Mobile payment systems were once all the talk of retail merchants, with buzz surrounding how mPOS would revolutionize the in-store experience. Brick-and-mortar businesses predicted themselves taking the retail reins away from online competitors with mobile payment systems at their business.

According to a recent report by Business Insider, the mPOS device market is forecasted to grow to 27.7 million mPOS devices in circulation in the U.S. by 2021, up from just 3.2 million in 2014.  Retailers are credited in the report for driving the growth of the mPOS ecosystem. Despite this sound information, however, only 3-percent of enterprise businesses have settled on a mPOS solution, and overall adoption has been slower than expected. Ben Wagner from Ingenico takes a look at some of the roadblocks that are affecting adoption, which include retail challenges and implementation.


1. Complex Integration Issues

It is typical for retailers to have the capability to accept eCommerce and in-store payments, but many use separate systems equipped to do either, and the same can be said for mobile payment systems. As Wagner writes,

If these large merchants also want to implement mPOS to allow their sales staff to accept in-person payments at any point of interaction, retailers have typically had to add additional infrastructure to accept and process the corresponding payments.

This is costly (both in time and money) to maintain and often means having to integrate with multiple vendors to meet multiple (but similar) needs for their POS system. Furthermore, mPOS usually requires a different operating system than what already exists.  To address this, merchants need a streamlined solution for mPOS to operate on the same platform. This would provide the retailer with flexibility and an easier and less expensive integration that won’t require multiple layers to operate payments at your business.

2. Drained Batteries Can’t Keep Up

Business that handle a large volume of daily transactions are struggling with the battery life of mobile payment systems and mPOS. Oftentimes, retailers complain that constant recharging of a device is slowing them down. One suggestion to mPOS providers is to extend battery life of mPOS solutions. Retailers also suggest that batteries should be easily swapped out for new batteries.

3. Too Much to Carry

For customer service and convenience, retailers need to be able to lug around a mobile payment system without being weighed down by an array of devices. As Wagner points out, an enterprise-level mPOS solution typically consists of a mobile terminal and a mobile device or tablet that are either wired or wirelessly connected. Cases to carry all of these devices are heavy and cumbersome, which makes them inconvenient if you have to reach for something on a shelf, help a customer find an item, speak to a partner… the list goes on. A better carrying case should provide easy access to both tablet and mPOS so that they can be carried and operated with one hand.

4. Security Concerns

Mobile payment systems and mPOS terminals are often targeted by thieves and hackers which can spell disaster for your business security and brand image. One way to address this is by building mPOS terminals with the same standards as in-lane terminal solutions. Physical in-store security measures should be in place to secure devices while they are unattended (e.g. charging, stored overnight). Also, devices need to comply with PCI and EMV standards to be protected from chargebacks.  Wagner believes that these solutions should be compatible with P2PE to ensure card information cannot be compromised during processing or transmission via mobile payment systems.

5. Mobile Payment Systems Are Unattractive

Let’s face it – mPOS solutions are the ugly duckling of payments. Compared to other technologies that are entering the market, mPOS solutions do not offer the same aesthetic as other technologies (and, when placed next to that modern tablet you’re carrying around, your mPOS solution looks like it’s lacking innovation). As Wagner admits,

“Retailers want to show they are ahead of the curve and want their mPOS solutions to convey that image accordingly. Therefore, device designs must be sleek and modern looking rather than clunky or uninspired.”

As design improves, retailers admit that adoption of mobile payment systems will become more widespread, especially for those businesses who care a great deal about their brand image and the exceptional experiences they provide for their customers.

Accept Mobile Payments

Mobility can work wonders on your retail business location, allowing for flexibility in your personal life, leaving you with more time for things that are most important to how you live your life. Accept credit card payments from wherever you are today with Payline.