Management & Finance

Mobile Payments Streamline Brick-and-mortar Checkout

Mobile payment devices are wireless, lightweight, and easy to carry. They can expedite in-store payments and eliminate customers having to stand in line at fixed counters.

Mobile payment devices are wireless, lightweight, and easy to carry. They can expedite in-store payments and eliminate customers having to stand in line at fixed counters.

The checkout counter at brick-and-mortar stores can have long lines, which create stress and frustration for shoppers. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Mobile devices can streamline the payment process.

Mobile payment acceptance means that physical-store merchants can process credit and debit card transactions from anywhere and not necessarily at a counter. Employees with tablets or smartphones that are paired with a card reader can accept swipes, dips (chip and PIN), or contactless taps.

The devices, which are wireless, lightweight, and easy to carry, provide a mobile point-of-sale — mPOS — that can be moved around in stores, warehouses, and almost any location where a customer could make a payment.

Use Cases

Pop-up shops, markets, fairs, seasonal events. Merchants frequently want to expose goods and services to consumers beyond their brick-and-mortar store or ecommerce site. Temporary markets such as fairs and seasonal events are an excellent opportunity. And once a consumer has decided to make a purchase, an mPOS can consummate the transaction.

Inside the store. No one enjoys waiting in line. Mobile devices allow merchants to accept payments from anywhere, including the back of the store, which also frees the counter for other purposes, such as returns and cash transactions that require change. And expediting the payment process improves customer satisfaction, increasing the likelihood of repeat sales.

Payment on delivery. Delivery drivers can use phones or tablets to accept payments.

Inventory management and lookup. Many mobile payment platforms integrate into existing inventory management and ecommerce systems. Employees can use their mobile devices to help shoppers find what they what. Out-of-stock items can be shipped to the customer. All of this can be completed quickly inside the physical store.

Sample Providers

  • Square. The original mobile point of sale. Square’s small card reader attaches to a phone or tablet and then transmits the payment info by Bluetooth or phone jack.
  • PayPal Here. A popular alternative to Square with only minor differences in pricing. The functionality is the same.
  • Clover Go. Another similar offering to Square in terms of function and price. However, Clover Go offers a wider range of payment processors.
  • Shopify POS is ideal for merchants with Shopify ecommerce sites. Using Shopify POS, merchants can transform to a physical store quickly and accept card-present transactions.
  • Lightspeed Retail. A feature-rich point-of-sale tablet that can accept payments, manage inventory, and organize sales teams.

Considerations

mPOS can increase sales, convenience, and satisfaction. But merchants should plan carefully.

  • Reliable internet. mPOS platforms require a strong internet connection. If you’re considering a pop-up shop or a local market booth, make sure your mobile device receives a reliable internet connection.
  • Cash payments. Most all mPOS providers can record cash payments. However, it’s the merchant’s responsibility to manage and secure the bills and change. Cash drawers and lockers are relatively inexpensive and easy to find.
  • Receipts. Customers expect receipts as proof of payment. Moreover, card brands (and governments) require merchants to issue receipts. All mPOS providers can issue digital receipts (email or text) via a customer’s phone number or email address. If customers require printed receipts, merchants will need an integrated printer. Mobile receipt printers can be expensive. And don’t forget the cost of ink and paper.
  • Battery power. Your tablet, phone, card reader, and printer will require recharging. Depending on its use, an mPOS device will typically require charging at least daily and likely more. Make sure you have a good way of keeping your devices charged.
Mike Eckler

Mike Eckler

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