Back in the old days, a point of sale solution was a cash register and the product barcode. These inventions did make it possible for quicker and more accurate processing of item sales, but they didn’t provide a way to go mobile. It wouldn’t be until the 1990s that mobility would be introduced in the form of the wireless computer network. Networks like these allowed the staff at restaurants to process credit card payments directly from the customer’s table. Of course, many other businesses ended up adopting the solution.
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Benefits of Mobile POS Systems
Mobile POS systems have a host of benefits. Not only can payments be made more quickly, but some mobile systems offer enhanced features like the ability for customers to have their product questions answered, and the ability for employees to use the mobile point of sale system for other duties, such as inventory checking. Indeed, the mobile POS has allowed payment to be accepted anywhere that wireless service is available.
Merchant Warehouse reveals in an article that labor costs can be lowered, and employees can be much more productive when the mobile POS is used, because they no longer have to travel from the customer to a static point of sale. As well, there is less chance for error in receipts with mobile POS systems. The mobile POS solution also allows for loyalty programs to be seamlessly integrated into payments made. They can also cost a merchant up to 80% less than a traditional legacy system would.
Point of Sale Innovations
Many may be familiar with the ‘tap and pay’ systems now installed at many restaurant drive-through windows and at gas stations that allow consumers to simply tap their credit card over an ‘eye’ to process their transactions. This ‘contactless’ payment can shave as much as 30 seconds off of a transaction, which dramatically shortens the wait in line. But this is just one of several forms that mobile payment systems are taking.
Small mobile computers are being used in the restaurant industry to revolutionize the dining payment experience. The server takes orders via this small computer. The information is then instantly displayed at the bar and in the kitchen. Once the meal is ready, the chef only needs to push a button to print a ticket for the server detailed where the food is to be served.
Taking it one step further, an iPhone app would allow patrons to review the menu and place their order before they even arrive at the establishment to dine in or pick up their order, say an article by How Stuff Works. This experience is currently in practice at many eateries in the United Kingdom and is expected to soon reach additional countries around the world.
Concerns of Merchants Using Mobile POS Systems
Despite the rapid evolution of the mobile POS System, experts caution that merchants first understand some important considerations before they implement the mobile POS. The good news is that gradual implementation is certainly possible, and without the need to completely uninstall the system being used currently, which will definitely decrease costs.
Security is a definite concern of the mobile POS, on both the merchant and customer sides. Many recent reports of customer data becoming compromised have merchants wanting more than ever to ensure that their customer data via a mobile point of sale solution is protected.
The storage of data is another consideration that merchants should have. A new or expansion of existing data storage facilities will be required in order to ensure that all customer data can be easily and efficiently accessed with the utmost security.
When considering the mobile POS, due diligence is the order of the day for the merchants considering its implementation. Those companies already well versed in mobile payment technologies should be at the top of the list of any merchant considering the use of mobile POS systems.
How Long Can Merchants Wait to Implement Modern POS Solutions?
Those merchants already having POS devices that contain advanced features may have a leg up on merchants who do not. This is because newer, ‘enhanced’ devices make it that much easier for customers to pay for their purchases, as they don’t have to wait in line.
Another interesting point is that those customers used to dealing with feature-rich POS systems are very likely to demand that more stores carry them. In fact, this is almost a certainty, given that today’s customer appears to be turning more and more to social media, both to share their disappointment with a store or praise its positive attributes.
The merchant considering whether or not to implement the more modern system should also consider what they could be missing in revenue by not doing so, according to Merchant Warehouse. Those already using modern systems can not only greatly enhance the shopping experience of customers, but can also generate greater revenue by integrating things like loyalty points and coupons, which not only help retain current customers, but also help to attract new ones as well.