Mobility solutions firm, Mahindra Comviva has released a study in association with the Aite Group, a research and advisory firm, outlining the evolution of mobile point-of-sale (mPOS).
The study discusses the development of mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) acceptance methods, from their origins, as electronic payment services for small merchants to a channel used by larger enterprises to extend and enhance their customer service.
The study is based on the analysis of interviews done with various leading organizations active in the payments industry. This also includes primary research done by leading researchers across the globe to understand the evolution and demand patterns of mPOS acceptance methods across industries.
The study indicates that cards will account for 273 billion transactions at a combined value of some US$30 trillion by 2018.
However, as mPOS grows, new forms of payment will flourish, including NFC-enabled mobile devices bringing greater flexibility to payment acceptance.
The report draws attention to the next generation of mobile based payment services benefiting from mPOS. NFC capability coupled with flexibility is a powerful aspect of the next generation of mobile payment acceptance devices.
Aite Group research indicates that from 2015 to 2018, contactless mobile transactions have the potential to reach 4% to 5% of retail payments with growth in transaction volume accelerating after 2020. With the evolution of mPOS capabilities, hardware sales have also shown significant growth. Discussions with leading point-of-sale (POS) vendors indicate that the total sales of mPOS hardware in 2014 amounted to around 10 million devices.
Commenting on the study, Srinivas Nidugondi, Senior VP and Head of Mobile Financial Solutions at Mahindra Comviva, said, “In a fast-evolving digital economy, mobility is a critical business enabler. mPOS helps merchants to modernize their business by offering speed of deployment and flexibility to deliver tailored solutions that can transform their relationship with their end customers. We are confident that mPOS will lead to the advancement of payment solutions and would pave the way for mobile payments growth across industries in the years to come.”
Andrew Copeman, a payments analyst at Aite Group, commented, “The world of payments is at the start of a process of change more fundamental than ever before. New business models and partnerships with more flexible solutions having payment acceptance at their heart are the order of the day, but the key ingredient that weaves through the rapidly evolving landscape is mobility; the ability to accept payments at the customer’s convenience and at a greater variety of locations than ever before. mPOS is moving from a niche service into the mainstream of modern commerce.”
mPOS allows businesses to re-engineer their operating models by engaging with customers in newer ways previously not available to them. Today’s mPOS offering provide more than just an easy way to accept payments. Tablet-based services allow demonstration of product, provide information on offers, permit deliveries to be scheduled, and enable filling of application forms, as well as accept payments.
mPOS juxtaposes mobile services with the rise of digital payment instruments. It enables new sales and fulfillment channels, empower staff with more information at their fingertips, allow retailers to develop more engaging store designs to draw the interest of shoppers and more. mPOS services can be configured in many ways and its adoption is only going to grown from here.
As mPOS moves beyond the small-business environment, application software is becoming the centerpiece of new POS systems increasingly tailored to be used across industries. Systems can be customized by means of associated software applications designed and downloaded to specific market segments and geographies. The era of one-size-fits-all POS systems is disappearing.
Mobility brings many new opportunities to enhance customer engagement and has been grasped not only by traditional players, but also by large enterprises, across industries, including healthcare providers, insurance companies, home delivery firms, couriers, and businesses in the transport and leisure sectors etc.
Alongside the evolution of mPOS hardware, payments acceptance is changing from the traditional card-based environment to cloud-based services. This move is stimulated by the wave of investments in mobile-device-based payment developments, using NFC contactless technologies, as well as the emergence of host card emulation and tokenization technologies. Next-generation POS services will be increasingly cloud-enabled, easing the transition from card-initiated to smartphone-initiated payments.
Traditional payment service providers are addressing this opportunity, but as the industry grows further, mPOS will bring a host of new suppliers into play, including new specialists, such as Mahindra Comviva, as well as software developers, bringing more innovative product offerings into the market.
The payments industry is poised to undergo significant change. The beneficiaries will be those organizations with the imagination to embrace the potential this new payment and communications channel has to offer.