Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Monday, January 13, 2020

Point-of-Sale Terminals Upgrade to Contactless Payments

Following the transition from magnetic stripe to EMV (smart cards that store data on integrated circuit chips), the U.S. retail market is upgrading to contactless point-of-sale (POS) terminals. Meanwhile, 100 percent of POS terminals may already be contactless-enabled in Canada, the UK and Japan.

Moreover, Visa reports that about 50 percent of its in-person transactions (outside the U.S.) are already contactless, through payment cards and mobile devices. In the U.S. market, where the EMV rollout is recent, it's estimated that 52.7 percent of POS terminals were now contactless-enabled in 2019.

Contactless POS Market Development

According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, the installed base of contactless-enabled POS devices will exceed 161 million by 2024 -- growing from 78 million devices in 2019. Contactless POS devices will then be about 94 percent of all POS devices in use.

Juniper believes that this growth will be driven by the deployment of contactless POS terminals in the U.S. market and the increasing use of contactless payments to replace traditional cash payments within emerging markets.

Juniper analysts recommend that hardware vendors focus on enabling higher value contactless payments on their existing POS devices by embracing mobile wallets and biometric payments cards at POS terminals.


Contactless transactions at POS are increasingly displacing cash in multiple markets. The study found that the average value per contactless transaction will grow from under $19 in 2019 to over $23 in 2024, with mobile payments and increasing contactless card issuance in the U.S. driving transaction growth.

Juniper recommends that POS vendors focus on minimizing the cost of POS hardware solutions to enable further displacement of cash for more diverse use cases such as pop-up restaurants or home services.

The study also found that biometric payment terminals -- where payments are authorized on the device -- are gaining traction in emerging markets. Juniper forecasts that global transaction values for biometric-equipped terminals will increase from $84 million in 2019 to $254 million in 2024.

Outlook for Biometric POS Hardware Trends

"In India, where biometric identity schemes are bringing the unbanked into the financial system, this type of device has high potential. It also has disruptive possibilities in developed regions, where biometric data is already being used in smartphones and identity documents, such as passports," said Susannah Hampton, research analyst at Juniper Research.

Across the globe, the fintech services market is evolving rapidly, and that's having an impact on all segments of the online and offline payments market. Juniper analysts recommend that established POS hardware vendors develop biometric capabilities early to enable future revenue growth.