How Retailers Are Gearing Up For Contactless Payments Via mPOS

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With the use of contactless payments heating up around the world, small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) and their solution providers have to prepare for their acceptance. Mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) terminals that are enabled for contactless have to meet certain specifications to gain EMVCo 3.0 certification: They must, for instance, resolve issues when a payment reader’s too-powerful field strength results in damaged smartphones and cards.

Fifteen percent of in-store, point-of-sale (POS) transactions are expected to be made through contactless payments by 2020, according to the latest PYMNTS mPOS Tracker. Last year, however, contactless payments in the United Kingdom alone jumped by a whopping 31 percent over the prior year. At the same time, some players in the space are aiming to improve POS conversions by enabling more mobile wallets like Alipay.

From CVS to T-Mobile, retailers and technology providers are catering to the trend of contactless payment acceptance with new solutions and methods of handling cards from customers. These are just some of the ways firms are enabling payments for the contactless consumer with the help of mPOS technology, along with some of the latest trends in the space:

One hundred fifty million U.S. consumers are expected to use in-store mobile payments by 2021. CVS, for instance, brought support for the Apple Pay mobile wallet to stores across the country, per reports in October. While the pharmacy retailer had slowly brought the functionality to its brick-and-mortar stores, the rollout was subsequently publicized. “Get your essentials in a flash,” Apple said in a marketing email, according to reports. “Buying snacks, vitamins, personal care and prescriptions from CVS Pharmacy just got faster and more secure.” 7-Eleven also started to accept Google Pay and Apple Pay at most of its U.S. locations, per reports last year.

The share of Croatian businesses that accept contactless payments via mobile phone is 33 percent. Even so, an LM Research survey conducted for Norwegian firm Auka found that more than six in 10 – or 60 percent – of Croatian businesses prefer cash payments. But nearly eight in 10 – or 77 percent – predict mobile payments will prevail during the decade to come. And almost half of businesses in the country that don’t currently take mobile payments plan to do so over the next year. Almost seven in 10 Croatian businesses take credit cards, while just over one-third of firms accept contactless payments via mobile phone.

The projected value of the mPOS terminals market by 2024 is $55 billion. And technology providers are putting new solutions forward: T-Mobile said it is taking on Square and Clover with its GoPoint by T-Mobile for Business offering, per a March press release. To take card payments through GoPoint, merchants use a tablet or smartphone that is compatible with T-Mobile ONE, along with a GoPoint card reader. Businesses pay 2.75 percent for credit and debit card transaction processing, and are reportedly eligible for free funding on the same day. The company said it was working with TSYS for the GoPoint mPOS software and same-day funding, as well as secure transaction management.

The estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the global mPOS systems market from 2019 to 2025 is 18 percent. Moneris Solutions Corporation, a Canadian processor of debit and credit card payments, recently unveiled the addition of Lightspeed Restaurant to its solutions for iPad point of sale (POS). The company said the product marks the first iPad POS system based in the cloud to cater to restaurateurs in Quebec. Moneris Chief Product and Partnership Officer Malcolm Fowler said in a February announcement, “The restaurant industry in Quebec is among the strongest in Canada, based on what we have seen in annual transaction data and industry forecasts.”

Ninety-three percent of Chinese tourists would spend more in a store that accepted mobile payments. And credit and debit card payment processors are taking note: In March, Barclaycard announced it had inked a new deal with Chinese digital payment service Alipay. Through the arrangement, retailers would accept Alipay for transactions at U.K. stores. There are 95,000 Chinese students and 393,000 Chinese residents in the U.K., along with many tourists who visit U.K. cities each year. It was also reported that U.K. retailers wouldn’t have to replace their existing systems to take Alipay for in-store payments.

From Barclaycard to 7-Eleven, retailers and technology providers are enabling commerce through mPOS systems. And in addition to cost-effectiveness, retailers see another benefit of using mPOS system: They can also eliminate the need of having to work with cash in an age when physical banks are closing their doors, and merchants might not operate close to bank branches in the digital age.

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