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Retail / FinTech Innovation / App Marketplace

Seeing the POS as an OS

Editorial Team
Executive Summary
For SMBs, the POS is quickly becoming the “OS” of their businesses

Going from being merely a component of the business to a central hub of critical back-office and consumer-facing tools.

In July 2016, Verifone and Intel commissioned 451 Research to conduct a survey to determine how retailers were feeling about the changing commerce landscape.

The results? Today’s small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are not the ones we knew five to 10 years ago.

Verifone payment solutions
70 %
of SMBS consider software to be "mission critical"
38 %
plan to upgrade their devices

The study showed that SMBs consider acquiring new customers, lowering costs, and creating customer loyalty to be the biggest challenges they’ll face this year. 70% of the SMBs we surveyed said that they have software they consider to be “mission critical” for running their businesses, and a majority of them deemed the point of sale to be the most important.

This demonstrates the fact that the POS system facilitates arguably the most essential objective of any business—converting shoppers into long-term customers.

This means that the market potential for the POS to grow beyond just payment acceptance is not years down the line—it’s now.

There’s a general understanding among SMBs that revamping the software tools available on their POS systems is a new requirement. They need the POS to be more agile, open, and similar to the technology that has become ubiquitous to consumers (i.e., smartphones, tablets, and computers). Furthermore, the POS has to facilitate key organisational challenges for the retailer—such as controlling costs, generating customer loyalty, and accommodating new consumer technologies, like digital wallets.

“The POS will be at the heart of SMB digital transformation. Its role within the organisation has already begun to evolve to encompass a value proposition broader than payment acceptance alone. An open, cloud-connected POS platform is required to accommodate and augment the multitude of software applications used by SMBs. It will also be necessary to better address the proliferation of customer-facing applications while leveraging and applying data obtained through IoT initiatives,” explains 451 Research.

It’s important to understand that this challenge cuts both ways. If SMBs are demanding a flexible, cloud-connected POS in order to survive, then the onus is on us to innovate our technology to meet those demands—something we’ve done and will continue to do.