dedicate their limited staff to answering the phone, and this summer will be able to power their own delivery services (and maintain higher margins) via new integrations with Cartwheel and Vromo.
“Square is dedicated to building the most robust ecosystem of products and services for restaurants of all types and sizes - from multi-location FSRs to QSRs, bars, breweries, and everywhere in between, No two restaurants are exactly alike and one solution doesn’t always fit all. That’s why we’re constantly working to grow and improve our suite of first-party products and partner integrations to enable restaurants around the globe to thrive in 2022 and beyond.”
-Bryan Solar, Head of Restaurants at Square.
Restaurant operators attending the National Restaurant Association Show from May 21-24 can visit Square’s booth #6057 for a preview of Square’s new and existing restaurants product suite. Attendees who meet with our Sales team and sign up with Square at the NRA Show will receive 3 months of Square SaaS software and may qualify for additional discounts on hardware and from Square partners.
Square is also launching a new referral program available for a limited amount of time - offering exclusive perks to both the referrer and the referred as well as custom promotions for the Illinois Restaurant Association members - our latest partner.
CLOUD BASED POS
Sionic | June 30, 2022
Sionic, a leading provider of omni-commerce, consumer-to-business payments solutions, today announced it has selected Google Cloud as the exclusive provider of cloud services for the nationwide rollout of its real-time, bank-to-bank digital payment service, enabling instant cash deposits from customers to merchants’ accounts at the point of sale.
After an eight-year run with Amazon Web Services (AWS) for the hosting of its mobile commerce platform, Sionic chose Google Cloud to underpin its ULink mobile, online, in-store and in-vehicle service experiences.
“We invested a lot of time with the Google Cloud team to thoroughly understand the value and benefits of Google Cloud over AWS, Having that level of interaction and support from knowledgeable, real human beings was a great first impression. Google Cloud’s focus on security, scalability, and sustainability mirrors our objectives as we bring current and future solutions to market. We have greatly decreased our infrastructure management needs and increased our development velocity by using Cloud Run, Cloud SQL and Big Query.”
-said Justin Turner, Director of Product for Sionic.
The payments industry is increasingly embracing the security and scalability that is offered by cloud technology, said Yolande Piazza, Vice President, Financial Services, Google Cloud. “We look forward to working with Sionic to enable its bank-to-bank digital payment service and enhance the payments experience for customers.
Erica Burris, VP Strategy and Product for Sionic, said, We are anticipating steady, month-over-month transaction volume growth as we connect our Pay-by-Bank service to existing card payment providers already processing billions of transactions annually.
Atlanta-based Sionic is leading The Great Reallocation in digital payments by delivering instant bank-to-bank transfers from consumers to merchants. Sionic's market first ULink™ is bringing real-time direct deposits to the point of sale via mobile, online, in store or in vehicle experiences. The company has partnered with top financial institution owners of The RTP Network for bank payments and CyberSource, a Visa solution, for secure card payment processing. Merchants accepting real-time payments bypass expensive card swipe fees and receive POS cash deposits immediately. Consumers may receive perks for paying with their bank accounts.
VersaBank | June 14, 2022
VersaBank ("VersaBank" or the "Bank") (TSX: VBNK) (NASDAQ: VBNK), a leader in digital banking and cyber security solutions, today announced that, through its wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, VersaHoldings US Corp., it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Minnesota-based Stearns Bank Holdingford, N.A. ("SBH"), a privately held, wholly owned subsidiary of Stearns Financial Services Inc. ("SFSI") based in St. Cloud, Minnesota, for an estimated US$13.5million (CA$17.4 million) (subject to adjustment at closing). SBH is a fully operational national bank, OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency)-chartered Bank, focused on small business lending, which is expected to add approximately US$60 million in total assets to VersaBank, subject to any adjustments at closing. Upon closing, SBH will be renamed VersaBank USA National Association. SFSI and its other subsidiaries (Stearns Bank N.A. ($2.2 billion in assets) and Stearns Bank Upsala, N.A. ($75 million in assets)) will continue to operate as usual.
ABOUT STEARNS FINANCIAL SERVICES INC.
Stearns Financial Services Inc. (SFSI) is a well-capitalized, $2.4 billion independent financial holding company based in St. Cloud, MN. It is the holding company for Stearns Bank N.A. and Stearns Bank Upsala, N.A. Recognized as one of the nation's top-performing banks by both American Banker and Independent Banker magazines, Stearns Bank specializes in nationwide construction finance, small business lending, and equipment financing. Driven by a passion to help others achieve their greatest ambitions, Stearns Bank gets the job done! For more information, visit StearnsBank.com.
