mPOS: Getting started with mobile point of sale

Everything you need to know to implement mPOS successfully

Looking for queue-busting solutions? Need to accept payments outside? Want to streamline your hardware down to one device? There’s lots of reasons to consider mobile point of sale (mPOS) these days. This article will arm you with the information you need to make the right choices and ensure your mPOS project is a success from the start.

But first of all:

What is mPOS?

mPOS is a wireless device that can be used to take payments from anywhere with an internet connection.

How does mPOS work?

Traditionally, mPOS worked by connecting remotely to your point of sale (POS) set-up. This could be fixed to your countertop or a tablet carried by your sales staff. But now, there’s a new kid on the block:

The Android mPOS terminal

Android mPOS devices are all-in-one, smartphone-sized terminals that can be used to manage several functions at the same time. These might include:

  • Accepting payments
  • Managing your inventory
  • Checking a customer's previous orders

This video says it all:

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It’s the first in a new generation of mPOS terminals which we expect to become the standard. So it’s worth evaluating if you’re considering mPOS.

Why is everyone excited about mPOS?

If you’re searching for mPOS solutions, you’ll doubtless know what problem you’re looking to solve. But, just in case you need more convincing, here’s a breakdown of the benefits of mPOS and why now’s a great time to invest.

No more queues

According to a study we made in 2019, long queues cost UK businesses over £11bn each year. Not only will two-thirds of customers abandon their purchase, but only one quarter will return. Ouch.

mPOS devices are a simple way of eliminating queues by letting customers pay from anywhere. Payment can be taken the moment they decide to buy rather than sending your customer off to join a long queue at the other side of the store.

No more fixed point of sale

Some retailers we work with have decided to do away with the till area completely. This is particularly popular in luxury settings. With no cash desks, the store is given over completely to product and service. The mechanics of the sale are handled quickly and discreetly via an mPOS device without detracting from the magic of the experience.

Take payments outside

Whether you’re popping up, locking down, opening doors, or serving through your window, it’s handy to have a device you can use anywhere. With mPOS, you’re not shackled to a static indoor till system and can take payments wherever government regulations dictate. This is also proving popular with customers that feel safer paying outside.

Remove the hardware juggle

How many devices are your sales staff carrying around with them? Do they connect properly? Do batteries drain too quickly? With every additional piece of hardware comes an additional point of failure, an added cost, and more maintenance. If you choose a new all-in-one terminal, all your sales functions can be installed via apps to a device the size of a smartphone.

Easy to get going

If you want to get started quickly with mPOS, you can integrate a standalone option. No need to negotiate database licenses, you simply turn them on and off you go. This is great for pop-ups but also for piloting large-scale roll-outs. The overhead of running a pilot is low since you just need the terminals. Plus, since they run independently from your existing POS setup, you don’t risk any downtime. We offer a range of standalone POS terminals, including the Android portable model: S1F2.

Choosing the right mPOS terminal

There’s lots to consider when choosing new terminals. How will they fit into your existing set-up? How will they adhere to security protocols and are they compatible with existing acquirer agreements? All of this is much simpler if your POS terminal provider is also your card acquirer since encryption, back-end technologies, and boarding procedures are more straightforward.

Another important consideration is your supporting devices. It’s common to see POS set-ups that require an iPad, which runs on a separate system. Currently these next-gen, all-in-one terminals are only available through devices running on an Android operating system. So, if you still need your iPad, you’ll probably be looking at a clever way of glueing the devices together so they’re easy to carry. We’ve seen solutions range from velcro to purpose-built carry-cases.

What makes a good mPOS roll-out?

Every hardware roll-out has its challenges along the way. But it needn’t be painful if you lay the groundwork from the start. Based on our experience, here are some key elements of a good mPOS roll-out.

Total buy-in from top to bottom

Believe it or not, a new POS terminal is a reason for your whole organisation to be excited. It has positive implications for finance teams, security, store managers, and even marketing. So it’s important everyone’s on board and working together. Allow plenty of time for staff training and make sure everyone understands the benefits.

If you’re working with a system integrator, we recommend finding someone with experience of rolling out mPOS terminals.

Connectivity and charging

It might seem obvious, but with no cables comes the reliance on connectivity. You’ll need to ensure your wifi works in every corner of your store and outside (if you want to take payments there too). It’s also worth considering how and where you’ll be charging your terminals. Will staff be able to charge them at home? Will each staff member have their own? Or will they share? And, if they do share, where will they be kept?

Why choose us for your mPOS provider?

We’ve worked with international brands like Joe & The Juice and Superdry as well as local players like Brompton Bikes and Cubitts and we know that no two mPOS projects are identical. But we have years of experience and a team of amazing implementation managers to ensure your project runs as smoothly as possible.

We’re also the full package, meaning we can manage your ecommerce, card acquiring, risk management, and point of sale in one system. This not only makes life much easier from an operational perspective, but it opens up a world of customer experience possibilities.

With everything connected, your customer can dictate their journey. They can order online, they can collect and return in store, and they can pay at the point of sale or in-app. It really doesn’t matter. And you get to see all their activity in one place. You can even connect your loyalty program to their payment card so they can earn points without having to dig around in their wallets for additional cards or stamp booklets.

“Adyen’s technology lets us consolidate our channels and harness data, which will help us go from strength to strength."

We have a great range of POS terminals, including those beautiful Android terminals, all of which come pre-loaded with local payment methods and support for ewallets (from Apple Pay to Alipay). And our pricing is simple and transparent. You simply pay the terminal cost plus a transaction fee. No maintenance fees, no set-up fees, no surprises.

Adyen's Android mPOS terminals

Curious to learn more? Let’s talk

We’d love the opportunity to discuss your mPOS project and see how we can help. Click below to get in touch and we’ll set up a call to get started.

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