The Pros and Cons of mobile POS systems

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One of the most popular and effective ways to make important business decisions is through the use of a Pros and Cons list. This allows organizations to look at the benefits of a particular solution while also weighing the potential challenges that can stand in the way of a system being successful.

A recent article from Small Business Computing created one of these lists for the use of a mobile point of sale system. According to the article, the traditional cash register system is closer to being grouped with a fax machine than a tablet. These new systems are spreading and shipments of the mobile POS devices are projected to increase more than 95 percent worldwide in 2014.

While Apple has been using them for close to a decade, many retailers, specifically small businesses, are investing in this new age cash register because of the benefits that it brings to the table.

The Pros

For mobile POS systems, the benefits can be difficult to ignore. To start is the fact that it makes life easier for customers. Because employees carry the mobile devices with them, consumers can finalize a transaction from anywhere in the store. This eliminates the need for standing in line. It also prevents sales associates from needing to leave a customer to check inventory to search for information on a product as it can all be handled through the device.

This also helps companies sell more product. This happens in a few ways. First is the ability for cash only businesses to easily deploy a credit card processing service. In other cases, it allows companies to capture sales before consumers change their mind while waiting in line. Retailer Nordstrom reported an increase in sales of 15.3 percent since it started using the devices. Companies also have flexibility as it would be easy to attend a craft fair to sell items or set up a sidewalk sale.

It also helps the bottom line with lower credit card processing fees, no long-term commitments and easier set up up and use.

The Cons

As with any system, there are going to be cons. The first is a big one for all technology — security.

"Thieves prefer to target small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) because many lack the resources or expertise to manage cyber security," the article reads. "Retailers are especially easy targets for cyber criminals who look to hijack credit card data, but customers aren't the only victims. Among SMBs that suffer a breach, a staggering 60 percent go out of business after six months."

Businesses also need to make sure that they have a provider that offers reliable customer service and offers access to money in a timely fashion. They also need to focus on having a reliable internet connection, because without one, the devices are will not work.

Final decision

Ultimately, organizations need to make the decision for themselves. However, it is important to mention that these systems do not need to be an all or nothing approach. Companies can start small and deploy a small handful of devices and test them out. With the help of the right credit card payment software, any organization will be able to confidently step into this realm.

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