The mobile POS market is set to explode. Businesses in a variety of industries - from retail to entertainment - are adopting these portable POS solutions to fit the demands and preferences of their current clientele. This means POS developers need to get up to speed on what separates the best mPOS solutions from the decent options available on the market - and must do so soon if they hope to remain in-step with their competition.
Unsurprisingly, mobile POS success largely lies in the cloud. But that's not all it takes. Companies also need to integrate a flexible payments engine into their offering. In order for a Point of Sale app to be applicable to a variety of merchants, developers have to deliver support for all payment processors and ensure compatibility with a range of hardware options.
Let's take a closer look at how this market is shaping out, as well as what developers need to know and do to succeed in this opportunity-rich trend.
Rapidly rising, constantly changing
Global Market Insights recently released a forecast for the mPOS market in which it predicted that $48 billion will be spent annually on the technology by 2023. The analysts attributed this growth to consumers' demands, expectations and preferences.
The group also pointed to the vast benefits that accompany mPOS deployment compared to the continued use of traditional terminals and technologies as major factors leading to the popularity of these solutions. We explained some of those benefits in a recent blog post, specifically indicating that SMBs have a lot to gain from mPOS systems.
The role of the cloud in mPOS
Cloud-supported mPOS systems - as well as traditional POS environments hosted in the cloud - enjoy several inherent advantages. For one, cloud-based solutions can employ security-focused functionality, like point to point encryption (P2PE), tokenization and US EMV, to ensure the security of both merchants and cardholders. This security-focused approach not only reduces the threat of a data breach, but also assists in streamlining regulatory compliance-related activities such as those within the realm of PCI DSS.
What's more, the cloud tends to be better suited to rapidly changing IT environments and corporate demands, as innovation and upgrades can be far more easily navigated with the help of managed services firms that provide the solutions.
The Payments hub approach
“Integration” is one of the most important words in the POS developer's lexicon. Due to the immense increases in both the volume and variety of payment methods being used, an integrated payments solution has become a pre-requisite for serious merchants. In short, a payments solution that’s both integrated and flexible leads to improved sales, product management and maintenance.
Not all browser-based and mPOS solutions have integrated payments, which is where the payments hub approach comes in. A single integration to a payments hub (like Datacap’s TranCloud™) effectively ensures that the mPOS solution is both processor and hardware-agnostic, all the while allowing plug-and-play, out-of-scope EMV functionality with support for on-going updates. Developers that use this type of middleware will have more freedom to accommodate merchant requirements for various processors and hardware. Of course, this flexibility is critical when trying to develop a solution that will fit the needs of merchants in a variety of markets.
With the right payments integration, developers can move forward with a cloud approach and put themselves in a far better position by way of customer demand, tech adoption and system retention.