July 26, 2021
The Benefits of a Mobile Point-of-Sale System in the Cloud
By adopting cloud mPOS, retailers can simplify billing, IT management and security.
For several years, savvy retailers have deployed mobile point-of-sale systems to enhance customer service, bust checkout lines and streamline employee training. Often, these mPOS systems have relied on on-premises computing infrastructure. But the public cloud offers an attractive alternative for retailers looking to further simplify their operations.
Streamlined IT Management
Many smaller retailers — the neighborhood coffee shop using a stationary Apple iPad device or Android tablet as its primary payment terminal, for instance — simply can’t afford to employ full-time IT staffers. The public cloud gives these small stores the ability to manage their point-of-sale solutions without having to also manage on-premises infrastructure. Even for larger retailers, simplified IT management is a significant benefit of cloud mPOS solutions. Rather than manually pushing out patches, IT staffers can manage these systems remotely and rely on automated software updates.
Lower Cost and Simplified Financing
Whether the back end resides in the cloud or on-premises, an mPOS system often represents a significant cost savings over more traditional point-of-sale solutions. But cloud mPOS systems also reduce the upfront financial hurdle for retailers. The operating expense (OPEX) financial model of cloud solutions turns IT costs into recurring, predictable expenses.
Over the past year or so, we’ve all seen how important it is for executives and employees to have access to enterprise data and systems from wherever they happen to be working. Using cloud mPOS systems, retailers can give business and IT leaders anytime, anywhere access to data throughout the entire organization. Even as more and more people return to a physical office, this ability to access data from anywhere remains a significant advantage. Issues may pop up when people have gone home for the weekend or are on vacation. By accessing a cloud mPOS portal, business and IT leaders can quickly take care of problems as they arise, then get back to their lives.
Security and Compliance
If we’re being honest, IT security isn’t often the strong suit of small and midsized retailers. When these businesses host IT infrastructure onsite, resources are rarely housed in a secure data center. More often, servers are stored in an easily accessible back room, where any number of people could compromise them. Payment systems hosted in the public cloud offer no such physical access, providing a layer of security that is often absent with on-premises systems. Also, cloud mPOS systems offer automatic updates to keep retailers in compliance with data security regulations such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.
Even more likely: If a retailer houses servers in its back office, the day will come when a server stops working. Either it will simply die or an employee will inadvertently break it (or perhaps unplug it) — suddenly taking the company’s payment systems offline. Cloud mPOS systems offer superior reliability. Even if a store loses its internet connection, many cloud mPOS providers offer retailers the ability to take payments offline (often limiting transactions to a certain dollar amount), and then authenticate those payments once a connection is re-established. The upshot: Retailers can stop worrying about their tech quitting on them, and instead keep their attention focused on business.