Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the big thing in tech at the moment. The ability to use computing power to offload tedious or repetitive tasks that take people away from higher-value activities is seen as both a great benefit but also a significant threat to current employment. But cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) provider Vend has embraced AI as it rolls out its new Dott platform. This is a tool that will allow business people to gain better insights into customer behaviour and improved control over stock in their store. I spoke with Vend's founder Vaughan Rowsell about Dott and AI's role in retail.
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Perhaps the most heavily disrupted, at least from the consumer and small business perspectives, element of fintech has been payments. The stranglehold banks have had on how money is collected and moved remains strong but a number of new players have begun to edge in. One of the big players in that disruption is Square. Today, they have released their new Square Stand - a $299 device that works out-of-the-box to convert an iPad into a full point-of-sale system.
It's getting easier and easier to set up a low cost point of sale system. With tablets and smartphones delivering apps that can integrate wth finance and stock control systems, it's possible to roll your own PoS easily. And payment services now mean you can skip the bank when looking for an EFTPOS terminal. From today, Vodafone will be selling the Square Reader for just $5 when bundled with selected mobile plans.
One of the things that used to be difficult for small businesses was accessing payment system. Typically, you were locked in with your bank and slugged with the cost of a payment terminal that you then needed to integrate with your point of sale system. That's changed as a result of new mobile-enabled payment systems and the new API economy while allows all sorts of systems to access payments and other systems. Square is leveraging all this as they launch a one-stop shop offering a suite of third-party point-of-sale (POS) hardware and accessories.