Home' Clubs and Pubs Manager : Autumn 2017 Contents Amobile point of sale (mPOS) system is a
dedicated wireless device – usually a smart phone
or tablet – that acts as a traditional cash register
or electronic point of sale system in bricks-and-mortar
businesses. An mPOS system refers to both the hardware
and software features of the payment system.
New mPOS systems are being rapidly adopted by a variety
of retailers, including clubs and pubs in the hospitality
sector, who are taking advantage of the many benefits
offered by greater portability and a suite of advanced
capabilities. Within the last five or six years, the technology
that supports mPOS has advanced rapidly, and these
systems now offer a host of complementary features, such
as analytic tools, business management tools, built-in
customer loyalty programs, ecommerce integration and
mobile payments, to name a few.
These additional features can help business owners to
enhance their sales success by giving insight into the
business’s exact sources of revenue, and by streamlining
a host of business operations like employee and inventory
management. Another advantage is that managers can
check up on key business stats remotely – they can see the
day’s transactions in real time, track inventory and link data
to accounting software. Clearly, an mPOS offers much more
than just the ability to accept various forms of payment.
Owners of smaller venues with limited floor space, for
instance, will find an mPOS system useful because its
mobile nature can help to reduce the dreaded bottleneck
effect at a fixed point of sale during peak times. Other
venues are seeing an mPOS system as a way to evolve the
customer experience and create a personal touch when
interacting with customers. Still, others are seeing mPOS
systems as offering a chance to go beyond the four walls of
the business into outdoor events or trade shows.
Any tablet or smart phone can be transformed into an mPOS
system by downloading a mobile app. Once the app is
registered, the vendor will usually provide you with a card reader
that plugs into the audio jack of the device, and sometimes a
hand-held docking station (called a sled) will also be provided.
A sled allows the device to read barcodes and print receipts.
To protect your customers’ data, cardholder information is
encrypted and stored in the cloud, not on the device.
A general rule in the fast-paced world of hospitality is that
if you can make a process more mobile, you can make it
more efficient. Below are some of the benefits that a mobile
point of sale system can bring to the hospitality environment.
Mobile payment – Mobile payment is quickly becoming
the norm, and increasingly, consumers are expecting to
be able to pay quickly and easily, often while still seated
at their table. This pay-at-table capability speeds up
the payment process while ensuring that it is secure
(the employee does not need to leave the table with the
customer’s credit card). All of this means that you can
turn your table over quicker.
Mobile ordering – For table-service environments,
it’s far more efficient for employees to place an order
as it is given to them, rather than entering orders into
a stationary terminal. Streamlining this process can
increase sales revenue – in some cases, by more than 30
Mobile scheduling and office maintenance – An mPOS
system means that managers aren’t tethered to the physical
venue in order to schedule staff timetables – they can do it
remotely, freeing up time better spent on other tasks. The
same goes for a host of back-office maintenance tasks.
Mobile data analytics – With real-time alerts and
current sales information able to be accessed via a
mobile device, managers will know exactly what is
happening in the venue, wherever they are.
Increased security – Unlike traditional POS systems,
mPOS solutions offer point-to-point encryption. This means
that payment card data is encrypted and unreadable until it
reaches a secure decryption environment.
Personalised service – Many mPOS providers are
offering inventive ways to increase customer engagement
some have built-in customer loyalty programs that can,
for instance, provide the functionality to remind customers
when they have not visited after a set period of time.
Another benefit is that with the portability of mobile devices,
employees can interact with customers in all parts of the
venue, and even outside of it, making things swifter and
more efficient for the customer.
With the combined features of portability, increased
security and a range of advanced capabilities, it’s no
wonder that mPOS systems are taking the hospitality
sector by storm. As with any business investment,
don’t just look for the cheapest price when investing
in a business-critical system. Aside from the specific
features and functions you’ll need from your mPOS in
your business, remember to also look out for things like
how intuitive the user interface is, and whether or not the
vendor offers decent customer support. C&PM
POINT OF SALE
CLUBS AND PUBS MANAGER AUTUMN 2017 • 25
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