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The cash register is dying: How mobile POS solutions are changing retail


Mobility has transformed the way many companies do business, and that change is rapidly making its way to the retail sector. Following the success and efficiency of the Apple Store® model, many outlets are integrating mobile devices into their processes, increasing both customer satisfaction and streamlining operations. Advances in technology and software present an opportunity to simplify point of sale (POS) systems while leveraging existing back-office platforms.

The traditional retail model funnels customers to a cash register, normally in the middle or the back of the store. Lines, especially during busy seasons, hinder navigation around the store and customers are often not receptive to purchasing add-on products in that atmosphere. The cash register itself is also an issue; an expensive, bulky device that occupies space that could feature additional goods.

Apple® broke the mold in their retail stores, introducing sales personnel that can take and submit an order through mobile devices, -which reduces or eliminates lines. It is a streamlined process that provides one-on-one service and attention to the customer. This mobile device strategy is beneficial for both the consumer and the retailer, as the customer receives the personalized service they desire and the store gains efficiency with more opportunities to upsell additional goods.

Many businesses consider a mobility strategy, but feel tied to their legacy POS systems because they are connected to their back-office enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. However, new software can tie mobile phones, tablets and laptops into your existing ERP system to process transactions smoothly and extend service to customers.

For example, Infinite Peripherals’ Linea Pro® POS platform is a complete, customizable solution, integrating a card reader to Apple devices and connecting with back-office software to complete and track sales. Delta Air Lines also recently adopted the Windows Phone® platform for onboard purchases, providing 19,000 devices to flight attendants.1 The devices allow for real-time processing for food or drink purchases or seat upgrades, quicker transactions and available emailed receipts.

Security is often an important consideration for retailers evaluating a mobile POS platform. Transaction processing in any environment carries a certain amount of risk, but mobile encryption solutions have made significant strides to mitigate threats to data. Ensure that you work with an established solution provider that complies with Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) regulations, a consistent industry-recognized framework.2

The possibilities for mobile POS systems are expanding daily. Restaurants are implementing tablets to enable customers to place orders without waiting in line while traditional stores are taking a cue from Apple, supplying sales personnel with devices to instantly process sales, demonstrate options and provide more personal service. Mobile POS solutions are increasing the customer base of small businesses worldwide that previously only accepted cash, enabling credit and debit card transactions without a sophisticated network.

Implementing a mobile POS platform simplifies the sales process for both customers and retailers. Cash registers are quickly becoming a thing of the past, as phones, tablets and laptops can complete the same tasks, with more functionality and without occupying valuable space. Whether you operate a NetSuite®,  Microsoft Dynamics® or other ERP platform, a mobility advisor can help implement the right solution that integrates mobile technology with your back-office systems and extends your sales capabilities.   

  1. Lance Whitney, “Nokia Lumia 820 climbs on board Delta Air Lines,” CNET, Aug. 22, 2013, accessed Oct. 4, 2013, http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57599696-94/nokia-lumia-820-climbs-on-board-delta-air-lines/
  2. MasterCard Worldwide, “Security Considerations for Mobile Point-of-Sale Acceptance,” Security Matters, Oct. 28, 2011, accessed Oct. 3, 2013, http://www.mastercard.com/us/wce/PDF/PSI_Magazine_SecurityMatters_US.pdf