Merchants are no longer limited to the little grey box with a PIN pad. Innovation in payment terminal design, as well as the availability of value-added services, creates a unique payment experience based on specific business needs.
With the advent of POS app marketplaces, merchants can review and download apps on their payment devices. Merchants can now customize a POS terminal just as one might customize a smartphone. Options range from apps that support the merchant (inventory reporting and timecards) to apps that support the consumer (personalized offers/coupons, loyalty programs, and charity opportunities).
“Spurred on by advances in financial technology, the payments industry continues to evolve at pace,” says Hitesh Anand, VP of Product, Commerce Enablement Mobile at Verifone. “The rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets is leading to a convergence of the offline and online worlds, further opening the value chain to innovative outsiders, large and small. This paves the way for unique experiences in the future of smart commerce.”
Gartner found that 89% of marketers expect customer experience to be their primary differentiator in 2017. Bearing this in mind, merchants will need solutions that aren’t just customized to suit their business goals, but ones that also reimagine the customer experience. As such, customer-facing apps at the POS provide merchants tools to create the engaging and differentiating customer exchanges they desire. For example, when a customer sees her name on a payment terminal, along with an offer for her favorite drink at half-price, the merchant makes that customer feel known. It’s a predictive, value-adding experience consumers have come to expect and appreciate, similar to interactions on sites like Amazon.com. In that sense, the next-gen POS brings the digital world, and its unlimited capabilities, to the brick-and-mortar business.
For the in-store experience to survive, it has to rival the online experience. Payment solutions should offer relevant, useful engagements that drive customer preference and new revenue streams.
Consumers have high expectations, and as technology invades everyday life (smart homes, AI, VR), merchants will have to follow suit. The rapid pace of innovation demands that merchants be “future-proof.” It may sound like a big ask, but payment companies at the edge of innovation have already brought it to life.
The evolution of personalization at the POS sets the stage for what’s next: a transformative POS experience that considers history, real-time inputs, and predictive data. It’s an experience both merchants and consumers can appreciate and benefit from going forward.