Monday, December 11, 2023

Smart POS: On-The-Go Money-Maker

Paromik Chakraborty, technical journalist, EFY

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  • These machines work wirelessly with minimal hardware setup, saving you space and setup costs

Businesses are going flexible with the upheaval of cashless transactions. Demonetisation has further expanded this transition, driving a great surge in the usage of swipe machines and e-wallets. Smart point-of-sale (POS) or mobile POS (mPOS) machines are retailers’ best friends in light of the recent events. Here are a few reasons why enterprises are using smart POS devices to manage their transactions.

Flexible for any business

Traditional POS devices involve a lot of hardware installation and maintenance hassles. Setting up a computer, connecting the devices and upgrading the software is not only time- and space-consuming but also requires external technical service. Enterprises also need to invest in training the staff to handle the cash counter. In nutshell, online enterprises and businesses without a proper payment collection station cannot afford a POS system.

That’s where mPOS machines provide a big advantage. These give the cash counters a chance to work wirelessly with minimal hardware setup (a small card reader hardware, a smartphone and a GPRS or Wi-Fi connection). This also implies less cost in terms of space requirement, setup and external help. Smart POS machines are user-friendly, requiring little to no effort in getting the assigned person started with the technology. So if you move your office to a new location, you do not have to worry about holding off your POS services until the setup and installation completes. Smart POS machines can work anywhere at any time as long as network connectivity is available—be it through Wi-Fi or GSM (via SIM card). That means mPOS devices can be incorporated in any form of business.

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For example, UK-based Spire Payments cites an inspiring story of a Chennai-based professional taxi driver who is using the company’s mPOS system for payment collections on the go. Due to the traffic conditions and unanticipated long trips, cash payment becomes a hassle for passengers. The convenience of cashless payment through the smart POS device has helped the taxi driver grow his business, with regular passengers making whole-day or long-trip bookings. Reportedly, the man saw a 15 per cent increase in his revenues. What’s more, he is now getting referral international bookings as well.

National e-commerce giants like Jabong, Flipkart and Myntra have incorporated mPOS terminals into their services to offer customers the convenience of card on delivery—payment through card at the time of delivery.

Saves great costs

Traditional POS machines cost a lot—not just because of the POS machine itself but all the other accessories required such as a control device (computer), barcode scanners and wiring, dedicated setup space and more. Smart POS devices eliminate most of the hardware part (wiring and scanners) through mobile apps, thereby saving a great deal of the cost. An mPOS machine, on an average, costs between ` 8000 and ` 18,000, which is less than the traditional POS setup’s.

Moreover, traditional systems often have a lot of associated costs including monthly maintenance cost, performance charges and duplicate statements cost. Much of these costs is greatly reduced with the use of smart POS devices. A traditional POS machine connected via PSTN (telephone network) or desktop GPRS may tax the user a total of ` 1200 to ` 2000 including different service charges, while a smart POS requires just around ` 400 as a commitment charge with no other costs. Additionally, smart POS machines remove the burden of duplicate transaction download costs, which users may have to pay with many POS systems.

Smart customer service

At the end of the day, the most important aspect of any sales business is customer satisfaction and the likelihood of repeat business. Customer service levels need to be impeccable and smart POS systems fit the bill. These systems enable businesses to serve their customers on the go.

While accepting debit or credit cards like the traditional POS machines, mPOS systems also allow vendors to accept payments via e-wallets, UPI, net banking and other e-payment methods. On top of that, there is the gift of inbuilt tools and data intelligence systems. Enterprises can on-the-spot collect customer data and preferences pattern, which can be utilised for future campaigns. Field-users can manage orders, instantly search product prices through quick databases, conduct survey in-situ and so on.

Decision-makers can devise business strategies using all the collected data to enhance their customer reach. Their customer-facing team can become an impromptu sales promoter through product recommendations, customer engagement and feedbacks. Most importantly, all this data is pushed to the cloud, so it can be accessed anytime, anywhere.


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