It’s tempting for small merchants to see cash through rose- (or should we say green-) tinted glasses, but major industry players think it’s time to break up the love affair — or, at least, give both parties some distance. Players like Mastercard are encouraging micro businesses to give mobile payment acceptance a whirl, hoping they’ll feel the attraction. And, for businesses already embracing point of sale (POS) innovations, developers are unleashing new features to keep the honeymoon going.
Mobile point of sale (mPOS) means a lot of things to a lot of people — whether it’s cutting down checkout lines in Dubai or letting customers pay-later by invoice in Sweden. For businesses worldwide, mPOS increasingly means not just a payment terminal, but also tools for smarter business management and budgeting.
Consumers, too, are becoming enamored with mobile commerce in some places, with U.K. consumers reportedly making twice as many contactless payments compared to last year.
The December PYMNTS mPOS Tracker™ charts the latest headlines in the mPOS space, from tricked-out terminals with comprehensive business tools to WeChat Pay’s debut in France.
Around the mPOS world
The latest solution from restaurant tech platform and software as a service (Saas) firm Toast, in partnership with back-office platform Synergy Suite, aims to sweeten restauranteurs’ payment experiences. What the firm has cooked up isn’t just an mPOS system, though — it also includes tools for managing the daily work and decisions that go into running a restaurant. That means incorporating food safety monitoring features, such as temperature alerts, suggested ordering and daily profit and loss reports.
Restaurants aren’t the only businesses wanting to savor the taste of mPOS, infused with business operations tools. British payment services firm PayPoint wants to dish up similar support to convenience store retailers with its newest electronic payment offering, EPoS Pro. With the offering, convenience store owners can adjust prices, check stock inventory in real-time and handle other functions, all while on-the-go.
Meanwhile, some consumers may find payments are a piece of cake — or, perhaps more precisely, a piece of croissant. Chinese tourists in France can now pay retailers using the same WeChat Pay mPOS tool they use back home.
For a roundup of the latest developments around the mPOS space, check out the News and Trends section in the latest Tracker.
Mastercard’s mobile coup to dethrone cash
Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) clinging to cash based on the belief that it’s the cheaper way to accept payments are due for a wakeup call, according to Prashant Sharma, vice president and global lead for Mastercard’s mPOS acceptance team.
In a recent interview with PYMNTS for the Tracker’s feature story, Sharma explained that cash-only can be a customer turn off and a lost data opportunity for merchants. The friction of rooting around for cash can overwhelm a customer’s desire for a low-price good, and lack of bills on hand can curb consumer spending below what they would otherwise be willing to pay.
Pricey terminals with all the bells and whistles can seem too rich for small merchants’ blood, but what about a smartphone instead? That’s a device most all business owners already have, and that’s where Mastercard is targeting its new payment solutions in a series of European mPOS acceptance pilots.
“If you think about merchants that only accept cash payments, there are various things they are missing out on,” Sharma said. “If you’re only accepting cash payments, you have no data about your transactions. You don’t know who your best customers are, [and] you don’t know what products are most popular. You’re just getting cash in and cash out. Enabling a [digital] payments solution gives you access to analytics and much more information.”
To read the story, along with the latest mPOS headlines and trends, and for rankings of 290 major providers — including four new additions — download the mPOS Tracker.
To download the December edition of the PYMNTS mPOS Tracker, click the button below.
About The Tracker
The PYMNTS mPOS Tracker™ is readers’ go-to resource for staying up to date on a month-by-month basis. The Tracker highlights the contribution of different stakeholders, including institutions and technology coming together to make this happen.