Get Ready for Mobile POS

Customers rarely carry cash these days, and they expect merchants to accept debit and credit cards, no matter where they are. That’s why it’s more necessary than ever that businesses have mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) terminals.  

 

A mobile point-of-sale terminal can be a tablet, smart phone, or similar wireless device, equipped with point-of-sale apps  that act as a traditional POS system. There are many options, including Square, LevelUp, & Shopkeep. These allow you to process payments anywhere, and can even come equipped with a credit card swiping mechanism, or be set up to accept mobile payment from apps like Google Wallet or ApplePay. They’re plug and play systems that make it easier than ever for merchants to process payments. 

Implementing mPOS devices can offer merchants many benefits. They drive sales in any environment, helping merchants provide more personalized customer experiences, and even helping promote a business’ reputation. Adding mPOS solutions to existing payment systems can also help manage customers during busy times, when you may need additional options for processing payments.  

Plus, mPOS solutions are easy to implement, inexpensive, offer customer convenience, and integrate with loyalty programs and other services. They also give merchants a less-expensive option for accepting EMV cards. 

While traditional POS will always maintain a strong hold on the marketplace, mPOS represents a substantial opportunity to expand point of sale solutions for your clients.  

Mobile Wallet Will Continue to Grow

For years, we lived by the cash-is-king philosophy. With the rise of mobile payment options, cashless systems continue to be more important.  

Mobile payments come in many different forms: e-checks, Apple Pay, bank apps,  and more. Mobile wallets are one cashless trend that has really taken off in recent years. Since 2015, the number people in the U.S. using mobile wallets increased from 23.2 million to 37 million, with the highest usage seen among younger age groups.  

By 2020, mobile payment volume is expected to increase by 80% compound annual growth rate, bringing it to $503 billion, according to Business Insider. The number of in-store mobile payment users is also expected to rise at a 40%, five-year CAGR, to reach 150 million by the end of 2020. This growth could represent 56% of the consumer population during that year. 

Mobile wallets give customers faster and easier point-of-sale payment options. Businesses can integrate loyalty programs into customers’ mobile wallets, so targeted coupons and special offers are automatically available at the time of purchase.  

Merchants can also gather extra customer data via mobile wallets, which they can use to enhance purchasing experiences. Upgrading POS system hardware to support mobile wallets offers businesses the added benefits that come from accepting cashless payment, while meeting the needs and wants of their customers.  

MasterCard Adding BIN

MasterCard has recently announced that it is creating a new BIN (Bank Identification Number) for their cards. They will start issuing cards beginning with the number “2,” to supplement the existing 5 series of BIN numbers.  

 

This not only expands the number of available cards, by creating additional secure and unique numbers, but also meets the need for new card numbers which are needed for payment tokens when cardholders load their card into a digital wallet. 

This change may require merchants to perform a system update to comply with their MasterCard agreement. Your POS must be able to support this new BIN range by June 2017. Anyone identified as noncompliant will have 30 days to resolve the issue before receiving an assessment, which could be:  

  • $2,500 for the first month of noncompliance 
  • $5,000 for the second month of noncompliance  
  • $10,000 for the third month of noncompliance  
  • $20,000 for the fourth month of noncompliance, and every month thereafter until the issue is resolved 

A systems analysis will determine any changes that are required. Software providers may have updates available and internally developed solutions may require enhancements. This change may affect issuers in the following areas:  

  • Routing and processing  
  • Reporting and reconciliation  
  • Dispute processing  
  • Rewards and loyalty  
  • Online banking  
  • Balance transfers  
  • P2P payment processing  
  • Card production  
  • Card design  

 

The credit card processing industry is constantly evolving. The secret to success is being adaptable to these changes, and making customer service a priority.  

Point of Sale Evolving

Point-of-sale (POS) systems are evolving, and merchants are moving to these systems in droves as technology makes them more accessible and cost effective.  

New tablet and mobile products have made POS technology even more affordable and easy to use. In the past, POS systems were so cost prohibitive that only big retailers could afford them. Units ranged from $10,000 to $100,000, making it impossible for a small store or restaurant to afford it.   

Now, even mom-and-pop establishments can have state-of-the-art POS systems that track inventory, customers and employees, and process sales, all for less than $1,000.  This responsive technology can often mean the difference between the survival or failure of a small business, giving these merchants access to the tools they need to efficiently run their business.      

Some of these systems can even do customer relationship management.  Merchants can send sales and promos directly to clients via email and text messages, using these targeted promotions to drive business.  

Many new POS systems have built-in loyalty and reward tracking. Merchants can track purchases of specific items or visits. The system keeps track of these details right on the receipt, motivating frequent shoppers.  

Merchants can also customize screens to make it easier for employees. Pictures and prompts can help employees make choices that ensure customers get exactly what they want. Bar scanners and scales can also be incorporated into POS systems. Many POS systems can go mobile for sidewalk sales or trade shows. The options are endless.    

Implementing a new POS option can save merchants time and money, and keep them in touch with their customers. The entire transition can be done in less than two weeks, and the results can help streamline their entire business.     

Credit Card Chargebacks

The EMV chip is the biggest trend in credit card payments. Merchants have been trying their best to migrate to EMV since the liability shift in 2015. However, a major roadblock has existed in the certifications of their systems.   

While many merchants had new payment acceptance devices installed by 2016, they couldn’t accept chip cards because they were still waiting for EMV certifications. Major credit card companies have worked to streamline the certification process, including implementing chargeback limits on businesses affected by automatic chargebacks when they didn’t support chip cards.  

The goal of these programs was to speed up chip adoption by U.S. merchants. Even a small number of chargebacks can harm a business’ financial health, and EMV certification is the best way for merchants to avoid credit card chargebacks altogether.  

While least 70% of credit card holders have at least one EMV card, by December 2016, only about 70% of retailers were equipped to process EMV card transactions. Implementing EMV can help merchants avoid chargebacks and save on future point-of-sale fraud costs. However, chargebacks can still happen in e-commerce purchases.