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How the Global Pandemic Impacted Retail Transactions

The way shoppers pay for products has evolved due to the rise of eCommerce during the pandemic. Online retail transactions have grown rapidly, and in many parts of the world, in-person cash transactions are now a smaller percentage of retail payments.

These changes have a significant implication for retail point-of-sale (POS) terminal vendors, as consumers choose to shop less at local in-store retailers and more online, or the vendor may lack the functional capabilities to process contactless payments.

The evolution of payment interactions has driven an in-store retailer transformation. With COVID-19 pandemic-related government control measures and the ongoing public wariness in many nations, non-contact forms of payment are becoming even more popular.

POS Terminal Market Development

According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, the total value of transactions processed by POS terminals will exceed $17.3 trillion in 2026 -- that's up from $14.8 trillion in 2021; growing at 28 percent CAGR.

The growth is driven by a continually evolving payment processing landscape in which cash plays a reduced role. The study found that POS vendors must ensure they support omnichannel retail business models and are prepared to compete with alternative payment methods, such as QR code payments.

The global pandemic and increased 'cashless' currencies create many challenges that traditional POS vendors need to manage, with retail moving online and enabling 'contactless' payment processing.


Juniper analysts recommend that POS vendors must integrate smart capabilities, including stock management and data analytics on their terminals, to maximize the value of their platforms to end-users.

The new research study has ranked leading POS terminal providers in the Juniper Research Leaderboard -- scoring vendors on their service innovation, market investment, and reach of services.

The following vendors were ranked as the market leaders: ​Fiserv, ​PAX Technology, ​PayPal, ​Square, ​Worldline, and Verifone. According to the Juniper assessment, these vendors have achieved significant worldwide penetration and comprehensive breadth and depth of solutions in the POS market.

Outlook for Mobile POS Applications Growth 

Juniper now predicts that shipments of mobile point of sale (mPOS) terminals will grow from 20 million units in 2021 to 32 million units by 2026. This represents a growth of 56 percent over the next 5 years.

Juniper analysts found that this growth will be fuelled by the accelerated transition from cash, with previously cash-only vendors adopting mPOS solutions rapidly. Juniper believes that emerging markets will offer the greatest opportunities for mPOS vendors, as demand for digital payments grows within these regions.

The research findings also indicate that more terminal vendors should build a strong mPOS offering -- backed up by free access to business insights, in order to capitalize on this emerging growth potential.

That said, I believe that ongoing disruptions within the global retail sector throughout the remainder of 2021 may motivate more legacy retailers to reconsider their core business model, and lead to further changes. Therefore, I anticipate a significant increase in new digital transformation projects for traditional merchants to reimagine their future.

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