VersaBank is a Canadian Schedule I chartered bank with a difference. VersaBank became the world's first fully digital financial institution when it adopted its highly efficient business-to-business model using its proprietary state-of-the-art financial technology to profitably address underserved segments of the Canadian banking market in the pursuit of superior net interest margins while mitigating risk. VersaBank obtains all of its deposits and provides the majority of its loans and leases electronically, with innovative deposit and lending solutions for financial intermediaries that allow them to excel in their core businesses. In addition, leveraging its internally developed IT security software and capabilities, VersaBank established wholly owned, Washington, DC-based subsidiary, DRT Cyber Inc. to pursue significant large-market opportunities in cyber security and develop innovative solutions to address the rapidly growing volume of cyber threats challenging financial institutions, multi-national corporations and government entities on a daily basis.
Episode Six | June 17, 2022
Episode Six, a leading global payment and banking infrastructure provider, today announced a new relationship with Galaxy FinX, Vietnam's newest fintech builder that is re-shaping the future of money and banking in the country. The deal represents two firsts for Episode Six: a partnership in Vietnam as well as with a pure-play virtual-bank builder in Southeast Asia region.
Galaxy FinX selected Episode Six to provide modern cloud-based card and payment processing, which includes consumer credit- and debit-card services as well as connections to Vietnam's domestic financial switch services. Just as Episode Six's Tritium platform helps traditional banks innovate and offer digital solutions, it is also purpose-built to deliver key capabilities to virtual and digital banks. Tritium offers a multi-asset class digital wallet management system that can open gateways to card scheme processing and transfers across bank networks, including ATMs and Point of Sale (POS) devices.
"Episode Six is proud to be working with Galaxy FinX, which is our first partnership in Vietnam and our first with an entirely virtual-bank builder in Southeast Asia, There is tremendous growth potential for digital-only banking in Vietnam and across Southeast Asia, where millions of consumers and small businesses remain unbanked or underbanked. Our technology is ideally suited to helping pioneers like Galaxy FinX design and deliver products that meet the needs of digitally-native customers in Vietnam and beyond."
-John Mitchell, CEO and Co-Founder of Episode Six.
As a virtual-bank builder, Galaxy FinX will offer financial-service products, such as savings, lending, payments and insurance, digitally to Vietnam's growing consumer base. Episode Six will provide a market-tested backbone for Galaxy FinX's card services, allowing the new company to process payments and configure products to adapt to changing market conditions. Partnering with Episode Six also gives Galaxy FinX the flexibility to grow its business and focus on customers and evolving market dynamics rather than on underlying tech developments.
Within this decade, the ongoing and worldwide shift from physical to digital represents hundreds of billions of dollars of value in the banking industry alone. Asia's emerging economies are at the cutting edge of these trends; Singapore as an advanced economy is already innovating in the space but look for even greater acceleration in neighbouring Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia as well as Vietnam. Digitalization is rapidly transforming the payments landscape for businesses and consumers. Research from IDC predicts that by 2030, 80% of global consumer payments will transact on mobile and connected devices and will not be processed by traditional institutions. Episode Six is a provider of the payment rails that make this transition possible.
Vietnam is especially ripe for change because cloud- and mobile-based banking is quickly becoming a standard in the country, where large sections of the population have lacked access to traditional checking or savings bank accounts historically. According to data from Merchant Machine, Vietnam is the world's second-most unbanked nation. Together, Episode Six and Galaxy FinX will help change that dynamic.
Episode Six's Tritium platform provides a comprehensive set of more than 550 APIs that facilitate innovation and customization for its clients. Its natively global solution handles different languages, currencies and country-specific regulatory requirements, and is adaptable for cloud or on-premise hosting options for real-time transfer across multiple asset classes, including fiat currencies, and other value storages, such as loyalty and reward points.
About Episode Six
Episode Six is a payments technology company that gives banks, fintechs and brands the freedom to design and bring leading digital payment propositions to market with unmatched speed. From issuer processing to digital wallet – across deposits, credit, savings, and loyalty rewards – and account management, we power clients' payments journeys with the most flexible and adaptable platform on the market today, providing highly configurable products with user-driven tools and technology to stay ahead of, and respond to, customer demand and market shifts. Episode Six's platform is purpose-built to transfer value of any kind – fiat currency, brand value points, gold, and more. Episode Six operates globally across 25 countries with an expanding team located in the U.S., Europe, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, and Australia. Investors include HSBC, Mastercard, SBI Investment Co., Ltd. and Anthos Capital.