Mobile-based POS: Convincing merchants that it's worth the investment

It's understandable why some merchants are skeptical of integrating mobile-based POS devices into their payments ecosystems. In general, there's a lot of hype around mobile technology, so merchant prospects are often wary of drinking the Kool-Aid. When approaching such retailers, you need to back up your case for mPOS with hard evidence and careful regard for their operations. 

Clarify cost and integration concerns
Merchants assume rolling out mobile-based POS devices is going to be a hassle. For direct certifications, they would have to go through individual processor certifications for each device, which could take anywhere between six and nine months per certification. Then, merchants have to figure out how the mobile PIN Pads will fit into their operations - is their browser-based POS software compatible with the devices? Do the devices require new security protocols? 

For this reason, POS providers often turn to a third party that does nothing but payments development and on-going certifications. For mPOS providers, consider offering an integrated payments solution such as a payments hub with your POS deployments. These on-premise devices connect POS hardware and software - including mobile EMV card readers - across a merchant's location. A payments hub collects payment data and sends it directly to processors (not routed through a gateway), eliminating a potential breach point and the need for merchants to gather certificates for every mPOS device they plan to use. Payments hubs don't require any on-premise configuration either - merchants simply plug them into serial or Ethernet sockets when they arrive and they're ready to use. 

Cite customer experience benefits
Merchants want to get as much value from their staff as possible. Restaurant managers, for example, want to foster diner-server interactions, creating a social dynamic that patrons can't find in QSR. However, if servers need to leave tables to manually enter orders into a fixed POS system, this takes away time they could spend checking up on food, interacting with other customers or helping their co-workers.

Meanwhile, mobile-based POS devices don't isolate servers from their guests. In an interview with Forbes, Wade Allen, vice president of digital innovation and customer engagement at Chili's Grill & Bar, highlighted how the restaurants encourage more communication between patrons and wait staff with their mPOS devices.

"[The tablets] ... eliminate some transactional pain points, such as paying the bill or ordering dessert," said Allen. "This allows our team members to focus on the duties that make a personal impact on the dining experience, such as getting to know the table, taking entrée orders and delivering meals, among other duties." 

Explain how mobile POS affects employee productivity
Some mPOS devices come with additional features that enable managers to automatically track labor as a percentage of sales. For example, every time a server completes a transaction, the POS system logs the sales information and divides it by the server's hourly pay. At the end of the shift, the system divides the server's total sales by the number of hours worked. 

The automated labor tracking features provides restaurant owners with the knowledge they need to: 

  • Determine how many tables the average server attends across a shift.
  • Reward staff who perform at an exceptional rate.
  • Identify employees who may be struggling with meeting benchmarks.

Above all else, when selling mobile-based POS solutions to merchants, you must have a thorough understanding of their operations and pain points. Don't pitch functions that aren't going to enhance their day-to-day. Figure out how the technology will impact their labor, customer experience and costs and move forward with an offering that sets them up for success.

 

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