Imagine you’re sitting at your favourite restaurant, and the waiter brings around the bill to your table and uses his smartphone as a payment terminal. Or you’re waiting for a courier to deliver an important parcel and can tap and pay contactless upon delivery. These are some ways SoftPOS empowers merchants to accept payments directly using their smartphones without any additional hardware.
What exactly is SoftPOS?
SoftPOS is a technology that enables merchants to turn any Near-Field Communication (NFC) internet connected smart device into a contactless physical and virtual card reader. In Australia, softPOS is currently available on Android devices, including smartphones and tablets. However, Apple has just announced its plans to roll out softPOS through Tap on Pay on iPhone in Australia, after its initial launch in the US last year.
With SoftPOS, a merchant can download an application onto their device, which effectively transforms it into secure payment terminals. By utilising NFC or QR codes, SoftPOS allows businesses to accept contactless payments from customers using their both physical cards or digital wallets.
A history of the POS system
Point of Sale (POS) systems have come a long way since the invention of the first cash register in 1879 and subsequently became a staple in the marketplace. These cash registers replaced the pen and paper by allowing merchants to record sales and calculate totals more quickly and efficiently.
Electronic cash registers superseded manual cash registers in the 1970s, with the introduction of features such as barcode scanning, inventory management and simplified reporting. This made it possible for merchants to track inventory levels and sales for the first time.
The ‘modern’ POS systems emerged from the 1990s in part due to the rise of personal computers and the Internet. Merchants began adopting digitised solutions that offered more advanced features such as inventory tracking, employee management, and integration with other business tools.
In the 2000s, touchscreen technology and credit card processing capabilities further enhanced the user experience and streamlined payments within a single terminal.
From mPOS to SoftPOS, a game-changer in payments
More recently, a revolutionary new POS terminal has surfaced to solve the issues of high upfront equipment costs, complex hardware installations and the lack of mobility that comes with fixed terminals.
Mobile POS terminals (mPOS) is a portable POS terminal in the form of a smartphone, tablet or card reader like Square. This allows merchants to accept payments and conduct sales anywhere, anytime, offering greater convenience and flexibility.
However, mPOS still had one limitation – the need for additional hardware such as an external card reader in order to accept payments. This is where softPOS comes in, offering greater accessibility, scalability and security by leveraging software applications and removing the barriers and costs associated with additional hardware.
Benefits of SoftPOS
Cost-Effective: SoftPOS reduces upfront costs for businesses as no hardware is required, making it an affordable option for SMBs that may have limited budgets or resources.
Mobility and flexibility: transforming your smartphone into a payment terminal makes it ideal for merchants operating pop-up stores, food trucks, events and service-based businesses. It can also be used to reduce queues and provide a more personalised customer experience.
Ease of Implementation: merchants simply download an application onto a smartphone or tablet, eliminating hardware installations or extensive training.
Integration and scalability: SoftPOS can integrate with existing business systems, such as inventory management and customer relationship management (CRM) tools.
Enhanced security: SoftPOS leverages the security features of smartphones and tablets, such as biometric authentication (e.g., fingerprint or facial recognition) and encryption, to ensure secure transactions. Sensitive payment data is not stored on the device but is securely transmitted, reducing the risk of fraud and enhancing customer trust.
Multiple payment methods accepted: SoftPOS supports a wide range of payment methods, including physical cards, contactless payments and digital wallets, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Improved customer experience: SoftPOS streamlines the payment process, reducing checkout times and can be used to allow customers to self-checkout or self-service.
Contributes to environmental sustainability: SoftPOS is a digital-first approach that eliminates the need for paper receipts and reduces the consumption of resources associated with traditional POS systems.
SoftPOS has emerged as a game-changer in the world of payment processing, providing businesses with a cost-effective, secure, and flexible solution to accept payments. Its ability to leverage the power of mobile devices and offer a seamless customer experience has made it an increasingly popular choice for businesses of all sizes.
Interested in implementing softPOS for your business? Novatti Tap2Pay leverages the power of softPOS technology to transform your smart device into a payment terminal. Get in touch with our team who can help you get started.