The future of #pos and merchant #payments in a business environment dominated by the #ecommerce boom and the move to cashless? Let’s take a look.
POS systems facilitating merchant payments have been around for decades. During that time, they have evolved from simple cash registers to complex multi-purpose devices. From the massive adoption of credit cards in the 1980s to the first POS #software for MS-Windows in 1992 and from there to the introduction of the cloud in the 2000s and to the outbreak of the pandemic 2 years ago, POS systems and payments have gone through several transformation phases.
Having undergone all these changes, POS systems still remain today an indispensable tool for any merchant with an off-site presence. However, they go far beyond than merely facilitating the acceptance of payments. Integrated with ERP software, CRM systems or various other technical set-ups, they enable from inventory tracking to financial reporting to loyalty and marketing programs. For smaller merchants and business owners, they are often the main #technology around which they run their businesses, providing access to valuable data insights that they cannot get elsewhere.
However, despite all the above, POS is still poised for significant disruption, which, unsurprisingly, will revolve around a rather familiar topic: the customer experience or better formulated the #retail experience.
In this new evolutionary wave, POS integration to back-end functionalities and systems will be a given and the name of the game will be all about enabling new retail experiences by means of a frictionless, seamlessly-integrated check-out process.
5 particular use-cases and trends stand out:
- Amazon Go as a benchmark for integrating ID verification with payments
- QR codes’ increasing adoption as a contactless payment method with both push and pull variations
- POS software enabled on (Android) mobiles and tablets, allowing them to replace previous generation devices
- SaaS and subscription-based usage models increasing in popularity
- Open Banking slowly finding its way into facilitating POS payments
Going forward, POS payments are uniquely positioned to play a defining role in enabling hyper-personalized customer experiences. In this direction, 3 factors will play a make-or-break role: 1) the seamless blending of the online with the offline world 2) the use of rich, open data to build actionable insights 3) the emergence of new business models with novel monetization opportunities going through well-integrated, ecosystem-like, value-added services (VAS).