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The pandemic has caused a significant shift away from using cash at the time of purchase worldwide. Today, only 18% of customers prefer to “pay by cash,” and there is a growing trust in digital wallets, debit/credit cards, and Near-Field Communication (NFC).
Connectivity is naturally key in “new age” payments with heavy reliance on Point of Sale (PoS) devices and connected payment terminals.
What is mPOS?
Mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) is one such smartphone, tablet, or a dedicated device that allows merchants to wirelessly process card transactions - just as they would using a cash register. The market for mPOS systems has caused quite a stir in recent years. Research shows that the global mPOS market is projected to register a 10% CAGR from 2023 to 2032.
This is because of the rapid adoption of mobile devices and the demand for convenient payment options - something manufacturers like yourself must take note of!
What are the benefits of mPOS, you ask? In simple words, mPOS systems are cost-effective, flexible, and scalable and provide real-time data, which can help retail businesses and merchants make better decisions while also allowing them to process payments remotely.
Wireless connectivity and smart vending machines (SVMs): A match made in heaven
SVMs use digital technologies to create automated retail solutions and deliver products without staffing humans. They also deploy high-def touchscreens and animations to display quality product photos to attract customers.
They are equipped with internet connectivity, payment processing technology, and customer communication capabilities. Combine smart vending machines with mPOS, and merchants have a convenient and efficient way to serve customers and process transactions.
Advantages of wireless connectivity in mPOS and SVMs
Wireless connectivity has become increasingly important in the modern world. It can provide numerous advantages for mPOS and SVMs, such as:
Wireless connectivity allows merchants using mPOS systems to process transactions from any location as long as they have a reliable internet connection. It provides increased flexibility and portability, allowing SVM operators to move or relocate the machines as needed easily.
2. Improved sales
Wireless connectivity allows merchants using mPOS systems to offer a broader range of payment options, including mobile payments and digital wallets. It boosts customer loyalty and sales. Merchants can also access real-time data and analytics to make more informed business decisions and optimize their sales strategies.
Smart vending machines use wireless connectivity to communicate with customers in real-time, thus improving the user experience and increasing loyalty, resulting in higher sales.
Wireless connectivity can help reduce the need for physical infrastructure and storage of payment cards for mPOS systems. It eliminates physical maintenance and service visits for IoT-based smart vending machines.
Operators of smart vending machines can minimize labor costs and downtime through remote monitoring and management. In addition, wireless connectivity can mitigate the need for handling physical cash, eliminating cash handling fees and security costs.
4. Speed and convenience
Merchants using mPOS systems can process transactions quickly and efficiently with wireless connectivity. It eliminates the need for physical infrastructure or payment cards delivering a better customer experience by reducing wait times.
It also allows merchants to access real-time data and analytics, which can help them make more informed business decisions. Smart vending machines use wireless connectivity to accept payments through various methods, including cash, credit cards, and mobile wallets.
5. Dynamic user interface
Wireless connectivity can provide a more flexible and user-friendly interface for both mPOS systems and smart vending machines. In addition, it allows merchants to access real-time data and analytics and offers customers a more comprehensive range of payment options.
6. Heightened data security
Wireless connectivity can help minimize the risk of fraud by eliminating the need to handle physical payment cards or cash. The payments are automatically processed through the connected payment terminals, empowering customers to make secure payments with just a few clicks or taps without sharing personal information. On the other hand, retailers can restrict access to customer data.
7. Digital shopping experience
Wireless connectivity has opened the possibility of integrating digital elements into traditional retail experiences. For example, using cloud-based services, customers can now order items directly from smart vending machines or mPOS systems without ever touching a product physically.
In addition, the technology makes it possible for businesses to create personalized recommendations based on customer data collected from sales and other interactions within the retail store. As a result, it helps make the shopping experience bespoke and convenient.
8. Ease with non-cash payments
In 2020, the adoption rate of NFC technology in mPOS terminals reached 69%, with 26.9 million units shipped with NFC capabilities. Besides, the global shipment of such mPOS terminals is expected to increase by 11.7% annually over the next five years, reaching a total of 46.7 million units by 2025.
This proves that cashless transactions have increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and mPOS will continue to improve contactless card payment and mobile payment acceptance. Furthermore, wireless technology enables faster data transfer speeds, which leads to quicker payment processing times, reduced wait times, and improved customer satisfaction.
