Predictions from one year don't always come to fruition during the next. That's why we like to revisit our forecasts and find out where they stand in light of industry movement.
In 2015, we discussed five mobile POS (mPOS) trends that you should be watching this year. Here are some key takeaways for 2016.
Prediction: All POS devices must be EMV-ready.
While October 2015 marked the official EMV liability shift, many business owners weren't ready for the change. Some blamed the timing of the shift, coming right before the busiest sales season of the year. Others faced delays in having systems certified for EMV. But as the calendar moves through 2016, EMV adoption rates are rising.
Key takeaway:While your clients may see EMV upgrades as optional, waiting any longer to put this technology in place at the POS is risky. It's also a great opportunity for merchants to increase payment options for customers, because most EMV-ready terminals are also NFC-ready.
Prediction: A strong wireless network drives mPOS success.
Increased mobility remains a top priority of many merchants. Adding handheld devices to an existing POS system or a stand-alone system gives customers more flexibility while shopping and paying. But the entire system is limited without a strong wireless network.
Key takeaway: Remind clients that a successful mobile solution requires some advance planning. Start with a physical assessment to ensure proper coverage. Then focus on security at access points and for every piece of hardware and software.
Prediction: Don't neglect data security.
Data security remains a hot topic in POS trends, especially as merchants add portable devices as part of mPOS solutions. That means that PCI compliance scope comes into play.
Key takeaway: When clients are considering changes to the POS environment—like mPOS—they'll need to establish the impact on PCI compliance and introduce new security controls, as appropriate.
Prediction: Integrate mPOS into a big data strategy.
While big data sounds like a strategy that's just for the Tier 1 players, every business should be looking for more real-time data about what, where, and how customers are buying.
Key takeaway: mPOS can help even the smallest merchant interact with customers while they shop and dine. Customer engagement in the form of notifications and timely coupons and deals helps cultivate a more loyal customer.
Prediction: Plan for the future with mobile apps.
With the explosion of mobile wallets and apps, consumers are becoming more comfortable ordering and paying with just a smartphone.
Key takeaway: For merchants focused on increasing throughput at the POS, mobile apps add plenty of value. Customers like the fact that they can pay without pulling out a credit or debit card, and the tokenization of card numbers improves security and reduces PCI compliance scope.
What mPOS trends are you following this year?