The number of terminals more than doubled to 9.5 million from 2011 to 2012, with mPOS adoption expected to rise to 38 million by 2017. For that same year, industry research predicts almost half of businesses (46 percent) will choose mPOS terminals over traditional options.
These growing numbers mean expanded choices for merchants of all sizes, but especially for those on the small-business spectrum. And small businesses are in the perfect position to take advantage of these new opportunities in mobility. Here are just a few of the reasons why.
mPOS makes small businesses even nimbler
One of the initial developments in mPOS technology put the ability to accept credit cards into the hands of micro-merchants. And those were transactions not generally conducted within the bounds of a traditional, wired storefront. Business owners were more likely to accept payments in nontraditional environments like mobile kiosks, festivals, and trade-show floors.
As these mobility solutions became more available, larger businesses began to see the benefits. But for those merchants with limited infrastructure and real estate, mPOS can be the most effective solution.
The terminals occupy a small footprint, can be moved easily between locations, and connect wirelessly with other POS components like printers and cash drawers. Startup costs are low, and many systems keep data in the cloud, reducing or eliminating the need for costly data storage.
mPOS isn't just payment transactions
One of the advantages of a traditional POS system is the ability to connect to other front- and back-end business systems. And mPOS is no different.
mPOS software gives merchants access to a variety of reports, helping them find out who's buying what and to zero in on those elusive target markets. Once business owners identify the subsets of their buying audience, they can use mPOS technology in order to offer more relevant and personalized messaging via one-to-one marketing.
And mPOS terminals can be easily configured to access other business systems like accounting, payroll, and inventory via secure wireless infrastructure. In most cases, the mPOS terminal can serve as the primary connection for many business management tasks.
mPOS complements traditional solutions
While some small businesses are installing stand-alone mPOS solutions, many others are using traditional and mobile systems in concert. That's because combining the two multiplies benefits.
For example, restaurants and bars with traditional POS systems can add tablet-based mPOS in order to increase sales and speed up payment processing. With an mPOS device on each table, patrons can place multiple orders during the meal, including impulse add-ons like specialty beverages, appetizers, and desserts. Once the night is over, the tablet serves as the wireless payment terminal, keeping the card in the customer's hand and reducing the pressure on busy servers.
mPOS introduces big benefits for smaller merchants without weighing heavily on the bottom line. If you haven't talked yet with your small-business clients about mPOS solutions, now is a great time to start.
What's pushing your small-business clients to adopt mPOS?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeremiah Shea leads Ingram Micro’s DC/POS Payments Program and provides support for vendors like Verifone, Ingenico, Magtek, ID Tech, and Equinox. He has been part of the DC/POS division at Ingram Micro now for five years, working with all facets of the business for strategic execution. Jeremiah has also become the subject matter expert on EMV readiness and overall payments strategy. With a technical background and a sound understanding of the business, he is a great resource to tap for any and all questions relating to EMV, but more broadly anything DC/POS related as well.
Phone: 1-800-456-8000 ext 64810