Mobile Payments and mPOS: Express and easy checkout

Mobile phones, with their texting and video chat applications, have definitely taken over our means of communication. Thus, mobile wallets and mPOS come as no surprise to modern consumers who are looking for fast and easy payments in stores or even on-the-go systems. According to eMarketer, 2016’s mobile payment transactions are estimated to reach $27 billion, which is three times more than the $8.7 billion achieved in 2015. Users are also expected to spend an annual average of $720 from last year’s $376.

What is mPOS?

The mPOS, also known as mobile POS is a portable point of sale (POS) on a device that functions as a register. It is a new technology in the point-of-sale industry, and it was initially designed to allow customers to pay through card readers attached to a smartphone. The continued evolution of new technology constantly pushes retailers to update their POS. A mobile POS system is ideal for businesses such as food trucks, home and repair services and market vendors. MPOS is easy to use. You simply need to select the software that suits your business, download the POS app, connect your reader to the mobile device and finally take payments instantly.

The retail industry has been revolutionized

Thanks to the mPOS, the point of sale has grown from the checkout counter to any square foot of the store where a customer is ready to buy. Today, merchants are able to accept a wide range of cashless payment systems on the spot. They can also provide exceptional customer satisfaction and build loyalty like never before. The mPOS system is more than just a luxury. It is a necessity, especially in the highly techno-savvy world where consumers literally live in their smart devices.

MPOS is secure and simple to use

MPOS is popular because it is secure, affordable, convenient and easy to use. A safe mPOS is PCI compliant and lets users take encrypted payments such as chip cards and NFC payments like Apple Pay. As the mPOS system consists of an intuitive interface, it is easy to use and easier to get employees trained quickly. Secure mPOS systems give merchants greater flexibility in accessing their data remotely, thus allowing them to view and manage business functions from anywhere, provided they have internet access.

Cashiers become sales consultants

MPOS helps in improving customer service as cashiers become sales consultants. The latter can provide better information to customers and assist them in making more informed decisions. This can, in turn, drive higher revenues.

Mobile payment systems are the new trend

Mobile payments are defined as payments carried out wirelessly via a mobile device. In-store checkout efficiency provided by mobile apps streamlines and enhances the overall consumer payment experience with guaranteed seamless fraud prevention at a quickest possible time spent in store. With 90% current location services just offered to U.S. consumers, mobile payment apps’ location-based deals offers are informative, relevant and easier to act upon.

Alisa Ellis, Discover’s Vice President of Global Products and Solutions, has pointed out that retailers can think of mobile payments as a broad commerce platform that enhances the overall consumer experience with speed and security as its key benefits, and also engages the tech-savvy customers, who are willing to leave their conventional wallets at home.

But what other advantages do industry-leading mobile payments have in store for customers? Mobile wallet offers an amazing range of benefits to its users.

Experience an extraordinary customer service

Have you ever found yourself into this awkward situation where you only realize that you have forgotten your wallet at home, or even worst — you have lost it — at the till in front of a twenty odd pair of curious eyes? With mobile payments, you will never again lose control.

But mobile payments are fun and safe in many ways. For example, consumers can log in all their loyalty programs through the merchant’s app, and have access at any time to their transaction history and accrued rewards. Also, with merchant’s cooperation, the collected set of points can be converted to available rewards once the apps are connected to in-store beacons.

MPOS helps you get closer to customers

In this highly competitive retail world, businesses can no longer wait to interact with customers until checkout. If they want to attract more customers and maintain consumer loyalty, they need to find ways to assist customers in the aisles. With mPOS, they can check customers out from multiple locations in and around the store. They don’t have to wait but can interact with their customers anywhere.

Mobile payments are quicker and safer

Immediate checkout means speedy service and satisfied customers, and mobile payments are faster than any other methods of payment (card, cash etc.). With the tap of the phone at the counter, a hurried customer will leave the shop quickly — even if it is during peak time (e.g. Monday morning in the café outside a central underground station).

Last but not least, retailers incorporating major mobile wallets are getting the latest security features that chip-grade transactions have to offer. Other applications, such as shop and pay on-the-go, are creating a more holistic, seamless shopping and payment experience for consumers, in exchange for loyalty and future business deals, as Ellis explains.

Mobile payment increases profit

A wide range of merchants is already making profits thanks to the mobile payment revolution that is extending to every corner of the world. According to research, companies that embrace and accept mobile payments are more successful and profitable than any other businesses. Reducing the time required to complete a sale boosts sales and profits. In a world where everyone is engrossed in their busy lifestyles, customers want convenience. Fortunately, mPOS enables efficient and accurate transactions.

Pay through mPOS without staying in queue

Another impactful way to drive a successful purchase is by empowering the merchant’s staff to assist customers with their payments wherever they are in the store, without having to queue in busy lines. Allowing more time for shopping and minimizing the waiting payment time are the best things that mobile point-of-sale systems can offer to customers. mPOS systems are also used for customers to return and exchange items. Once again, there is no long waiting queue. 

Mobile POS systems involve risks

Even though mobile POS has numerous benefits, it also involves risks and major challenges that should be considered. First of all, theft and merchandise shrink are likely to increase. As customers may process their own transactions with mobile technology, there is a minimal amount of monitoring by store employees. This can result in theft. Moreover, if employees start using mobile devices or tablets, security cameras may not capture transactions that occur throughout the sales floor.

Security is a major issue

One of the major disadvantages of mPOS is the lack of security. Mobile devices lack many features of computer security and have threats such as malware, insecure environment and communication attacks. While a typical hardware POS system is secured and placed in a controlled environment with a limited access to the Internet, a mobile device is not as secured as generally expected. Most mobile devices are not equipped with firewalls or other safeguards. Mobile devices normally contain sensitive and personal data. Mobile hackers can easily access those data. Luckily, there has not been a large number of mobile breaches yet.

According to a well-known cryptographer and security expert, terminals in merchant locations can be the focus of future attacks. His research demonstrates that POS terminals in Europe might be partly infected to perform EMV pre-play attacks.

There is still hope in the form of tokenization

Experts believe that authentication is the key to addressing the issues associated with mobile POS. The payment industry can improve mobile payment security with enhanced solutions for strong authentication. There are some security measures that can protect mPOS systems – card authentication and tokenization. Card authentication checks whether a credit or debit card is legitimate. This helps in preventing fraud.
On the other hand, tokenization is a technology that removes payment data from transactions.

It is an ideal way of bringing security to digital payment processes. Tokenization is defined as the process of replacing sensitive card information and billing information with a unique identifier that cannot be altered. Tokenization is increasingly used in the payment processing industry. It allows users to store credit card information in mobile wallets and POS terminals without exposing the original information.

Mobile POS is expected to grow in popularity

Even though mobile POS has certain security risks, it is expected to grow further in popularity in the near future. The mobile POS market was valued at USD 14.62 million in 2016. According to Global Market Insights, this figure will increase by 2023 to be about USD 48.77 billion. Retailers worldwide are advised to embrace and implement this explosive phenomenon in order to maintain their position in the highly competitive industry. Customers are constantly changing their shopping behaviour and they are increasingly going digital. It is in the best interest of retailers to adapt their businesses to suit the growing demands of consumers.

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