Contactless POS Terminals Find Future Growth

by Raymond Pucci 0

Pos terminal confirms the payment by smartphone. Vector illustration in flat design on green background. nfc payments concept

Apple, Google, and Samsung Pay users take note: the world will eventually become compatible to pay with your smartphone. As the following Internet of Business article reports, the next four years will see most installed POS terminals to be NFC capable.

By 2022, almost eight out of ten point of sale (POS) terminals installed by retailers worldwide will be able to accept NFC-enabled contactless payments, says a report from Berg Insight.

Back in March, French retail giant Carrefour, the world’s second largest retailer by revenue, announced the launch of Carrefour Pay, a mobile payment system that enables customers to pay for their groceries with a wave of their smartphone at the point of sale (POS). At its launch, the system was available in 3,000 Carrefour stores in France, and only to Android phone users carrying a PASS Mastercard or C-Zam payment card, but the goal is to make it compatible with all bank cards before the end of 2018.

The underlying connectivity for Carrefour Pay transactions is provided by near-field communications (NFC) – the same technology used by Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and others. This enables a payment card or smartphone to ‘talk’ to a nearby in-store POS terminal – as long as that terminal is also NFC-enabled, of course.

For many retailers, this has been an obstacle to offering this type of mobile payment in the past. Few have been willing to ditch their existing POS hardware and replace it with new systems without any certainty that customers actually want to pay this way.

We have seen more NFC-enabled POS terminals in the past year in the U.S. Apple has said that Apple Pay is accepted at about half of U.S. merchants in 2018. Unfortunately, smartphone proximity pay adoption has not taken off, and surveys, including Mercator’s CustomerMonitor Survey Series, find that it’s declining. Consumers need reasons other than simply making a payment in order to use a mobile pay app. Retailers like Starbucks and Walmart Pay are demonstrating that integrated features and convenience will be keys to success.

Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Services at Mercator Advisory Group

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