As the world embraces contactless payments amid a pandemic, fintech firms have started making plans to streamline the process and offer merchants better solutions, e.g., upgrading a smartphone into a payment processing gadget.
The advent of the mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) or the use of a smartphone as a transaction processing terminal in the place of old school solutions is a significant step in payments.
As long as a smartphone is NFC-ready (or enabled with a near-field communication chip), it can process payments electronically. All the buyer has to do is tap a card or phone to pay.
Thanks to the mPOS, retailers can now take card payments in situations where they once could not. This innovation is particularly beneficial for taxi drivers whose businesses involve moving from place to place.
And the technology is spreading like bushfire. By 2026, mPOS terminal shipments will increase to 32 million gadgets, up from 20 million this year. These figures represent a 56 percent increase in demand, according to Juniper Research.
NMI is a fintech company that offers omnichannel payments. Currently, the platform is working on a test project with MasterCard Inc. to engineer an mPOS unit. The new device will link to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, which backs up payment records on the cloud instead of the hardware or smartphone.
Both retailers and shoppers turned to contactless alternatives to reduce the chances of catching Coronavirus, says Nick Starai, a senior executive at NMI. Most brands wanted to link with shoppers at the curbside and set up a handheld payment terminal with tap-to-pay capabilities, which increased the usage of contactless and mPOS.
Moving forward, these three factors will continue to drive mPOS adoption:
- It is cheaper to set up than other payment alternatives
- Mobile POS involves low hardware integration
- Payment flexibility/mobility
“ These three factors will pull more and more small and medium brands to the mobile point of sale,” says Sumit Varshney, VP of sales at OLS Payments.
NMI will focus only on Android smartphones because Apple’s tech stack isn’t open to upgrades by developers.
Some other significant moves anticipated to make mPOS mainstream include:
- Apple’s acquisition of Canada’s Mobeewave, a contactless payments solution, in July 2020. The $100 million deal could help turn iPhones into payment terminals.
- Square is working to transform an iPad into a POS terminal to simplify the payment process for shoppers.
- Last month, Visa rolled out its tap-to-phone payments test in the US with 50 retailers in Washington DC, and the firm plans to move to other major US cities.
With different companies making strategic moves, it’s evident that payment enablers are getting ready to impact tap-to-pay in many creative ways. Hopefully, these moves will achieve their primary goal; to make payments more accessible and convenient for customers.
Author Bio: Blair Thomas has been a music producer, bouncer, screenwriter and for over a decade has been the Co-Founder of eMerchantBroker, the highest-rated high risk merchant account processor in the country. He has climbed in the Himalayas, survived a hurricane, and lived on a gold mine in the Yukon. He currently calls Thailand his home with a lifetime collection of his favorite books.