In television commercials today, you’ll often see consumers paying for purchases with their smartphones as they shop in a variety of locations. In reality, however, mobile payments are still relatively rare—and more a matter of mind share than market share.
While micro-merchants and some larger pioneers such as Starbucks are moving into mobile payments, the vast majority of merchants are not. Their reasons vary. Larger merchants are often worried about the cost of rolling out new point-of-sale (POS) systems, while smaller merchants may not see the need to change or may lack the technological skill required to change. As a result, traditional payment methods are still very much the norm.
But that is likely to change in the near future. Increasingly, merchant POS systems are being designed to work with smartphones and tablets. Together, these technologies create a mobile POS (m-POS) platform that will be the focal point of POS evolution. This advance is presenting merchants with a compelling value proposition in terms of costs, agility, and customer engagement—a proposition they will need to understand and embrace in the coming years.