4 tips for introducing in-store mobile payments
A lot of smaller-footprint retailers, especially pharmacies and drug stores, have maintained a consistent customer checkout and payment structure for as long as we can remember. With fixed stations located in the front of the store and within pharmacies, there’s been little incentive to change.
But these days, the size of the store is irrelevant — it’s the size of the experience that matters.
Most retailers looking to deploy a new or upgraded POS system should be focusing on mobile POS. Based on the fluctuating state of retail, a new need for helping consumers check out and pick up pre-ordered goods quickly or even deploying pop-up drive-through-type facilities, it no longer makes sense to lock yourself into a traditional POS system.
Deploying in-store mobile devices, however, doesn’t have to be a significant undertaking. Here are some considerations to guide you through the process.
Formulate a Deployment Strategy with a Partner
It’s easy to assume that mobile device manufacturers are well suited for helping develop a mobile POS device deployment strategy. But, there are multiple decisions to be made, such as the hardware, scanner and payment system that will work for your organization and software platform.
An independent, third-party service provider is best for unbiased, vendor-neutral expertise while helping evaluate usage, hardware, application, network and security needs. Third-party providers can ensure your network has enough bandwidth to support the required devices, conduct site surveys to determine software needs and provide installation support. Integrators also can leverage their retail experience for a smooth rollout and support device-to-network PCI compliance.
To Purchase or Not to Purchase?
Mobile POS devices continue to evolve, with new generations boasting faster speeds, more memory and greater capabilities. But how often should you really “trade up?”
One alternative to purchasing is choosing a hardware-as-a-service option. With this service, retailers have access to the latest mobile devices and a full range of peripherals for a monthly charge. And, you can upgrade as new devices are available or as store needs change. A HaaS contract can be customized to include warranty, software, support, installation/deinstallation and shipping.
Accessorize to Add Value
No one wants to have multiple devices for multiple applications within the store — one multitasking device is better. So, choose a device to suit every need, such as mobile POS payments, on-the-floor sales support and inventory management.
All-in-one mobile POS solutions, such as the VeriFone PAYware Mobile e335, integrate a wide variety of payment types with image scanners. The Ingenico iCMP, which also has EMV chip and pin, magnetic and NFC/contactless payments, can be used with iOS or Android. Other solutions, such as payment sleds for the iPad Touch or iPad Mini, can empower associates on the sales floor with immediate product information, inventory searches and payment processing.
Security and Support
Given that wireless device thefts are on the rise, security is particularly important for any mobile payment strategy. Make sure policies and solutions are in place to protect assets and information — including customer information — with services like remote wiping and deactivation. Also, consider exceeding PCI compliance to ensure the mobile program is future proofed.
Retailers should also have a support plan in place. Including support services as part of the up-front planning can help optimize mobile policies and make operational workflows more efficient.
With the proper mobile strategy that focuses on mPOS and supports pricing, inventory, merchandising and other systems, retailers can better engage with shoppers on their own terms, adjust quickly to changing consumer and industry needs, and leverage the best technology tools to get the job done.
Brad Fick is the president of DirectSource.