Does Bank of America have a chance in POS solutions?
Normally, when a David is pitted against a Goliath, people give Goliath the advantage and secretly root for David.
But in the case of Bank of America vs. Square, it's unclear which company is David and which is Goliath. Certainly, Bank of America is huge, while Square is tiny. But in the emerging market for new-era payment devices linked to tablets and phones, Square has carved out a role as the market leader, leaving its many competitors to make up ground.
In any case, it will be an interesting battle to watch. At this point, I'm still more inclined to think of Bank of America as a Goliath. As the bank points out to Bank Systems & Technology, it already has a massive installed based via its merchant services unit. It can boast 300,000 merchants as customers, which is more than the 250,000 that Square can boast. For Bank of America, it's a matter of upselling existing customers. At the same time, the bank is hiring more small business-oriented salesmen.
That said, it would be hard to deny the momentum that Square has built up, even as competitors nip at its heels. My prediction is that the payment device component of the market will ultimately matter less than the "in-store experience" component. Square has made some interesting strides with the geo-location-oriented "in-store" aspects and it will be up to competitors to stay up to speed. If there is a market differentiator, this is where it will be.
Bank of America takes on Square