Mobile POS - Merchant Concerns

Russell Harty |

August 8, 2013

Mobile POS - Merchant Concerns

The market for mobile POS systems is rapidly evolving, but there are considerations that merchants should understand before implementing in-store mobile solutions. As with any new technology the most common concern of merchants is cost, but mobile POS systems may be implemented gradually and can be an extension of an existing point-of-sale (POS) solution or a stand-alone device, so customization and a phased approach are easily doable with mobile POS. Additionally, mobile POS systems are typically very easy to use, requiring minimal staff training and quick adoption. 

Another major concern area for merchants is security, ensuring that customer data is protected through wireless technologies and mobile checkout devices. Regardless of size, all merchants are subject to PCI compliance regulations, so security and data protection is of upmost important regardless of what payment acceptance technologies are used. Following are three areas that merchants should address with any mobile payment technology, including those that offer or include mobile POS.

Data Storage

Mobile solutions incorporate in-store promotions, workflow strategies, integration with shopping applications and fixed terminals, and security protocols to meet PCI compliance standards. These initiatives require greater data-storage capacities and integrated security measures. Card associations require that retailers comply with strict guidelines when collecting, storing or transmitting payment information.

 

Inventory Control and Antitheft Programs

Mobile systems empower greater control of inventory, but stores still need to implement antitheft procedures for mobile POS and self-checkouts.

 

Use of Personal Information

Companies can send emails, special promotions and receipts electronically, but they still need to protect their data, get permissions to send material, and make sure that customer information never leaves card readers unless first encrypted.

 

Like any technology solution merchants leverage for business management, due diligence on the provider, equipment (hardware and software) and compliance certifications is always critical. A majority of merchants are aware of their respective PCI compliance requirements and look to their credit card processing and/or POS solution provider for support in these areas. Providers with longstanding history in payment technologies will be a merchant’s best bet in terms of new mobile offerings, including mobile POS, but it’s critical that they do the research, understand the costs and the benefits, and ensure that the chosen solutions provide security alongside business opportunity.