Harbortouch is a POS solutions provider operating from Allentown, Pennsylvania. In 1999, Lighthouse designed the POS system to provide payment processing services to restaurants across the country. Harbortouch caters to multiple-sized cafes, bars, salons, and small-scale retail stores in America. It is a verified ISO/MSP of Citizens Bank and Merrick Bank.
Formerly called United Bank Card Inc., Harbortouch was later purchased by Shift4, along with its parent company. This led to the rebranding and further evolvement of merchant services. This merger aimed to combine over 300 software integrations and advanced POS solutions of both companies to serve the growing needs of existing and potential customers.
Harbortouch now facilitates credit card processing, EMV card terminals, game-changing POS systems, and Casio cash registers. The company promotes its ‘award-winning’ customer service to match its high-end services. However, some reviewers would not agree. As of this article, we will only discuss the Harbortouch POS system and its associated facilities.
What Does Harbortouch POS Offer Its Clients?
A reliable point-of-sale solution is crucial for a company’s increased efficiency. An excellent POS system can streamline all your business operations and provide the stability you need to deliver excellence to your customers. It is the key to improving your day-to-day tasks and efficiently managing sales, inventory, and employees. All of that depends on your POS system. The better the POS, the better the business operations.
Harbortouch POS offers hardware and software services to companies searching for pocket-friendly point-of-sale solutions. Although, it does not come across as highly robust in terms of functionality. But if we talk about its features and interface, Harbortouch initiates a relatively decent package that would tick most of your boxes. However, it has some drawbacks, which can be unsatisfactory for some businesses.
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of Harbortouch POS to give you a better idea of its features, pricing, and user experience.
Harbortouch POS Features and Functionality
Harbortouch POS system categorizes its industry-based features for restaurants and bars, salons and spas, and retail and small businesses. You can choose from the Harbortouch Echo POS (designed for small food carts, retail stores, and cafes) and Harbortouch Elite POS (designed for large-scale retail companies and restaurants). Of course, the functionality and pricing will vary for both POS systems.
Harbortouch Echo is a tablet-based POS with basic functionality, whereas Harbortouch Elite has premium features in a 15-inch display. A separate POS is manufactured specifically for salons and spas. Nevertheless, the company is generally preferred by hospitality businesses operating in the US. Let’s dive into a thorough overview of Harbortouch POS products and facilities.
A User-Friendly Interface
Harbortouch prides itself on its easy-to-use interface, designed to simplify the complexities of payment processing. Its POS system is simple; it can be operated by new employees as soon as they get started. But that does not mean it is any less efficient for its job. The good news is you won’t have any trouble training new staff.
A consumer-friendly interface can lower the potential errors and onboarding costs. However, the Harbortouch POS interface cannot compete with the modern POS systems in the marketplace.
After its acquisition by Shift4 Payments, Harbortouch POS facilities expanded with more integrations and add-on functions. As a result of multiple software program partnerships, the POS is equipped to offer comprehensive industry-oriented solutions. Menufy, Uber Eats, and DoorDash are some of the notable integrations so far.
Inventory and Employee Management
Harbortouch POS will enable you to evaluate your employee’s performance and sales growth. It can help you distinguish the most hard-working employees by monitoring their working hours. The POS includes the option to edit timesheets and set up staff permissions.
As a Harbortouch client, you will have access to primary inventory management. Even though it is not as advanced as most merchant service providers offer, it will do for a small-scale business with minimal requirements. One POS can provide the productivity you need to track and make purchase orders for multiple store locations.
Reporting and Analytics
Harbortouch’s specialty is its Lighthouse reporting and management tools. With these tools, you can access several sales and employee reports to be on top of your business operations. If you run a restaurant, viewing regular reports on individual menus will help you know what item is popular among customers.
Isn’t it a great way to enhance efficiency? Plus, you can maintain a social media handle and track the online reputation of your business. Opt for the Lighthouse 60-day trial to see if it works for you.
Harbortouch Bar & Restaurant
Harbortouch Bar & Restaurant POS is the company’s most used POS system. It is designed for high-volume bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and other hospitality businesses. You can hold reservations, make menu changes, and access the customer database. There are also bar tabs and table tracking. Harbortouch POS has also implemented tableside ordering in its system.
