For consumers, speed and convenience are paramount – and a fundamental way for business owners to deliver speed and convenience is to streamline the purchasing process. In the eyes of consumers, their mobile device is already a payment instrument thanks to peer-to-peer transfers, mobile wallets, and streamlined ecommerce. Yet the potential of the mobile phone as a payment tool for business owners has only recently been untapped. Payment innovation is turning mobile phones into fully functioning point-of-sale devices, enabling secure contactless payment acceptance for a business without the need for additional hardware.
For traditional small businesses and micro-merchants software point-of-sale (SoftPoS) technology removes the need for a standalone POS system and puts the power of payment acceptance into a device that is already in the business owner’s hand – their phone. The future of point-of-sale innovation lies in software, and the benefits are numerous. The flexibility and efficiency of accepting payments through a personal device is already becoming a powerful value proposition for the artisan selling crafts, farmer at the market, or landscaper taking payments on site.
Fiserv has been delivering SoftPoS solutions in Europe since pioneering the ability for purchasers to input a PIN on a mobile device in 2019, and plans to extend its SoftPoS capabilities in the U.S. This is particularly timely for small businesses given the recent launch of Apple Tap to Pay to the market.
Tap to Pay allows a business to create a mobile POS checkout experience by enabling them to accept contactless credit and debit card and NFC wallet payments, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, from their own Apple iPhones. Small businesses will be able to access these types of SoftPoS services from within existing payments systems, such as Clover and its Clover Go iOS app. This will allow Clover clients to accept contactless payments conveniently without the need for additional hardware, providing the business owner flexibility, and reducing operating costs.
In addition to smaller merchants using Clover, Tap to Pay will also be relevant for larger integrated partners and Fiserv enterprise clients leveraging the Carat operating system. In the case of Carat, very large retailers might use a SoftPOS solution to quickly deploy line-busting capabilities using their own phones during busy shopping days.
Tap to Pay capabilities for Fiserv clients are currently in development now with plans to launch in the near future.
The enablement of Apple Tap to Pay in the U.S. follows a global trend of SoftPOS use cases that have grown in popularity since their introduction to the industry in 2019.
Recently, Fiserv client Magnati announced it would begin enabling SoftPOS in the United Arab Emirates, allowing to accept contactless transactions of any value using their own Android smartphones and tablets as a payments terminal.
As consumer behavior continues to evolve, business owners globally are tasked with delivering their customers commerce experiences that mirror the simplicity, convenience and flexibility they have come to expect. By accepting payment via their mobile phone, businesses owners will have the ability to engage these customers in new ways, and the efficiency to do so without purchasing new technology.
Many businesses are only beginning to scratch the surface of SoftPoS capabilities – but with businesses in all sectors looking to secure an edge over the competition, tapping into this technology is a tipping point for a frictionless future of commerce.
With continued innovation we’ll see the expansion of SoftPoS technology across more providers, markets and sectors. Driven by a compelling business need for greater efficiency, speed and convenience, merchants who seek out ways to meet the demands of their customers will be positioned to succeed.
To learn more about SoftPOS, contact a Carat expert today.