The all-in-one solution is not the future of POS
November 13, 2014

For many small-to-midsized retailers, the future may feel out of reach. There are several new technologies in place that can help them improve their business and develop solutions that are considered part of the omnichannel experience, but many of them are unaffordable. In addition, there is a looming concern regarding the EMV standard, where they must switch their POS terminals and card readers to the card chip standard by October 2015 or else face total fraud liability. However, the amount of money needed to convert to the new standard can be impractical for some businesses.

With both of these concerns in place, it's easy for a small storefront to be worried that it won't be able to catch up with the competition, especially larger retailers that can invest in the new technology. Some believe the future is in so-called "all-in-one" devices. However, integrated payments systems that take advantage of the cloud may provide better alternative in the form of providing effective means of conducting business and future-proofing against technological upheaval.

Everything put together briefly
The increased presence of all-in-one solutions has become more apparent, according to PYMNTS' monthly mPOS Tracker. This hardware handles many of the payment options that are already available including EMV and near-field communication, the standard of mobile payment that is being used by many smartphones. What it does is offer an inexpensive alternative to a full-blown replacement terminal with new software to learn. The technology is that of a more advanced card reader and terminal.

There are many problems with this technology. The main issue is that it's a quick fix for retailers looking to avoid being hit by the EMV deadline. It's not an effective solution for the long-term interest of retailers. Consider that despite mobile devices being commonplace, mobile wallets have not reached a level where every smartphone has the capability for it. A new technology may appear in the coming years that will supplant what is currently available. That would mean the hardware would have to be replaced yet again for something more expensive that also covers every other payment method.

With integrated payments systems, the cost of installing it in a retailer is only a little bit more than what is found with the current all-in-one readers. However, it offers a lot more options for retailers in the form of reading other cards such as gift cards. Also, because it is based in the cloud, the software is constantly updated, meaning that retailers are future-proofing their payments processing.

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