Mobile point-of-sale systems, or mPOS, are a digital replacement to normal POS systems, using any form of touchscreen mobile devices, such as an iPad, smartphone, or tablet. When added to the iPad, smartphone or tablet, it can serve as a mobile cash register, giving staff the ability to ring up sales anywhere in the store.
mPOS can be an addition or a standalone
mPOS systems can also be used in conjunction with other electronic POS (ePOS) systems, making them more portable than ever, although they do not need to be attached to an ePOS system to work. Many modern stores use mPOS systems only, by connecting the mobile device and card reader directly to an online platform that processes the transactions. This is a typical solution for small businesses as the mPOS system is cheaper to implement and provide the store with payment security, flexibility, and faster transactions. This, in turn, improves the customer experience by shortening the wait time for payment.
Major advantages of using mPOS systems
Implementing an mPOS system costs much less than the normal ePOS system, being the cost of just the mobile device, the attachable card reader, and the online software. Normally, these are included in a package whereby the merchant can lease all three for a low monthly fee, meaning there is very little outlay to get your payment system online. It is also cheaper to switch between mPOS systems and keep the system and software updated.
Reduced checkout times
Another advantage of the mPOS system is the reduction in waiting time for the customer. mPOS systems speed up the checkout time by being mobile – so the customer does not have to wait in a queue – and by being more than three times faster than normal ePOS systems. This also impacts your staff efficiency, saving you money and allowing them to serve more customers, increasing their productivity.
Within the mPOS software is the capability to reach out to customers via SMS or email. This means you can keep your customers updated on the latest offers and discounts, as well as saving money on printing flyers for your loyal customers. Inbuilt loyalty programs can also be personalized to your business, customer purchase history, buying preferences and trends, and specific personal occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries.
Another major benefit of the mPOS system is its flexibility. It is portable enough to be carried by staff in the store, so they can assist customer queries faster, and provide a mobile checkout service anywhere in the store allowing customers to check out on the spot. They can also be used at outdoor events, such as trade fairs, exhibitions, and custom functions.
Accurate inventory management
In order for staff to better assist customers, the system can hold valuable information about customers and stock, ensuring staff can help the customer find what they need in seconds, and can be integrated into an endless aisle system to allow instant ordering of stock from suppliers for out-of-stock items, meaning you do not lose the sale.
Less space used
Space is at a premium in any store or restaurant. Space taken up by a checkout counter could better be used for more stock, promotional items, or another dining table. It also means more space in the back office, as large computer systems and file storage is no longer needed. In the restaurant trade, it can be utilized to efficiently serve the customers, make sure orders do not have errors by sending the order directly from the device to a kitchen printer, faster checkouts, and produce higher profits.
Things to remember with mPOS systems
An mPOS system is connected to a mobile device, which is connected to the internet for cloud storage and information. Even though the chances are minimal, it is important to prevent your device being infected with viruses by:
- Installing antivirus and anti-malware programs
- Use only legitimate, trusted apps
- Add a lock code to the device for security
- Always keep the device software and apps updated
While it may not be possible to lose a huge cash register, it is possible to lose a mobile device, so it is best to make sure it is always locked between transactions, and have an app to delete the device’s data if it gets lost or stolen. Customer data is stored in the cloud, so there is no risk of a breach of customer security.
mPOS can be the future of checkouts
mPOS has been around for a while, but solution implementation has been more successful in the hospitality business than anywhere else. Restaurants, bars, hotels, and small retailers are finding the system easier and more effective to use than traditional ePOS systems. And with the rise in the popularity of mobile devices for contactless payments, mPOS may become more popular in the future, and make the whole customer experience the best it can be, with flexibility and convenience for customer and merchant alike.
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