Although they have proven their worth to many small to midsize businesses, mobile POS (mPOS) devices are also finding a following with larger retail companies. A recent study by the Yankee Group found that 29 percent of retailers plan to deploy mPOS within the next year, while 32 percent of stores with employee counts over 500 have already taken the plunge with these devices.
Smaller stores adopted mPOS systems because they found the systems could be used with equipment they already had. In 2010, such devices found a huge SMB following with the development of Square technology devices that allowed merchants to charge credit cards from their smartphones and tablets. According to findings from BIA/Kelsey, 40 percent of SMBs currently use mPOS readers to accept payments in stores.
Recent shopping seasons have shown that larger retailers, such as Home Depot, J.C. Penney, and Urban Outfitters have provided floor staff with mPOS devices to shorten customer lines and wait times, especially during peak seasons. According to MobilePaymentsToday.com:
It is generally held that mPOS devices with inventory management capability will improve the customer shopping experience. ‘Sales associates equipped with an mPOS device can help a customer find an item they are looking for, and then they can accept payment for that item,’ said Arkady Fridman, a senior analyst and consultant with Aite Group
But retailers aren’t the only ones adopting the newish technology. Even service providers have found that mPOS complements their business. MediaPost reported:
While consumers may associate mobile registers mostly with coffee shops and small retailers, the research firms say the professional services sector is really where the trend is taking off. ‘A wide variety of services are doing this, everybody from the blue collar guy who picks up recycling to your personal trainer to your accountant,’ said Steve Marshall, director of research for BIA/Kelsey.
Although shortening customer lines, improving customer service and ease-of-use are top reasons behind adoption of mPOS technologies, another reason retailers love using these devices is because they incur fewer heavy fees than traditional cash registers and payment terminals. Both Square and PayPal charge less than three percent of the purchase price for each transaction. That could prove to be big savings for SMBs and big retailers alike.