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Posts tagged with “POS”

Shaping the future of POS

Thursday, 31 May, 2012

Mirroring the introduction long ago of magnetic stripe technology to point-of-sale systems, the payments industry is now experiencing another important evolution; the dawn of mobile smart devices and our hyper-connected world by virtue of the Internet.

Leading theory on the future of POS is predicting it to become the second revolution in mobile technology, an all-encompassing integration with day-to-day merchant needs. From lowering transaction fees to accepting all sorts of payment types, monitoring and bookkeeping, the future role POS systems will play will be under tremendous scrutiny and importance. Future success will largely be dictated by the emerging technologies launching today.
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Key factors that will shape the POS of tomorrow:

Mobile: the next 12 months will witness the proliferation and rise of mobile as a permanent fixture as payment method. Smartphone usage rates are growing exponentially, and the creation of many focused offshoot technology companies is helping pave the way for future payment platforms.
– Security and progression to EMV: With any rapid technological advancement (especially one that handles sensitive personal payment information) security becomes an important issue. The handling and integrity of payment information will be a hot topic with policymakers and governing bodies. Furthermore it is stated that all American-based merchants will need to adopt EMV-capable POS systems by the year 2015.
– Contactless Payments: NFC is driving this trend…but will it only remain a trend? As mobile smart devices become go-to daily habits for consumers, technology like NFC could take a permanent place.
– New Technology: Innovation begats new technological advancement, but certain companies in the traditional payment industry may find it hard to deviate from the well-beaten path. Payment goliath VeriFone made a huge leap for their business by acquiring global outdoor advertising network Clear Channel Outdoors Inc, and will introduce a promotional platform to integrate with POS and payment systems.

Balance for the future of POS will lie between two paradigms: 1) the desire to enhance current systems for ease of use, or 2) to solve existing problems. The latter idea is more reactive by nature and may not be sufficient in being innovative, but nonetheless it will be interesting to see how the payment industry continues to evolve in the years to come.

POS: rising security concerns come with evolving technology

Friday, 3 February, 2012

Payment technology is rapidly evolving. As we enter the age of device based forms of payment, such as the mobile wallet, many have raised flags and question the security of information as payment technology continues to advance.

Older POS systems, both hardware and software, still have the ability to adapt and upgrade to new forms of transactions, however the security of data and these revised systems have come into question. The divide sits between a hardware-based system, such as a chip embedded card, versus software-based systems largely on the web, such as PayPal’s new digital wallet and online payment system. Hardware-based systems, chip cards, and mobile wallets on smart devices provide a higher level of data encryption and keep the user’s personal information solely on the card or device. Software systems are a more complicated to encrypt, and are left exposed to the dangers of malicious Internet manipulation.
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It’s still worth remembering that both forms of payment processing are highly secure. The debate lies more in the question of the set-up of a system’s given security measures. All web-based payment programs store personal information in the “cloud”, or a cluster of servers located in a remote warehouse. The issue then becomes about choosing targets: millions and millions of individual cards and devices, or the mass grouping of data housed in one location?

It will be interesting to see how the issue of security will be addressed in the future and whether or not both merchants and individuals will opt for the personal device or card-based options.