Will Apple Spur Mobile POS?
Apple has been behind some significant consumer trends – MP3 players, smartphones and tablets – and it may be the company to drive the use of mobile payments in retail stores. Traditional point-of-sale systems are still in use at retailers, but they are no longer the only way to accept payments. An iPad POS enables employees to complete transactions anywhere in the store, improving efficiency and keeping shoppers happy with shorter transaction times and fewer minutes spent waiting in line .
The Financial Brand’s Jim Marous recently detailed the company’s much buzzed about Apple Pay, the company’s near field communication application that has “the unique ability to change consumer behavior on a large scale.” This app enables users to use their iPhones to make payments at more than 200,000 U.S. locations.
Any mobile application is all for naught, though, if it is not secure. Shoppers are unlikely to trust a retailer with their personal information again if their payment data is stolen or exposed at any point during the relationship.
Fortunately, Marous indicated security is one of Apple Pay’s strong points, which should go a long way toward alleviating user fears.
If Apple Pay takes off, it will likely contribute to a healthier mobile payments market. As it stands, very few consumers pay for goods using their smartphones and tablets. Marous cited a BI Intelligence report as backing up this point. The study predicted mobile payments will improve markedly in the next five years, yet they will still only account for 5 percent of retail sales by 2018.
Tablets and smartphones are a boon to all sorts of tasks, making checkouts easier for consumers and more efficient for retailers. Apple has changed various markets in the past and it wouldn’t be surprising if it were the company to spur the mobile payments space in the future.
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