This POS system is designed for retail stores while focusing on payment solutions for extraordinarily small to exceptionally large-scale businesses. This makes Harbortouch somewhat unique because most POS systems cater to the in-betweens.
Harbortouch Checkout offers email and text marketing and appointment scheduling tools. You can benefit from QuickBooks integration and manage multiple store locations. Whether you run a clothing or an electronic store, a flower or a toy shop, Harbortouch Checkout has all the necessary features to meet your point-of-sale requirements.
Harbortouch Salon & Spa
If you own a multi-chin gym, barbershop, fitness club, or even a tattoo parlor, this POS system is for you. It has basic features, such as marketing, online scheduling, and customer management. Even though there are several POS options in the marketplace, finding one that offers industry-specific features can be a headache. Harbortouch POS can be a perfect fit for your business.
Harbortouch Retail Advanced
This POS is focused on developing retail-oriented hardware and software with a bundle of advanced features to handle every business type. However, it is recommended for large companies, such as departmental and retail stores with over 10,000 SKUs. Along with the primary features, Harbortouch Retail Advanced facilitates gift registries and employee commission management. It comes with automated programming to ensure increased profitability.
Layaway and Delivery Features
With Harbortouch POS, you can allow your customers to reserve items to be picked up at a scheduled time. This facility will help you enhance customer convenience while managing inventory items. There are also some great delivery features accessible on the dashboard. This way, users can be updated about the order status and completion time. Caller ID integration and direction mapping are some of Harbortouch’s prized possessions.
The company offers several security features to safeguard your business, customer data, and other parties involved in the payment processing through the POS. Harbortouch security tools are PCI-complaint to ensure increased security for everyone interacting in the online ordering platforms. However, guessing from the data theft in 2022 and many credit card data breaches in the past, the company security standards are relatively moderate. It implies that Harbortouch is not a reliable POS system for high-risk businesses.
How Much Does Harbortouch POS Cost?
Initially, Harbortouch demanded its clients pay a bunch of additional charges, and users were bound to a three-year contract. Luckily, the company has dropped most of these fees to be competitive with other service providers in the marketplace. Harbortouch is generally affordable for most business sizes.
The cost you pay for Harbortouch POS depends on the choice of hardware. The Harbortouch Echo is cheaper than the Harbortouch Elite. Because of the difference in functionality, one costs a per-month fee of $29, whereas the other charges $49. There is also a $99 PCI compliance fee.
For payment processing with Harbortouch Merchant Services, you will pay a per-transaction fee of $1.79 plus $0.10. There is also a batch fee of $25. The company has not offered much information regarding its other fees.
As a Harbortouch client, you are bound to a year-long agreement. You can access the hardware options from Shift4, but for that, a separate one-year payment processing agreement is required. After one year, if you want to continue processing payments with Harbortouch, a subscription fee will be charged.
It should be noted that while you can use Harbortouch services with another payment processor, you can only access the free hardware offers by using Shift4. This is quite a red flag.
Early Cancelation Penalty
Even though Harbortouch no longer forces hefty contract cancelation penalties, there is a termination fee if you don’t return your hardware within 15 days after you terminate the contract. Here is what to expect:
- You will pay $200 for every card reader you borrowed
- $300 for contactless credit card terminals
- $500 for POS system
Harbortouch POS Consumer Support
In addition to many ‘how to’ video tutorials on the website, Harbortouch provides several detailed articles to help you understand the basic functionality of its software. Its live chat facility and 24/7 phone support are accessible to all customers. However, considering the fees, Harbortouch’s customer service is not up to par.
If you are an Elite POS user, the company charges a $20 monthly support fee. For users opting for the Echo POS system, there is an annual support fee of $79.
How Can Harbortouch POS Benefit Your Company?
Harbortouch POS is a great option if you are looking to avoid upfront costs. Its ease of use and generally affordable rates make it popular among clients. Based on Harbortouch POS reviews, here is how choosing this POS can benefit your business:
Harbortouch offers a wide range of industry-specific hardware and services, which implies that you will only pay for what you need. You can choose the POS hardware with the right tools to meet your company’s requirements. Whether you own a bar, a salon, a pizza parlor, or a liquor store, Harbortouch POS has something in store for you.
