What Is mPOS? (Definition, Advantages And Tips For Choosing)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 22 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

New technologies are rapidly transforming how small businesses receive payments. A mobile point of sale system (mPOS) is an important set of technologies that allow business owners to receive payments, even in the absence of a physical storefront. Understanding these systems can help small businesses and other organisations increase revenue and receive payment from a wider range of customers. In this article, we answer 'What is mPOS?', explore how they work and list some advantages they can offer.

What Is mPOS?

The answer to the question ‘What is mPOS?' is that it is a technology that enables business owners and employees to receive card payments from a smartphone or a tablet. These technologies enable enterprises to function outside of a set location and may give business owners and clients more flexibility in conducting transactions. In addition to handling transactions, these systems can offer small businesses a number of services, such as:

  • Physical and virtual gift card support

  • Refunds and returns processing

  • Inventory management

  • Customer loyalty programmes

  • Staff scheduling

  • Sales metrics

  • Security features

How Do mPOS Systems Work?

In simpler mPOS systems, you can attach a card reader to a device like a tablet or a smartphone after downloading an application. After linking the system to a business's bank account, you can accept card payments anywhere. It might be advantageous in some situations to employ a more comprehensive setup with additional functions. For instance, it can be useful to connect an mPOS system to a cash drawer if you anticipate that cash transactions might play a significant role in an enterprise's revenue. Additionally, you can add peripheral equipment like receipt printers or contactless payment readers to an mPOS system.

Related: What Is Merchandise Retailing (With Benefits And Types)

Advantages Of Using mPOS Systems

These are some advantages of using mPOS systems:

  • More flexibility: While it is feasible to keep an mPOS system in a specific location in a store, you can also consider the possibility of personnel carrying mPOS systems with them to facilitate transactions. This technology also enables businesses to remove the checkout area from the floor-plan of a retail establishment and provide more flexibility to both customers and employees, for conducting transactions.

  • Shorter wait times: Personnel in a retail establishment may be able to accept payment from consumers as they shop, using various mPOS solutions. This can assist consumers in completing purchases more efficiently as they browse offerings and help them avoid lengthy checkout line queues.

  • Higher sales: Mobile POS systems help companies minimise waiting time for customers and they may also encourage customers to make transactions more quickly or to make additional purchases. It can also help create a more personalised shopping experience, which may increase customer loyalty and sales revenue.

  • Decreased costs: Many mPOS systems include inventory management and customer relationship management features, which can help in minimising the number of devices involved and the costs their operation incurs. mPOS systems do not require the fixtures and wiring of traditional POS systems, which can help in cutting down expenses.

  • Increased mobility: Businesses may easily transport mobile POS systems everywhere they may be required to process payments in, as they do not require a set location to operate. This can enable employees to travel for business purposes, attend special events or create fully mobile business models, like a food truck, a mobile coffee shop or a flower cart.

  • Improved convenience: Using mPOS systems can allow customers to make purchases as they shop from anywhere in the store. It can also allow staff to provide a more streamlined and personalised customer experience in which one associate can guide shoppers through the entire purchasing process.

  • Greater productivity: Equipping personnel with mPOS systems might enable them to handle consumer checkouts along with other routine duties. Businesses need not put employees in charge of checkout stations, especially when business is slow.

Who Uses mPOS Systems?

Mobile POS systems can be useful in a variety of business settings, including:

  • Food trucks and mobile coffee bars

  • Retail stores

  • Restaurants, bars and coffee shops

  • Car dealerships

  • Farmers' markets and other outdoor shopping spaces

  • Concert venues and sports stadiums

Related: What Does A Retail Salesperson Do? (Duties And Career Path)

Tips For Choosing An mPOS System

The following are some tips you can keep in mind while choosing and setting up an mPOS system for a business:

Mitigate security risks

Since mPOS systems process most transactions electronically, they can help reduce some security issues related to physical cash drawers. Although, if they run on unsecured networks, web-based mPOS devices might likewise pose security risks. Securing a company's Wi-Fi network may be useful in preventing many common types of security breaches. If a business is purely mobile in its operation, managers may think about restricting operations to locations where they can ensure secure and steady network connectivity.

Related: Cyber Security Skills (With Examples And Tips To Improve)

Find a user-friendly platform

Choosing a user-friendly layout can often help businesses make the most of mPOS solutions. This encompasses ease of use for consumers as well as employees like cashiers. To simplify the shift to an mPOS system, consider selecting a system that necessitates little to no training for operators. You may also make sure that the system you choose offers an appealing user interface and enables straightforward client interactions.

Related: What Does A UI/UX Designer Do? (With Salary And Skills)

Limit costs

While investing in a new mPOS system, businesses may try to keep expenses to a minimum. This can enable a business to benefit fully from the system's potential for lowering costs and operational expenditures. Consider investing in affordable solutions that satisfy the specific logistical and operational requirements of the enterprise while choosing an mPOS solution.

Tailor mPOS solutions for enterprise needs

While deciding whether to invest in an mPOS system, consider the needs that are most crucial to a business strategy in place. Gathering insights pertaining to core requirements might help you select a system that best fits a business and service model. For example, finding a system with additional functionality like inventory management and customer metrics evaluation may be useful if you work in a small firm with limited resources.

Related: 13 Types Of Business Needs To Improve Business Operations

Compare features

Once you determine the needs of a business, you can compare the features of various mPOS systems and find one that suits the most pertinent requirements of the enterprise. Here are some features you can consider:

  • Cloud integration: This feature allows mPOS systems to automatically backup data to a cloud to avoid data loss.

  • Offline access: If a Wi-Fi connection drops or becomes unstable, this feature helps you to continue processing transactions.

  • Multiple payment types: This feature enables you to record and process card payments, contactless payments and in some cases cash-based transactions.

  • Inventory management: This feature helps you monitor inventory levels every time a consumer makes a transaction.

  • Customer metrics: With this feature, mPOS systems can track the volume and value of customers' purchases and offer suggestions for increasing revenue.

  • Gift card management: This feature can help a company process physical gift cards and virtual gift cards and coupons.

Related: 8 Inventory Management Software Solutions (With Benefits)

Useful mPOS Systems For Small Businesses

These are some useful mPOS systems for small businesses:

1. Square

Due to its adaptability, Square is popular among quick-serve establishments, cafes, merchants and mobile service enterprises. The prominent features it offers include personalised invoices, credit card payment processing, unpaid invoice reminders and mobile integration. All you require to set up square is a phone, a laptop or a tablet along with a card reader.

2. Clover

Clover is a cloud-based platform for POS. It caters to all kinds of businesses, including restaurants, retail stores and professional services. Clover enables software and hardware payment processing. In addition to its POS platform, it also provides business tools for personnel management and client interaction.

3. Lightspeed Retail

Lightspeed Retail is a cloud-based POS system appropriate for businesses selling items including shoes, jewellery, sporting goods, home decor, clothing, pets and bikes. Retailers can quickly obtain sales information, immediately identify top-selling products and use integrated customer profiles to offer personalised services to improve client loyalty.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

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