The 5 Most In-Demand Mobile POS Features
What's next when it comes to mobile point-of-sale (POS) technology? As more retailers roll out new mobile POS systems, the demand for next-generation features is growing. No longer content to use mobile POS technology that can simply take payment information via a mobile device, retailers now want up-and-coming solutions that not only improve the front-end customer experience, but also back-end efficiency and integration as well.
Here are the five most in-demand mobile POS features you should watch out for before the close of the year:
1. Multiple payment options: Thinking beyond the traditional credit/debit card swipe, mobile POS systems should be able to handle chip and PIN, near-field communication (NFC), European chip and PIN, and RFID via key fob. Since making a sale ultimately means accepting whatever form of payment a shopper wants to use, multiple payment options is one of the top industry demands when it comes to mobile POS. While it's surprisingly often forgotten by mobile POS vendors, multiple payment options also means that mobile POS systems should include the ability to take cash transactions.
2. Enterprise-grade, built-in security for global use: With the retail industry cracking down on overall security for payment information given the consistent threat of hacking rings and cybercriminals, enterprise-grade security has become more important than ever. Retailers are focusing on integrating security solutions that adhere to the PCI Data Security Standard, with software certified as PCI-PDS and hardware as PCI-PTS compliant. This ensures that no information is actually stored on the mobile device and, as such, can't be retrieved if the device is hacked. Furthermore, retailers are starting to require EMV 1 and EMV 2 certification, which authorizes PIN and integrated chip payments from debit, credit and smart cards.
3. CRM integration: It's not just about taking payments; retailers want mobile POS solutions that are multifunction, with the ability to not only integrate with legacy POS systems but also sync with CRM systems. This allows retailers to collect critical information on customer spending habits, giving them the potential to upsell a shopper at the POS with suggestions for complementary items.
4. Barcode scanners: Though it may seem straightforward, barcode scanners that automatically activate with a simple swipe across the scanning field are an in-demand feature for mobile POS. As retailers look to cut down the overall checkout time for a customer — helping to move additional foot traffic through stores and the checkout process — an edge can be critical. In addition, barcode scanners are an essential piece of real-time inventory management, turning your mobile POS system into an all-in-one answer to both front-end and back-end efficiency.
5. Apple devices (still!): Apple devices continue to be a favorite of retailers when it comes to selecting devices for their mobile POS. The key for retailers is that Apple devices are highly popular with staff, and thus require limited training resources. The key here is that mobile POS systems must be able to offer compatibility with Apple's new lighting connectors, which require a brand new port for connectivity.
Pascale Juan is the chief operations officer of I Love Velvet, a provider of mobile POS solutions for enterprise retailers.