9. Efficient inventory management
Beyond traditional uses like payment processing and automated retail transactions, an mPOS device can connect wirelessly to a retail store’s inventory system, and purchases can be automatically filled from the stockroom once it is scanned at checkout.
mPOS eliminates manual restocking duties and increases accuracy by ensuring that items are always available when requested.
On the other hand, smart vending machines - enabled with Wi-Fi - can also communicate with a central hub to provide real-time data on customer preferences and inventory levels, allowing retailers to stock up on favorite items before they go completely out of stock!
Hardware requirements for wireless connectivity in mPOS
By enabling mPOS systems and smart vending machines to connect to WiFi, Bluetooth, and other wireless technologies, merchants have created an entirely new range of customer experiences. But as a manufacturer, you must know that to provide wireless connectivity in an mPOS system, the hardware must include these components:
- A wireless communication module to connect the mPOS device to the wireless network. It typically supports one or more wireless protocols, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or cellular data. It may include an antenna to help improve the range and reliability of the connection.
- A processor and memory to run the necessary software and store data.
- Input/output (I/O) ports for connecting external devices, such as printers or payment terminals.
- Other hardware requirements may include a display screen, keypad, or touchscreen for input.
- A battery to power the device when it is not connected to a power source.
The wireless modules need to support a wide range of interfaces in the smart vending machines to communicate with different devices and systems. For instance:
- Liquid Crystal Module or LC interfaces display text and graphics on a screen.
- Camera interfaces allow the connection of cameras to capture still images or video.
- Touch panel interfaces enable the use of touch-sensitive screens for input.
- Memory Card (MC) interfaces enable the connection of removable storage media such as SD cards.
- Speaker or SPK interfaces connect speakers to output audio.
- Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter or UART interfaces are used for serial communication.
- Universal Serial Bus or USB interfaces are widely used to connect devices such as keyboards, mouse, and printers.
- Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C) and Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) interfaces are used for communication between integrated circuits.
The rise of Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and its benefits
LTE is a standard for high-speed wireless communication for mobile devices and data terminals, including smartphones and tablets. As an OEM building mPOS devices or smart vending machines, it is essential to know about the key benefits that LTE brings to the table:
- Longer battery life means the data transfers happen much faster, and the devices consume less power, decreasing the network usage load. With LTE, you can manufacture mPOS devices that do not need to be charged as often.
- Security measures such as encryption and identity protection help safeguard against hacking and other cyber threats.
- Robust bandwidth for efficiently transmitting large data amounts helps ensure a high-quality connection.
- Faster browsing is possible because LTE enables users to exchange large amounts of data with less latency, which means it takes less time to load and take data backups on the cloud.
- Low cost compared to other cellular technologies makes LTE an attractive option for both consumers and businesses at the time of manufacturing.
5G: The future of mPOS and smart vending machines
5G is the fifth generation of mobile networks, and it is designed to provide faster internet speeds, lower latency, and more reliable connections compared to previous generations of mobile networks. It is expected to enable many new use cases and applications, including mobile payments and smart vending machines.
5G networks can provide faster and more reliable connections for mPOS systems and smart vending machines, enabling secure end-to-end transactions, real-time product monitoring and restocking, and quick, personalized recommendations.
How To Enable Digital Transformation Through Connected Workspaces
Factors manufacturers should consider when implementing wireless connectivity in mPOS and SVMs
Wireless connectivity is fast becoming the preferred solution for mPOS and smart vending machines due to its wide range of benefits. From convenience, speed, and better customer service, it helps in improving overall business efficiency. Here is what manufacturers like yourself in this business should remember:
Wireless connectivity can make mPOS systems and SVMs more vulnerable to hacking and other security threats. You should ensure that the wireless connection is secure and that sensitive data is encrypted to protect against unauthorized access.
Wireless connectivity should have sufficient bandwidth to handle large amounts of data, primarily if the mPOS system or SVM is used for high-resolution video or augmented reality.
Wireless connectivity should be reliable and able to handle high volumes of transactions. This is especially important when manufacturing SVMs, which need to process payments quickly and efficiently to avoid long customer wait times.
4. Battery life
Wireless connectivity can consume a lot of power, which can drain the battery life of the mPOS system or SVM. You should consider this parameter and optimize the wireless connectivity to minimize power consumption and extend battery life.
As a manufacturer dealing with mPOS and smart vending machines, you should ensure that the wireless connection is secure and reliable, has sufficient bandwidth to handle large amounts of data (and transactions), and works efficiently to suit the needs of both retail businesses and their end consumers. If you want to know more about deploying wireless connectivity in mPOS devices and SVMs, count on the IoT experts of IntuThings. Get in touch.