In an effort to expand beyond simple online deals and discounts, Groupon today unveiled an iPad-based checkout platform called Gnome.

The tablet is disguised in a chunky plastic exterior and allows shop owners to identify voucher-toting customers from the moment they walk through the door. Using the Goupon app, users will have their details beamed to the cashier over Bluetooth – they simply have to give their name when they reach the till.

Gnome is designed as an “all-in-one cash register,” so businesses will also be able to process credit and debit card payments and, in the future, integrate recognized accounting software such as QuickBooks and Xero. The company boasts “competitive rates” on card processing fees too; Recode says it should be 1.8 percent, plus 15 cents per transaction for Mastercard and Visa purchases.

This isn’t the first time Groupon has offered in-store payments and it remains to be seen whether the allure of its renowned daily deals is enough to tempt business owners. That’s clearly the value-add here and, in the process, Groupon will be hoping to accelerate the number of customers redeeming its discounts.

Back in February, Groupon launched Deal Builder (found at GrouponWorks.com), a self-service feature that allows merchants to create their own package deals.

Gnome (via Recode | Press Release)

Featured Image Credit – Getty Images