SHOPKEEP POSshopkeep-posIf you’ve ever been in an Apple store, you’ve noticed that you don’t have to go to the cash register to pay. There is no cash register and no checkout line; every clerk can take your credit card on their phone, using a small add-on device.

Small business can do the same thing, with an add-on from “Square” or “Paypal.” Soon there will be a third choice, still in the “beta” or testing phase. “ShopKeep Mobile” is a handheld point of sale device using hardware from Griffin, a company we’ve followed for years. It’s connected to that mysterious computer in the cloud, so everything is automatically uploaded to your private account on the Internet.

ShopKeep currently works with the iPad and will soon be available for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It has an encrypted credit card swipe slot and barcode scanner. It provides analytical services as well. It provides sales reports, inventory management and QuickBooks integration via a “BackOffice” service. You can email customers a receipt, keep them in your database, search for items, give discounts, add tax or not add it, print receipts and use it offline. Bob thinks this will become a biggie. More info at shopkeep.com/mobile-pos.

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