New Leaf CEO: “The Vision Hasn’t Changed” as Payment Tech Heats Up

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The company also wants to add more customers that have table service, taking advantage of Leaf’s portable hardware—the 7-inch tablet is designed to be disconnected from its countertop base station and carried around, which means a waiter could be getting orders in and payments completed faster than by using a pad and pen at the tableside.

The ultimate goal, however, is bringing developers to the party. In the next year, McCrary said, perhaps the most critical sign of success for Leaf will being getting another point-of-sale company to build their software for the Leaf system.

“We want to see a third party developing a marketable P.O.S. for a vertical that they know and love and can succeed in,” she said.

“Who’s to say that isn’t already happening?” Galnares added with a smile.

Not so long ago, running a retail counter was a relatively ho-hum element of American business. Store owners bought a register and card swiper, hooked them up, and ran the things until the wheels fell off. If you’re running a family restaurant or modest corner store—especially if you managed to survive the Great Recession—just keeping things together and paying the bills is enough to concentrate on.

Galnares

Galnares

Winning over those business owners with a next-generation replacement is no easy task. Sure, the advanced software can help you track all of the key numbers for your business. Yes, being able to accept more payment options from smartphone-toting consumers is probably a good thing.

But most of the players trying to make headway in this field are really just hoping they’ll be in position when business owners decide to switch—a process that could be dragged out until a younger generation of small business owners takes control of the cash registers.

“The vast, vast majority of merchants are running legacy systems. And I think more than any singular competitor in our direct space, we battle against educating our prospective customers about all the great benefits that a mobile commerce platform like Leaf brings,” Galnares said. “Everyone in this space still battles that one major competitor of `I don’t know what this is. I don’t know if I just want to go away from my block, 1980s, Casio-esque credit card terminal.’ That’s the major competitor that everyone faces.”

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