A Retailer's Guide to Mobile POS
Mobile point of sale (mPOS) is revolutionizing the way merchants large and small accept payments, and it’s taking over the POS market. Projections say nearly half of all POS terminals are expected to be mobile by 2019. Whether you’re a micro merchant like a “mom and pop” shop, a chain merchant with stores across the country, or a business without a storefront like a taxi company, there's a strong business case for adopting the cost-effective, wireless and flexible alternative to the traditional POS infrastructure.
Evaluate the costs of mPOS compared to traditional POS terminals. mPOS terminals can be integrated with a mobile device or tablet you already own or can be completely standalone.
With EMV migration and the rise of contactless payments, mPOS is seen as an affordable way for companies to adopt contact and contactless EMV as well as a mobile contactless POS infrastructure.
Consumers now expect merchants of all sizes to accept a variety of payment options, including mobile. Sixty-nine percent of consumers aged 18-34 and 58 percent aged 35-44 say they would only shop at businesses that offer multiple payment options, according to a WePay report. mPOS does it all.
With these benefits there are a few things to consider when looking for an mPOS solution for your business:
1. Data security as a priority: With the prevalence of data breaches, protecting your customers and your business is crucial. mPOS terminals arguably need to meet even more rigorous standards than traditional POS terminals. This is because smartphone technology is constantly active and connected through 3G and 4G, and is therefore vulnerable to malware attacks. Manufacturers are required to test their solutions and attain certification that proves they've met the expected security and trust requirements of the payments industry. Therefore, talk to your solution provider to make sure the solution you choose is certified.
2. EMV-certified: EMV isn’t a mandate, but the fraud liability shift that was set as of October 2015 says retailers can be liable for fraudulent transactions if they haven’t enabled their POS to accept EMV chip cards. Implementing a mPOS terminal that's certified for contact and contactless EMV can protect your customers and your business from in-store fraudulent transactions. When shopping for a mPOS solution, ask the solution provider if the terminal is EMV-certified.
3. Not overly engineered: The mobile industry is constantly changing. And while having all of the extra bells and whistles sounds great, you don’t want to end up with something that's obsolete in a year or two. Instead, look for a solution that has a balance between cost, functionality and interoperability. Know what types of payment you need to accept in addition to contact chip cards and magnetic stripe, whether it be contactless chip cards, mobile payments, an in-house mobile wallet or any combination, and look for a cost-effective option that incorporates all of your must-haves.
4. Post-implementation maintenance: This is especially important because not only are there multiple manufacturers of mobile devices, but also many different models and operating systems which are continually being updated. Talk to your solution provider about what will be required to keep your terminal up to date.
Interested in learning more about the opportunities and considerations for implementing mPOS? Read more about it in the whitepaper, “mPOS: Transforming the Card Payments Industry,” and in the infographic, “Seizing the mPOS Opportunity.”
Xavier Giandominici is vice president, Americas and financial services at FIME, a consultant and testing services provider within the payment, mobile telecom, e-ID and transit sectors.