Customers use their phones more and more. They make purchases and interact with brands using m-commerce; additionally, businesses are increasingly turning to mobile technology. More and more small businesses and restaurants are using mPOS systems.
An mPOS system is a POS (point of sale) software that is housed on an internet connected mobile phone or tablet. While any business can benefit from an mPOS, it is ideal for businesses who are mobile themselves such as food trucks or traveling artists.
Why? Phones and tablets are, first of all, portable.This makes them easy to move around a restaurant or brick-and-mortar store. Also, phones and tablets are easily replaceable. If something goes wrong with the device, it’s easy and affordable to replace the hardware running the POS system.
Due to its versatility and affordability, there are many mPOS solutions available. So, how do you pick the best mPOS for your business?
How to choose the best mPOS for your business
Every business has different needs. Finding the right POS system is difficult, much less the right mPOS system. While mobile POS are functionally similar to traditional POS, it can be overwhelming to find a new system that substantially impacts daily operations.
Many businesses rely heavily on their POS to facilitate transactions. If the POS system doesn’t work well, the business suffers. So, the right software choice has a huge effect on the business’ performance. Here’s what you need to think about to choose the best mPOS for your business.
POS systems do a lot more than complete transactions these days. They help manage inventory, employees, and finances. Every business has different needs and software tools that it’s already using. It’s important to take inventory of what you have against what you need. This helps narrow down your search based on what features you need in an mPOS system.
Many mPOS systems integrate with other software, so investigating different integrations can improve operations. For example, an mPOS system that integrates with your existing accounting tool makes finances much easier. Similarly, a system that integrates with your existing payroll system could help log accurate hours for employees and ensure they are paid accurately based on when they sign into the POS system.
Do you have one store or a dozen? Are you using your own personal mobile phone, or do you need three cashier stations? How many employees use each station? These are all questions to keep in mind when looking for an mPOS. Many mobile POS systems are easy to scale up because they easily install on multiple devices. In many cases, there are different payment tiers grouped by the number of devices or users of the mPOS. As your business grows, you can upgrade to a higher tier.
However, not all mPOS systems are easy to scale, so investigating the different tiers at the outset is important if you plan to grow your business. Buying more devices to run the mPOS on is also a considerable expense, so keep that in mind.
All POS systems work with payment processors to approve credit cards and other non-cash payment. Most processors charge fees to use their service, which often often includes a flat fee plus a percentage of each transaction. Some mPOS platforms have this rolled into their subscription. Some will let you integrate your own payment processor; in that case, you must account for the added fees paid directly by you. Make sure you know how the fee structure works before you choose an mPOS for your business.
Don’t let its place on this list fool you, security is a big concern. (I wrote an entire guide on mobile security while using an mPOS.) Basically, you need an mPOS that has its own security measures. There are measures you can take to double down as well. When possible, use secure Wi-Fi and always use the security features on the devices themselves. There are big consequences if data is not secure, so this is not something to overlook.
Implementation is a two-step process: implementing the tool itself and then training users. With an mPOS system, you want something that’s easy to install and integrate with existing tools. You also want something intuitive so new users can quickly get up to speed. You don’t want to spend a lot of time teaching new employees how to use the POS system. This is especially true if they will use the mPOS to take orders or collect payments tableside in a restaurant.
Building a business is difficult, finding the right tools to succeed shouldn’t be. The whole point of an mPOS is to streamline the transaction process and make life easier for you and your customers. The retail POS category focuses on tools for the retail space, while the restaurant POS category focuses on the particular needs of restaurants. While some tools straddle both spaces, finding something designed for your particular needs is a great starting point.
Lauren is a market research analyst focusing on the e-commerce and retail industries. Since joining G2 in July 2017, she has focused her energy on consumer-driven spaces after spending time in the vertical, design, and CAD software spheres. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in English language and literature and her writing and research has been cited in publications such as Forbes, Eater, and Nasdaq.com, among others. She enjoys building and sharing her knowledge, and in her free time enjoys reading, knitting, and gaming. Her coverage areas include retail technology, e-commerce, and restaurant technology.