- Category: December 2015 - Omnichannel Marketing
A mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) is a smartphone, tablet or dedicated wireless device that performs the functions of a cash register or electronic point of sale terminal. It is a flexible and cost-effective method to conduct transactions without having to invest in an electronic register or pay someone to support the software.
Any smartphone or tablet can be transformed into an mPOS with a downloadable mobile app. The vendor generally sends the business owner a card reader that plugs into the mobile device's audio jack after the app got registered. Some mPOS software vendors also provide optional hand-held docking stations (called sleds) that allow the mobile device to read barcodes and print receipts.
Depending on the software, a mPOS can operate as a stand-alone device that's simply linked to the business' bank account or it can be an integrated component of a larger, legacy POS system. To protect cardholder data, customer data is always encrypted and stored in the cloud - not on the device.
Risks and benefits associated with mPOS
mPOS implementations allow service and sales industries to conduct financial transactions anywhere, improving the customer experience (CX), and freeing up valuable real estate that would otherwise be dedicated to a POS countertop. It gives merchants a choice that’s secure and performs well, not to mention point-to-point encryption and flexibility However, the deployment of software-based encryption and key management techniques increases the risk of key compromise, risking loss of reputation and large fines.
Popular mobile POS vendors include PayPal, Square, Intuit and VeriFone.