by Narothnee Jean-Pierre

Modern point-of-sale technology has evolved from the cash register to the full service point of sale system. Since its emergence, mobile-point-of-sale (mPOS) has disrupted the way payments are accepted moving from a convenient payment option for small merchants who were unable to process card payments to enabling new levels of payment, customer engagement, and business management. Initially considered as an inexpensive, and convenient solution for small merchants that were previously unable to process card payments, larger enterprises from all areas of the market, large retailers to even stadiums and arenas, are experimenting with m POS and receiving positive results.

Accelerated Growth in the Market

mPOS card readers can be attached to any smartphone or tablet, and it is the universality of mobile that has driven the connected hardware side of this growth. The future of POS services will be increasingly cloud-based, easing the transition from card initiated to smartphone-initiated payments. This change is motivated by the wave of investment in mobile-device-based payment, developments in NFC contactless technology, and the emergence of host card emulation (HCE) technologies.

The Global Mobile POS Terminals Market is expected to reach $42.99 billion by 2022, according to a new study by Grand View Research, Inc. Mobile POS terminals have evolved from basic payment processing tools to advanced analytics solution providers with greater processing capability and wireless communication support.

As cited by the report, the factors driving the growth are diverse and cover a range of geographies and industries. Accelerated adoption of mobile POS terminals across retail and hospitality sectors is the key growth driver of the market.

Advantages of mPOS

For small and medium sized businesses, mPOS platforms open an inexpensive channel to accept alternate forms of payment. For large enterprises, mPOS systems offer value-added features beyond traditional POS hardware. The growth in the industry has encouraged businesses of various sizes to leverage these new systems and strategies to optimize their current models, and deliver seamless customer experience. Some of the major benefits include:

Low Investment Threshold and Easy Implementation

The widespread availability and affordability of tablets and smartphones has significantly increased. By 2018, the number of tablet users in the world will reach 1.43 billion while smartphone users will reach 6.1 billion worldwide by 2020. Given this data, mPOS requires less up-front investment, and are inexpensive to replace or repair than traditional POS systems.

Another benefit is the ease of implementation; depending on the system, businesses do not need any heavy equipment or complicated staff training to start accepting mobile payments.

Improved Customer Engagement

One of the major benefits of mPOS is the free roaming capability allowing your employees to engage with customers outside and around the store. From checking inventory levels to taking payments and proving electronic receipts via email, mPOS is able to serve customers providing speedier checkout and addressing their needs at the point-of decision. This results in increased satisfaction, building brand loyalty and a stronger relationship with your consumer.

Increased Security

Unlike traditional POS terminals, all leading mPOS solutions implement Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE), which encrypts payment card data making it unreadable until it reaches a secure decryption environment. The application of the EMV, a chip and pin system prevalent in Canada, Europe and now being implemented in the U.S., also offers a multi-layered defense against fraud.

These are just a few reasons highlighting the advantages of mPOS, but there are many more benefiting businesses across many industries. mPOS has the ability to meet growing consumer demand, enhance customer loyalty and engagement, create new channels for revenue growth, and generate strong ROI.

The goal of mPOS must be to become an all-in-one business solution, addressing merchant needs across business functions such as marketing, finance, logistics, and accounting.

Who Benefits?

The world of payments is at the start of a process of change more fundamental than ever before. New business models and partnerships with more flexible solutions having payment acceptance at their heart are the order of the day, but the key ingredient that weaves through the rapidly evolving landscape is mobility; the ability to accept payments at the customer’s convenience and at a greater variety of locations than ever before. mPOS is moving from a niche service into the mainstream of modern commerce.

— Andrew Copeman, a payments analyst at Aite Group

While the retail segment accounted for over 30% of the overall market share in 2014, growing adoption of mobile POS technology across SMBs and micro-merchants is expected to drive segment growth. Beyond retail, mPOS have a wide range of applications in numerous sectors such as entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, and warehousing. These businesses find the services useful, eliminating the need for agents to carry large amounts of cash or checks and bringing the benefit of immediate electronic payment.

For example in stadiums and arenas, mPOS systems are capable of accomplishing high number of transactions, and help simplify many tasks that were previously labor-intensive such as inventory management.

mPOS Benefits

Businesses: Is it Time to Re-evaluate Your Methods of Operation?

As stated before, mPOS goes beyond just card payments. From its beginning as a single stand-alone service for small businesses, mPOS has quickly advanced into a set of technologies that will drive change across the entire payment ecosystem. In the process, it is bringing new players into the market and forcing businesses to re-evaluate their methods of operation. The mPOS industry is a space to watch, as companies continue to push the boundaries and develop more affordable, and innovative solutions.