Mobile payments are hot. And the many options are keeping business owners up at night, as they learn how to integrate mPOS into existing payment systems.
According to a recent Forrester Market Overview, 78 percent of retailers are piloting or planning to implement mPOS by the end of 2015.
It's not surprising more businesses are adding mPOS systems, both in the United States and around the world. Merchants both large and small are seeing the benefits of untethering employees and customers alike from cash registers and ordering screens. And the enterprise is awash in data from these mobile transactions.
You've probably gotten more and more client inquiries about mPOS. A 2013 report by IHL predicted a 380 percent increase in shipments of mobile POS devices between 2013 and 2017. That doesn't include the smartphones and tablets employees and customers are bringing to the table, part of the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend.
That's because mPOS offers immediate benefits for merchants of all sizes, from the company racking up $10 million in sales every year, to the small business owner planning to accept credit and debit cards for the first time.
Faster transaction speeds mean shorter lines and increased revenue. Payments can be taken anywhere sales and delivery people go. And the amount of customer data gained from mobile payments dwarfs that of traditional POS systems.
Take a look at three mPOS trends that will make a difference to your customers.
Locking down the mPOS with layers of security
Piggybacking on the soon-to-arrive EMV Initiative in the US, card security at the POS, whether traditional or mobile is uppermost in the minds of both merchants and customers. A 2014 Retail Point of Sale Payment Forecast by Javelin Strategy and Research revealed almost half of consumers cited fraud protection as a significant factor when deciding how to pay.
As the movement from mag stripe to chip cards gains traction, customers will grow to expect the same level of security in mPOS transactions. That's why industry experts recommend a layered approach.
The first link in the chain is the card reader, which should carry point-to-point encryption (P2PE). Next, look for a mobile application that complies with PCI PA-DSS standards. mPOS providers should also have the capability to disable a payment app remotely, either on the device or the backend server. Finally, ensure the software at each connection point can handle the data elements required for a secure transaction.
Integrating mPOS in the omni-channel experience
Customers today often have multiple ways to interact with a business brand. From an online storefront to a mobile app to the traditional brick and mortar location, companies strive to provide a seamless, streamlined, and secure customer experience. And mobile payments are no exception.
That's why merchants are looking to more sophisticated mPOS solutions to complete the so-called "last mile" of their payment system. Customers want businesses to have access to all their transactions, regardless of the channel. That means integration of mPOS with traditional payment terminals, as well as with back end systems, mobile apps, inventory control, and loyalty programs.
Maintaining flexibility and room to grow
Adding new software to existing systems often means settling for less customization. But it doesn't have to be that way.
The newest generation of mPOS solutions uses application programming interfaces (API's) to integrate payments with enterprise systems. And larger merchants may find it cost effective to add their own branding to a white label solution.
Business owners should also consider the constant evolution of payment standards and mechanisms. That means selecting a mobile POS system that can handle EMV cards along with mobile wallets, contactless payments and the next big thing that comes along.
Mobile point of sale spells a tremendous opportunity for merchants. And you can help them grab it.
What mPOS trend do you see as having the biggest impact on your customers?