points of sales around the worldFrom Cafes, Stores to Airplanes
A new and improved POS experience is on its way, brought about by new companies working together on developing new systems and upgrading the existing ones.
Something for the SMBs
HP has recently made the news with the announcement of a new, all-in-one POS system partnership with PayPal that is set to expand its SMB offering. This is HP's first foray into the SMB market and the company's excellent track record with retail and hospitality solutions bodes well for this new endeavor. This comes at a perfect moment when SMBs have an increasing need for innovative payments solutions that can be tailored to address their specific needs.
These needs range from process automation and prompt payment incentives to loyalty programs and customer rewards as various available options often left SMBs unsatisfied because they provided solutions to some but not all relevant issues.
HP's PayPal partnership is built on their cooperation in EMV processing, for which PayPal was providing the necessary hardware to cover all customers' needs including maintenance.
Old players, new game
In 2018 Stripe introduced Stripe Terminal, extending its infrastructure from online services to the physical world. The company, known for powering online purchases for internet companies, now offers developers a means to create custom payments experiences for in-person transactions as well. With Stripe Terminal, the company aimed to solve the challenges faced by online retailers who wanted to expand their offer to brick-and-mortar stores.
Previously, this involved hiring the services of various third-party providers to cooperate with the company's in-house team and create solutions for POS hardware and software, security, EMV certification, and compliance with various regulatory and hardware requirements of each target country.
All this necessarily made any such solutions quite difficult to implement successfully. It also made the upgrade and customization of in-store purchase software a difficult and time-consuming task.
Stripe's ambition was to deal with all those issues with their a one-in-all global coverage solution that, most importantly, offers a smooth user experience and expedites international expansion of the companies that implement it.
Stripe Terminal consists of three components: a set of SDKs and APIs that allow the creation of a fully customized checkout experience for both mobile apps and the web; a card reader certified to Stripe's global processing platform and providing both EMV and contactless payments (a point of interest for Google Pay and Apple Pay users); and a software solution for managing connected devices and connected accounts.
Stripe Terminal has been a big step for the company and not only because it provided its already existing customers with a new service. Its obvious appeal is also attracting many new businesses in search of solutions it provides. With many retailers looking to expand "from online to offline", companies that can provide a smooth transition are in high demand - and Stripe has given itself a strong competitive edge.
The Flying POS
Air travel can be stressful to both fliers and staff. Anything that can remove frictions — including making payments easier — can make a big difference.
Air Serbia's catering service requested an on-board EPoS system from ECR, looking to enhance the catering and introduce inflight sales on their Airbus A320 aircraft. The solution provided by ECR within a two-month timeframe was AirPoS, tailor-made for airlines.
It runs on Go2 all-in-one handheld devices, a piece of hardware that has proved a favorite of many an air crew due to its long-life batteries. The solution handles product sales and card and cash payments through the same hardware unit, is EMV level 1 and 2 certified, and offers both contactless and RFID. AirPoS also includes a cloud-based back office and its data collection functionality presents huge possibilities for marketing, sales and stock management data mining.
Air Serbia is not the only airline to introduce its own PoS system. In 2018 FlySafair launched AviaPay, a mobile PoS that allowed their passengers to purchase refreshments inflight using credit and debit cards. It was reported that providing receipts allowed FlySafair customers manage their expense claims more easily, as well as reduced time and effort travel management teams needed for processing the claims.