The channel opportunity around mobile POS

Mobile phone

Recent research has shown that despite mobile in retail being worth $7.8bn globally, mobile POS (mPOS) solutions are rarely seen or interacted with by consumers in shops, restaurants or any other sales-oriented outlets.

As we know, integration of new technology requires time, effort and skill, but having invested in mPOS many companies are not implementing it, which offers an opportunity for VARs.

mPOS can’t be considered in isolation; it is an extension of existing POS solutions and offers much more than a point of sale. VARs who offer advice to customers need to consider whether the mobile POS system can upload sales, update inventory and integrate into existing accounting packages, so that it can be truly useful to the customer.

In addition, a VAR can guide the customer towards hardware that is fit for purpose. mPOS devices may have to withstand rough handling and be ergonomically comfortable to manage, particularly during a long restaurant or retail shift, so they have to be rugged and serviceable.

Where there is any uncertainty about how to implement mPOS, a proactive VAR can step in to become the customer’s advisor. What are the problems they are experiencing? Do they relate, for example, to cash management or device management, are they worried about training staff or completing transactions, have they considered the advantages of POS printers? If a VAR has a plan for dealing with these challenges, their value to the customer will increase accordingly.

Experience in the customer’s specific market is also helpful. For example, VARs who understand how restaurants operate will be able to help restaurateurs to set up their mPOS systems in a way that suits their business; in the retail market mPOS can be specified and used to reduce queue sizes during busy periods or to take customer enquiries away from the cash tills.

Another opportunity for resellers is in the security and configuration of the system. mPOS tablets can be dropped, so device security and repair need to be offered and customers may require help in configuring and implementing a suitable WiFi network. The relationship should be ongoing to ensure the smooth running of the system.

For resellers who are already heavily involved in selling POS, the arrival of the new kid on the block – mPOS – does not represent a threat. Instead they are likely to find that customers see mPOS as a way to enhance and extend their use of fixed terminals to improve their services to consumers. So adding mobile POS is a great way to realise new business from old customers as well as opening the door to fresh opportunities.

Owen Chen is CEO, Posiflex Technology, Inc.

IHL Group -