As the famous Nobel Prize-winning physicist Niels Bohr once said, “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” So from this cautionary note; I thought we could pause and reflect on the emerging trends for the digitization of point-of-sale systems, the impact on both merchant capabilities and customers’ shopping experiences occurring this year.
1. Cloud-Based POS Coming on Strong
The days of expensive, proprietary, hard-to-maintain systems have had a gradual shift towards cloud-based POS systems. Especially in the U.S., the deadline for EMV-compliant POS systems has already past and savvy merchants with old POS systems are feeling the pressure to invest in new systems.
The increasing use of cloud-based POS has relieved merchants from high upfront costs and managing themselves all the upgrades compared to the software glitches and downtimes created from traditional POS. Those with ERP systems have been able to integrate POS data with internal business decision systems.
Most of all, cloud-based POS integrates seamlessly with customer experiences/expectations regarding tablet/smartphone interfaces, the merging of off/online shopping, e-payments and personalization of their encounters with retailers and services.
2. Tablet POS Systems Etch Position in the Market
Tablet-based operations are displaying strong trends, placing themselves alongside the more traditional POS systems. Cloud-based or not, customers are showing a strong preference for tablet-based ordering/checkout and merchants love the convenience on their side as well. As well, retailers are always looking for the “cool factor,” especially when it comes to encouraging business from a demographic soon to take over the boomers in spending power (millennials).
3. EMV Chip Card Integration Accelerates
EMV chips on credit cards have been around for several years now, industry norm for several nations, but as of this year, the U.S. is the last one to the party. The deadline has already passed for merchants who are not EMV-compliant to incur charges for fraudulent purchases, but uptake is nowhere near 100 percent yet. As the implications for retailers continue to sink in, a rise in adoption has grown increasingly. Knowing this, it’s extremely important for future owners and current ones still not up to date to put EMV-compliance at the top of their list.