The mPOS evolution

Clunky cash registers are being scrapped for pocket-sized dongles that plug into smartphones and sleek tablets with a host of business management apps.

This revolution at the POS allows merchants to better connect with their customers, create a more sophisticated user experience and be more cost effective.

It all started with Square Inc. The company, founded by Jim McKelvey and Jack Dorsey, also the founder of Twitter, which has become the poster child for the mPOS industry. Square has led the change how micro merchants, who typically only accepted cash, handle payments today.

Soon after Square's mobile card reader success, many other payment providers, including PayPal, Intuit and iZettle (and a handful of banks, psp’s and startups) soon jumped at the opportunity of building their own mobile card-accepting devices.

Since the mobile card reader market started in the U.S., many of the devices were not equipped to accept EMV chip-cards, a standard most other developed economies around the world have migrated to a while ago. Providers with international customers soon built modules to accept chip-cards and PIN numbers. Others recently even announced mobile card readers that accept NFC payments and Apple Pay.

Not only have these devices lowered the cost compared to traditional pos that sit on in-store counters, they have also enabled merchants to connect with their customers and create loyalty features to generate customer retention.

As the dongles popularity grew, large and established retailer chains started seeing the value of this disrupting technology and began using mPOS technology to create a more sophisticated checkout experience for their clients.

This interest by big corporations led to the development of sophisticated and industry specific tablet-based POS and business management systems, such as Orderbird, a Berlin-based provider of a tablet based business management platform for restaurants and bars, for whom Upnext built the payment infrastructure.

Vendors that provide tablet POS systems have raced to include value added features to the payment process.

Former Google and PayPal executive, Osama Bedier recently announced the next generation of Poynt POS system. Poynt is a separate hardware device, which is sleek and future proof, with the ability to accept magstripe, EMV, BLE, NFC and Apple Pay payments.

But even more important Bedier built a POS ecosystem running on Android with the ability to house apps similar to smartphones. So the future is near, where merchants will be able to apply for business loans via their POS terminal or install apps for accounting services directly onto their POS system.

The bottom line is: The evolution of the POS has just begun. We will be seeing more revolutionary technology in this space that will enable the retailer to target their customers personally, create a seemingless shopping experience and utilize services for their business directly via their POS terminal.

Upnext has been at the forefront of mPOS technology. If you are ready to explore the opportunities in this field, or if you have an existing infrastructure that you would like to transform, improve and scale - just drop us a line. We will be happy to share our insight with you and help you design a customized solution for your needs.