Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram will dominate the week’s tech news, but it certainly isn’t the only big mobile acquisition to happen in recent days. Intuit, the software giant responsible for Quicken and TurboTax, acquired AisleBuyer, a Boston-based company that developed an eponymous user-driven mobile POS app. The Boston Herald reports, but could not confirm, that Intuit shelled out $100 million for the company.
AisleBuyer offers five different applications, all of which harness mobile technology to make commerce flow smoothly. Among them are mShop, a mobile self-checkout app, mClerk, a mobile cash register for sales associates, and mDine, a mobile extension for restaurant point-of-sale systems. They provide the same panacea that most mobile payments apps offer merchants: data, effective location-based marketing, friction-free payments, integration with e-commerce, etc.
“Our solutions enable you to give convenience and personalization to your shoppers,” says the company’s website. Their products promise to “increase the overall effectiveness of your marketing, and empower your store employees with the tools to assist shoppers without ever leaving their sides.” It combines the best of both worlds of online and brick-and-mortar retail. For instance, mDine allows customers to punch in their orders to a takeout restaurant once they are within striking range, allowing them to skip the line and the wait, and cutting down on lines at the point-of-sale. Their motto is “Never wait in line again.”
Intuit’s recent Gallery Walk here in New York City demonstrated the company’s pronounced interest in providing small-business solutions. Most of the products on display were not consumer-facing, but instead were reflective of Intuit’s desire to be the digital backbone of commerce. The acquisition of AisleBuyer appears to be part of a broader strategy on Intuit’s part, to quietly play in the background and provide white-labeled business solutions for a growing mobile-payments market.
AisleBuyer will be managed by Intuit’s GoPayment division, according to a post on the company’s blog. What functionalities AisleBuyer has that GoPayment does not have, or could not have, isn’t immediately apparent.