As technology becomes more advanced, customers continue to demand more from their shopping experiences, both online and offline.
To meet the needs of both retailers and shoppers, POS systems are becoming more and more versatile in the services they offer.
When debit and credit card readers were first introduced, they began to transform the way we make purchases. Current POS systems encompass a wide range of business functions, such as cashless transactions to data collection.
Today, keeping the customer happy in a competitive marketplace means offering a superior “customer experience.”
In other words, it is the retailer’s job to make the entire shopping journey, from product selection to checkout, as pleasant and user-friendly as possible.
How Versatile POS Systems Help the Retailer and the Customer
Business owners are certainly aware that a POS system can automate or semi-automate many business tasks, from inventory to order entry to data collection.
However, as technology and new payment methods continue to advance, versatile POS systems will become even more necessary.
Here are just a few of the diverse features that retailers should pay attention to when looking at the evolving POS market:
Cashless and Digital Wallet Capabilities
Though digital wallets – the ability to pay directly from your smartphone – have their fair share of skeptics, the number of digital payment options continues to grow. And the number of customers using these digital wallets also continues to grow.
Android Pay, Google Wallet, and Apple Pay are among the biggest names. But many other companies are jumping onto the bandwagon, including Chase Bank, Amazon, Alibaba, Samsung, and others.
Delays in adoption are due to security concerns, as well as slow adoption rates by both customers and retailers.
However, the sheer number of digital wallets being implemented suggests that this may become more than just a fad.
Another major trend we see in the payment processing world is the transition to EMV credit card readers.
On October 1st, 2016, banks shifted liability for fraud cases over to businesses, in cases where those businesses had not adopted chip-enabled card readers.
Though some argue that this is no reason to panic – after all, no one will be arrested if they aren’t EMV compliant – it’s clear that banks and industry leaders are aggressively pushing for EMV adoption.
And, as they do, more and more customers are being issued these cards, and security concerns may drive some people to shop where EMV cards are accepted.
Mobile POS Integrations
The biggest benefit to mPOS solutions is their portability.
They can be used on the floor, in the field, or wherever your staff happen to be. These systems often include a host of other functions, from cloud updates to design flexibility to data collection.
POS vendors are also continuing to introduce new integrations, such as mPOS devices that are able to accept both EMV cards and digital wallets.
Though mPOS devices are still in the minority, they are currently the most versatile devices, and may prove to be the standard at some point in the future.
Tomorrow’s POS Integrations
Although the POS and payment processing industries have encountered obstacles during their growth, expect technology to offer more integrations in the coming years.
Expect to see POS systems that offer even more advanced technologies and functions, such as:
- Age Verification
- QR / Bar Code Scanning
- Acceptance for All Major Digital Wallets
- Contactless Cards
Ultimately, the POS systems of tomorrow will be much more versatile than today’s most current models, making life easier for both retailers and customers.
The Bottom Line
If you want to keep up with the demands of your busy customers – and stay competitive – it pays to keep an eye on the busy world of payment processing.
The checkout line has a significant impact on customers’ wait times, their retail experience, and their perception of a brand or company.
Though all new technologies have an adoption curve, the history of credit cards shows how new technologies can eventually become the norm. In a few years’ time, all retailers may be using versatile POS systems that do much more than read magnetic stripes.