In the age of digital payments, mobile point of sale systems (POS) are making inroads with the promise of time-saving conveniences for merchants. These systems can provide restaurants with the ability to check their inventories or update their menus, for example. But interest in this technology is not limited to the food and beverage space, and is gaining traction in many different verticals.
Retailers are becoming more interested in omnichannel offerings: The PYMNTS mPOS Tracker found that 67 percent of those surveyed listed it as a priority for this year. And nearly half – or 45 percent – of those respondents foresee mPOS features to be essential parts of their omnichannel efforts. At the same time, new technologies are coming on the market to serve these merchants.
From Walgreens to HP, retailers and technology providers are embracing the world of mobile payments through the help of point-of-sale technology. These are just some of the ways these firms are working toward a future where consumers can make payments through mPOS at brick-and-mortar retailers:
Ten thousand U.S.-based Walgreens stores will soon accept Alipay. The mobile payment platform will become available at thousands of Walgreens locations throughout the U.S. As of February, the payment method was available at 3,000 brick-and-mortar Walgreens stores in places such as San Francisco and New York. By April, Alipay is set to expand to more than 7,000 Walgreens locations. President of Operations Richard Ashworth said in an announcement, “Walgreens is focused on making shopping more convenient for our customers. This collaboration has particular significance for our Chinese customer population, who now has a new way to experience Walgreens.”
The global POS terminal market’s expected value by 2023 is $109.5B. And technology and payments firms are collaborating to bring offerings to market. HP, for instance, announced in January that it was teaming up with PayPal to release what it calls an “all-in-one” point of sale (POS) unit. HP VP and GM of Retail Solutions Aaron Weiss said, according to reports, the company is “leveraging the success that we’ve had in the upper tiers of the retail and hospitality market and bringing that together in a way that addresses needs of SMB retailers and hospitality operators.” The Android-based POS is said to be called the HP Engage One Prime.
Four hundred Atlanta-area Girl Scout troops will pilot Clover mPOS devices. The Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Council has teamed up with First Data to supply more than 400 Girl Scout troops in the area with Clover devices through a pilot program. Alantria Harris, senior director of product programs and retail for Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, said in an announcement, “We are excited to provide cutting-edge technology options to our girl entrepreneur leaders. It is our goal to make sure they have the tools that will allow them to have a successful cookie business.” Clover lets shoppers use credit cards and debit cards as well as digital payment methods, such as Samsung Pay.
Nearly half – or 45 percent – of retailers see mPOS solutions as top priorities. Shopgate said in a report of this finding that “if utilized properly, mobile can serve as a vital channel to conduce consumers to react between the digital and the physical, converting their typical “idle” attention to an engaged and actionable one.” In other omnichannel trends, the firm noted retailers are adopting the buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) model, as well as buy online, return in-store (BORIS) shopping options.
The global POS terminal market’s projected CAGR from 2018 to 2023 is 11.2 percent. And payment companies are rolling out new products. In October, Square announced the rollout of its Square Terminal, an integrated, all-in-one card processing device. Square Head of Hardware Jesse Dorogusker said in a press release at the time, “Payment terminals are everywhere, from liquor stores to dry cleaners to dentists, and with Square Terminal, we can now serve these sellers better with new, elegant hardware on top of Square’s fair and secure payments service.” The company was offering a trial period of 30 days for merchants to test the product.
From Square to Walgreens, retailers and payment providers are working to bring new mPOS offerings to market. And with growing interest in mPOS, solution providers have been bringing their products to new markets or bolstering their presence in existing strongholds to serve the needs of customers looking for mobile payment solutions.