Guest Column | July 8, 2014

5 Lies You Might Hear About Mobile POS

Scott Holt, Vice President of ROAM, responds to concerns some merchants — and maybe even some VARs — have about mobile point of sale.

Is mPOS less secure?

Mobile point of sale (mPOS) can be equally secure or even more secure than a fixed terminal POS solution, provided you are working with the right vendor. Why? There are several layers of security. The newest generation of mPOS solutions provide end-to-end encryption, which prevents hackers or other intermediaries from obtaining or tampering with any cardholder data. Secondly, these mPOS solutions never store any of the cardholder data on the mobile device itself. Third, since a mobile device is not hardwired into an in-store network, there is no single point or fixed communications line for hackers to exploit and penetrate these devices, or the data on the network. With so many precautions and security measures in place, vendors can easily incorporate mPOS without worry.

Do you have to sacrifice functionality with mPOS compared to a countertop-based system?

The most common use case for mPOS today is complementing countertop terminals with mobile ones. They are generally not meant to replace countertop systems, but rather to extend POS capabilities more broadly throughout the merchants’ operations — for instance, for in-store kiosks, curbside pickup, community events, and in-home services. Used in tandem, modern countertop terminals and mPOS solutions can deliver a cost-effective, robust, secure, and seamless alternative to the big, all-in-one electronic cash register systems that became popular in the 1990s.

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