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Expert opinion

Future of the point of sale: the transition to SmartPOS

Thursday 4 August 2016 | 09:00 AM CET

Hans – Peter Nies, BBPOS InternationalSmartPOS is evolving from a simple cash register to an intelligent point of sale system that recognizes products, customer habits and payments

The point of sale is already in transition. It is evolving from a simple cash register to an intelligent point of sale system that recognizes products, customer habits and payments. This evolution started in super- and hypermarkets, but the core processing was done on enterprise backend systems. With the introduction of the first mobile readers, the opportunity emerged to bring that intelligence to the POS system and for payment devices to become mobile. This new user experience opened the minds of customers and users on how and where such new smart devices can be used.

Mobile point of sale started with a swipe reader directly connected to a tablet or mobile phone but development hasn’t stopped. Moving away from a ‘one model fits all’, the market now has the option to choose from a varied selection of mobile payment systems, depending on local requirements and demands.

At the entry level, there is a relatively simple device that can be used to accept Magnetic Stripe, Chip and Contactless cards. It is an ideal solution in markets where PIN entry is not required. Such devices are connected to tablets or mobile phones via Audio jack, USB or Bluetooth.

More advanced devices cover the acceptance methods mentioned above, but also have a PIN pad to enter the user’s PIN code in a secure and PCI approved manner. When such devices were initially introduced to the market, the connection was via Bluetooth to a tablet or mobile phone. Now, such devices also have connectivity enhancements like Wi-Fi and important new features such as 2G or 3G connectivity. Such features enable direct connection to a Gateway or a Bank and an external mobile phone or tablet is no longer needed.

The next step in the evolution is a smart mobile POS device equipped with a touch screen that is easily programmable and based on popular operating systems such as Android, iOS or Windows. This device combines the functionality of a smartphone with a payment device in one easy package. Unlike traditional POS terminals which require specialist knowledge of often proprietary operating systems and interfaces, this new approach takes advantage of industry standard operating systems and opens smart mobile POS systems to a wide community of developers. These developers can now implement their industry specific applications for verticals such as Retail, Hospitality, Food and Beverage, etc. directly on a device that is also optimized for payments.

Having all of these innovative features readily available will enable users to conduct their business and accept card payments in a smart and mobile environment.

In summary, the primary reasons for moving to a Smart mPOS system:

 - The cost effectiveness of smart mPOS devices will encourage more users (merchants, workers, etc.) to accept cashless payments.

 - Cashless payments can be accepted in mobile environments.

 - The Smart mPOS device facilitates the development of a safe, secured mobile POS system that is easily to implement by software developers.

 - Customers will have a better user experience, thus, making the choice to use cashless payment methods much easier.

About Hans – Peter Nies

Hans-Peter Nies is Vice President of Sales, Europe and Africa, of BBPOS International. He holds a Master’s Degree in Informatics from the Technical University of Darmstadt and has more than 15 years of experience in the card acceptance and processing business. Prior to joining BBPOS, he directed sales at ID Tech and ViVOTech and headed the software development and card processing team at UTA.

About BBPOS International

BBPOS was founded in 2008 and is an electronic payment solution provider headquartered in Hong Kong with regional offices in the US, Europe, Singapore and China. We created mobile payments at a time when smart phones were in their infancy. Today, the company is respected as a leader of mobile POS solutions, serving key sectors including mobile merchants, retail, hospitality, delivery, transport and government.

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