No Upfront Cost
As we discussed, Harbortouch does not demand an upfront cost. It means you won’t have to worry about arranging a hefty investment to access the POS services. With all your hardware and software costs divided to be paid over time, you can easily afford the fees and enjoy the services.
Easy to Use
One of the biggest perks of Harbortouch POS is the fact that it is so easy to use that you can set it up without difficulty. You and your staff can get the hang of its software without any prior knowledge and learn all its features. This is good news for people who aren’t so good with technology but want to make their business tech-savvy.
If you are unsure if Harbortouch is the right option for your business, the company offers a free demo. You can try the POS to check out its features and services. This way, you can better judge its compatibility without buying it. A free demo can save you from wasting time and money by purchasing a product only to realize it’s no good use to your company.
Drawbacks of Harbortouch POS
Even the best POS system can be highly unsuitable for some businesses. There will be some minor shortcomings to make it incompatible for someone. In this case, the drawbacks are not so minor; Harbortouch POS has some major downsides you should be aware of.
Don’t Expect Customization
Harbortouch POS can be a pain when it comes to customization. It does promote ease of use, which is rare, but the lack of customizable features can be a deal breaker in this age and time. If Harbortouch is your final choice, you would have to do with limited customization.
Harbortouch has restricted its payment processing to its parent company. It means you would have to use Shift4 to access these services. Many processors offer Harbortouch products to their clients, but the company’s free hardware offer is only available if you sign an agreement with Shift4. Being forced to use the payment processing services of Shift4 to access the hardware isn’t very convenient.
Harbortouch POS Reviews and Complaints
Even though Harbortouch POS is a reasonably good option for businesses with basic requirements, several complaints have been cited against it over the years. Harbortouch has a below-average rating on some online review platforms. While the company did pay attention to a few negative reviews, most consumer protection websites are still crowded with similar complaints. Here are the most common customer complaints against Harbortouch POS:
Even though Harbortouch no longer forces a three-year contract on its clients, users have complained about its unbreakable agreements. If you are a Harbortouch client or planning on being one, be prepared to get charged even after closing the account. Worse yet, some users have even complained about their cancellation forms being returned to them without a response.
Poor Customer Service
Harbortouch offers below-average consumer support, giving users all the reasons to post negative reviews. As a Harbortouch client, you would have to wait for hours before a representative responds, and even then, there is no guarantee that your issue will be resolved. After signing up, it can be impossible to get in touch with a customer service representative. As per Harbortouch POS reviews, you shouldn’t even bother sending an email with a query. You will probably never get a reply.
Gathering from Harbortouch POS reviews, the software has a reputation for freezing during a transaction. Also, there is no option for setting manual software updates, which means an automatic update can slow down the process at unexpected times. There have been complaints about POS hanging when a credit card is inserted to pay for the purchase.
Dishonest Sales Practices
Former users have implied that Harbortouch POS is not as affordable as the company claims. You might get tempted by its ‘no upfront cost’ advertisement, but the reality is far from these promotional claims. The company charges more than it promised. Users have complained about the undisclosed fees they were forced to pay after signing the agreement. All these hidden charges make Harbortouch more expensive than it lets on.
Some clients even wrote that Harbortouch kept trying to charge their accounts for fees. Some users had to instruct their bank not to accept any charges from the company.
As deduced from this Harbortouch POS review, the system can be a suitable option for some businesses but equally incompatible for others. While its free hardware offerings and multiple integrations can be a valuable addition to your company, the binding contracts, hidden fees, and sub-standard customer service can be some serious deal breakers.
It is not to say that Harbortouch is entirely useless. The industry-specific features and solid reporting tools are quite tempting. The general condition of the system is pretty good as well. If you can negotiate the rates, avoid hidden fees, and ensure the company discloses all fees, Harbortouch POS can be a sustainable option for your business. That being said, this POS system is not your only option. You can always rely on some excellent alternatives available in the marketplace.