- Highs: App Bank with downloadable tools. Same-day settlement. Australia-based 24/7 support.
- Lows: Expensive for smaller businesses. Pricing not transparent. No 4G connectivity (only 3G).
- Buy if: You want increased functionality and useful business insights that go beyond what a normal payment processor can offer.
What is Albert EFTPOS?
Albert EFTPOS tablet is a smart point of sale (smart POS) terminal capable of accepting card payments and handling advanced business functions such as stock management, loyalty programs and varying payment methods.
The service was launched by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CommBank) in early 2015.
If you are looking for a multifunctional payment solution that can also be used for operational matters, then Albert EFTPOS is a noteworthy option from one of the major Australian banks.
It takes card payments from within your store, or anywhere with secured WiFi or a 3G connection. Apart from accepting chip cards, contactless payments, cash and more, the terminal can print paper receipts and scan barcodes.
You can also download a wide selection of business and retail tools to use directly on the touchscreen, for instance features like tipping, split bills and the option to send a digital receipt. Alternatively, you can integrate the tablet with external POS systems like Vend or Kounta.
CommBank offers same-day settlement for card transactions made until 10pm AEST (terms apply).
How much does it cost?
With Albert EFTPOS, you pay a fixed monthly fee that covers terminal rental and transactions up to an agreed limit. To get exact quotes, you have to contact CommBank, as their website does not list these monthly costs openly, but monthly prices start at $60.
We have seen that an agreed monthly card turnover of up to $6,000 can cost $90 per month. Furthermore, monthly fees can be $120 and $150 for turnovers of $9,000 and $12,000 respectively.
This service is therefore intended for businesses who are already making a reasonable amount in sales on a regular basis. In the case where you exceed the agreed limit, you will be charged an extra 1.5% on top of the fixed monthly fee.
Moreover, if you would like to use more tablets in your store, this will cost an additional $29.50 per device. It should be noted that signing up for Albert EFTPOS gets you a Business Transaction Account with CommBank free of charge. This might be something to consider if you were looking to open a business account anyway.
There are also some additional fees to consider, such as a $30 chargeback fee and $110 service cancellation fee as well as a $1,500 charge for not returning the Albert EFTPOS tablet! In our view, these extra costs are pretty reasonable and identical to CommBank’s old Emmy mPOS service.
POS and business features
Albert offers a whole range of flexible payment options, including splitting the bill, tipping and email receipts. You can allow loyal customers to keep an electronic tab to pay later as well as providing a platform for making donations to charity.
In addition, the App Bank allows you to download more functions. For example, the Daily IQ app gives insights into your sales data, such as when your busiest times of day are and how the spending patterns look. You can even make your own apps – that is, if you’re an Android developer.
Clearly, this tablet has a lot of potential to be used for streamlining your business data and daily operations. The question is to what degree regular businesses will make the most of it when they are constantly bombarded with marketing for other solutions in the productivity space.
The Australia-based 24/7 support is good to see with so much outsourcing going on in the payment industry these days.
What’s more, any troublesome Albert device will be replaced within 4 hours (provided you are located in a metropolitan or regional area) which is reassuring for those of you who can’t afford to be without your card processor for any extended period of time.
Expensive for small budgets – so who is it best for?
It has to be said: it would seem to us that Albert is not aimed at small businesses per se. Indeed, the quoted turnover limits hint at this and we found the monthly price to be a little steep.
Many merchants and sole traders may not want to dish out $90 a month (over $1,000 annually) just to accept card payments in their shops. That said, it might be worth it if you foresee yourself making full usage of the extra functionality and apps on offer.
In addition, CommBank is not very open with regards to their additional and miscellaneous fees. You can eventually discover these conditions before signing the contract, of course, but it’s unclear to us why they can’t be clearly displayed on the CommBank website. This would allow you to make a more informed decision before applying.
Albert EFTPOS certainly achieves what it sets out to do: providing some potentially useful tools for businesses who are looking for a payment solution that goes beyond just processing transactions. The App Bank is a nice added touch – it will be interesting to see how it develops over time.
That said, we have the impression that Albert is not yet a ‘finished package’. CommBank is slow to upgrade their technology – it does not even work with 4G yet. We also felt that the pricing, though not unreasonable, is a little steep for many small businesses.
All in all, it’s an innovative service that could certainly be interesting for the right business who is looking for more than just a card payment processor.