1 September 2015

What is #NextGenPOS ?


We used to call it “mobile POS” because it was essentially a MOBILE Point of Sale solution. But these days mobile POS often takes the form of a tablet fixed on top of a counter – which isn’t very mobile at all but still leverages the same basic technology. What we are witnessing is another example of mobile devices acting as a swiss knife, taking over more and more functionalities, and in this case the Point of Sale.

The mobile is doing to the PC what the PC did to the mainframe” @russellbuckley

Historically Mobile POS originates from the airline industry where space constraints required a full-blown mobile retail checkout system. In the absence of mobile devices these solutions were based on bulky handheld terminals (running PalmOS and WinCE). The technology proliferated the transportation industry and was then famously adapted in a retail stores by Apple – changing the whole retail checkout process. A lot of retailers wanted to imitate Apple with a “queue busting solution” as it was called back then, but very few succeeded.

What has since happened is that smartphones have replaced handheld terminals and the old cash register is giving way to new technology, namely tablets with integrated payments (instead of stand-alone payment terminals). This new technology, easily available to merchants through iTunes and Google Play, gives merchants many more features over the traditional cash register (reports, inventory, analytics, loyalty…) and helps them run their business. In other words, POS systems using mobile devices are advancing the industry and therefore we collectively call them: “Next Generation POS”.

Next-Gen-POS = {Tablet POS, iPad POS, Mobile POS, mPOS, queue buster…}

Yesterday is never coming back and neither is yesterday’s technology (thankfully). Most industries see some technological advances every year and checkouts and payments are no exception to that rule. Cash registers brought huge benefits to merchants when they were introduced and have been greatly successful. Now we’re seeing another type of technology replacing cash registers and that wave will take many years to fully peak…at which time we’ll probably advance to something very different…the After-Next-Gen-POS!…but until then, we’ve got plenty of work to do.

About the author

Davíð Guðjónsson

I grew up with computers (Sinclair Spectrum, Commodore64 and Amiga) but only got my first mobile phone and internet access once I was at the University of Iceland (1996). From that moment the path was clear and I co-founded an internet company in '97 building one of world's first CMS's (sold in '99, good timing!). Then co-founded a "smartphone" company in 1999 that built handheld software and mobile POS solutions for airlines (PalmOS, WinCE), pioneered mobile POS with chip&PIN payments for UK retailers and built Handpoint to power Next Generation POS.

#NextGenPos, #MobilePOS, #MobilePayments, #EMV (Chip&PIN), #NFC, #Public Speaking, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Motivation, Getting things done

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