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Smart Point of Sale Solutions are Gaining Momentum

Retailers across the globe continue to invest in new payment technologies, as the growing use of mobile devices, associated software applications and cloud-based financial services enter the mainstream marketplace.

ABI Research forecasts the point of sale (POS) hardware market will increase to more than $4.5 billion in 2021, with revenues generated from a combination of traditional POS and mPOS -- which employs a smartphone or media tablet as the cash register.

Merchants looking to enhance convenience and foster new experiences and transaction choices at the point of sale will propel POS hardware development over the next five years.

POS Technology Market Development

"Arguably, despite hype, mPOS did not yet eat into the traditional POS market as many industry experts initially hoped," said Phil Sealy, senior analyst at ABI Research.

This is reinforced by the vendor emphasis on competitive pricing strategies on hardware devices, used in a bid to gain market share among low-tier merchants, while shifting focus to longer-term reoccurring revenue opportunities via services, analytics, and fraud management.

In addition, according to the ABI assessment, the traditional POS market is heading toward a transitional period. Leading POS hardware vendors are priming themselves to take advantage of next-generation opportunities in pay-at-the-table, in-store self-service, omni-channel enablement, and analytics.

This is occurring as merchants shift their POS strategies toward a consumer-first approach via solutions that employ app integration, the convergence of fixed position terminals with mobility, features based on interactions or touch-points, self-service, and loyalty expansion.

Outlook for Ongoing POS Innovation

Savvy mPOS vendors -- including Clover and Square -- are moving up the value-chain via their respective smart POS solutions. Meanwhile, Tier One hardware suppliers like Ingenico, PAX Technology, and Verifone are extending product portfolios, moving in the opposite direction to better challenge in the lower tiered merchant category.

"Competition is clearly going to increase in both the traditional and mPOS device categories," concludes Sealy. "Those vendors that can offer compelling, reliable, feature-rich solutions with next-generation functionalities at suitable, tiered price points will be those that win out."

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