Magazine Article | June 25, 2012

VARs' Guide To Mobile POS & Payments

By Business Solutions magazine

Significant Trends

Mobile Threatens Traditional POS Sales — “According to IHL’s 2012 Mobile POS Market Survey, mobile POS devices will cannibalize 13.1% of traditional POS shipments by 2015. These are powerful numbers. VARs need to embrace mobile solutions now to not only reap the rewards of this exploding demand, but also keep themselves relevant and in the game.” Barry Wise, senior marketing consultant, Epson America.

BYOD: Bring Your Own Device — “With the advent of ‘apps’ and the ability for consumers to download them freely, POS can be readily distributed with virtually no start-up infrastructure. This will allow a whole new group of start-up POS companies to get into a market that would have been daunting just a few years ago.” John Giles, president, Future POS.

New Opportunities To Connect With Customers — “Mobile devices such as the Apple iPad, Android tablets, and Windows tablets are giving restaurants new opportunities to connect with customers and realize more productivity. Using these devices as a payment device with full POS functionality really resonates with customers.” Joe Cortese, VP of product development, Squirrel Systems.

Pitfalls To Avoid

Don’t Overlook Security Concerns — “As mobile continues to become popular with shoppers, there’s no question that keeping customer information safe will become a major concern with both consumers and regulators.” Henry Helgeson, co-CEO, Merchant Warehouse

Choose Wisely — “While many of the tablet- or mobilebased POS solutions have some great features, some offer a very lightweight solution. Are they right for your merchant? Understanding all of the features, benefits, or lack of functionality is really important. Also, choosing the right hardware is key. Mobile POS offers a cost-effective solution, but is often not as hardened as a typical POS. That might be okay in some environments, but not all.” Michelle Plomske, VP of emerging technology, Mercury Payment Systems

Understand Wireless Networking — “Wireless networking can be challenging to a VAR who’s just getting started. Things like where to place access points and, depending on the technology being used, figuring out the finer points of RDP (remote desktop protocol) present a learning curve. Still, it’s not so difficult that a seasoned tech can’t figure it out. You will certainly need to know this if you want to be around in 10 years, so you might as well bite the bullet now.” John Giles, president, Future POS

Sales Advice

Mobile POS Can Extend To Multiple Areas — “VARs looking to sell a mobile POS solution should also consider capabilities for additional selling applications such as price and inventory checks, product location finding, and multichannel integration. An integrated solution must include a large screen to facilitate sharing information with customers, an integrated scanner for price and inventory checks, and the ability to integrate a credit card reader.” Bill Brennan, senior director of channel sales, Panasonic Solutions for Business

Mobile POS Evolves Rapidly — “We’ve established that mobile is going to become one of these driving technologies. The problem: Mobile is a nascent technology. Not every current solution will survive. Today’s Facebook is tomorrow’s MySpace. POS VARs need to avoid being stuck with an obsolete MySpace-type solution. Sales success really begins and ends with demonstrating how this technology will adapt to future need. Merchants fear, and rightfully so, new technology. What can POS VARs do to alleviate these concerns?” Henry Helgeson, co-CEO, Merchant Warehouse

Why Sell Mobile POS Solutions?

Big Mobile POS Growth — “I recently read that ‘66% of retail respondents are interested in mPOS, and 42% are currently piloting or starting trials within the next 36 months.’ If that’s not enough to motivate a VAR to have a look, I don’t know what is.” John Giles, president, Future POS

Retailers Want It — “I guess the better question would be, ‘How can VARs survive without selling this technology?’ It’s the fastest-growing trend in retail we’ve ever seen, and retailers are either currently installing it or working on plans to incorporate it into their stores. VARs need to take advantage of this truly unique time in retail POS.” Barry Wise, senior marketing consultant, Epson America

The Benefits Of Mobile POS Are Plentiful — “In the retail and restaurant industries, customers are looking to mobile POS solutions to improve efficiency and increase profitability. Mobile solutions allow restaurants to streamline order processing and reduce wait times. They also give retailers the ability to conduct remote sales or give restaurants the opportunity to add outdoor seating.” Christophe Naasz, director of marketing, Star Micronics