Company Spotlight

Retail: The Tip Of The MPOS Iceberg

“Consumers like the convenience that [mobile point of sale] (mPOS) solutions provide in traditional retail stores and say they are willing to recommend retailers that use those solutions to their friends.”

That was the big takeaway from PYMNTS.com’s August 2013 MPOS Tracker, but this conclusion doesn’t paint a full picture of the report or the shifts that are taking hold in the mPOS world.

ROAM CEO Ken Paull characterizes the current mPOS environment as one that’s flourishing with a variety of new use cases that extend well beyond retail. One of the most important use cases, according to Paull, is happening in the insurance sector, where mPOS is offering insurance agents the ability to take down payments and bind agreements to increase their volume of sales.

“It’s opening up totally new segments of business, not only for mPOS, but for credit card payments and electronic payments in general where in the past they haven’t been utilized,” Paull told PYMNTS.com (0:55).

Paull said that this is allowing insurance agents to strike while the iron’s hot. Whereas in the past, consumers could change their minds before mailing a check for insurance, mPOS is reducing this pain point.

Still, the new use cases that are shaping the industry don’t end there. For more on the other segments that are beginning to harness the power of mPOS, PYMNTS.com spoke to Paull in an exclusive interview.

Transportation, Health Clubs And mPOS

Paull opened the discussion by describing “a whole slew” of examples of how mPOS is being used in a similar manner as in the insurance use case. Real estate agents, health clubs and apartment leasing agents, Paull noted, are some of the less publicized businesses gravitating to the solution to quickly convert customers and collect electronic payments.

Paull couldn’t name specifics due to non-disclosure agreements, but he hinted that government verticals are also adopting mPOS solutions for many of the same reasons as these institutions.

New Opportunities In The FI Sector

In the previous examples, mPOS is providing businesses with a way to differentiate their services from the competition. But, Paull indicated that for banks with merchant acquiring programs, mPOS isn’t an option, it’s an essential solutions due to current trends.

“In many cases, they’re finding that it’s also a defensive ploy to help secure customers from going to other non-FIs institutions or another FI institutions that have an mPOS application,” Paull said (Jump to 4:42). “I think banks are starting to wake up to see that some of their competitors are beginning to offer this to their commercial clients, and not just in the retail segment.”

Paull added that FIs are beginning to see that mPOS has a use case in nearly every vertical. He noted that for FIs, mPOS can be an invaluable way to start signing merchant accounts, sure up portfolios and generate leads.

What’s Next For ROAM?

While Paull remained tight-lipped about the projects that are helping it to define the mPOS space, he did mention that ROAM is close to making announcements with two major processors and two super-ISOs launching, maybe even as soon as in the next month.

“We’re going live with launches in Europe and in South America, and we think that we’ll be able to announce one or more of those opportunities,” Paull said (8:26).

For more insights and analysis on the ever-changing mPOS space, listen to our full podcast with Paull here.

 

*If you have trouble with the audio player above, click here.


Ken Paull, CEO of ROAM

Ken has over 20 years in senior management roles in the electronic payments industry including senior vice president at RBS Lynk (now WorldPay), vice president at Triton Systems and general manager at VeriFone. He was responsible for building and rapidly growing what is now WorldPay’s national account payments division while also directing the turnaround of what had been a declining ATM processing business. While at Triton, the company surpassed NCR as the second largest domestic ATM supplier and also became the global leader in retail ATM deployments. At VeriFone, Ken built their major account, retail division which has become one of the largest segments of their business. Most recently, Ken has held positions of board director at Access to Money, director at Market Platform Dynamics and president of Pax. A native of the Boston area, Ken holds a B.S. in Marketing and Communications from Babson College, as well as an MBA in Telecommunications Management from Golden Gate University.

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