Report: MPOS Critical for Customer Data Capture

4/3/2013
PYMNTS.com and ROAM, a pioneer in the mobile POS space, revealed new findings for their guide to the mobile point of sale ecosystem. March 2013's big takeaway is that MPOS is enabling the capture of a very critical asset sought by merchants large and small: data.

If you want to know why large retailers are making such large investments in MPOS – that is certainly one of the big reasons. The reports states that unlike online merchants that capture customer name, email and billing/shipping address, most physical merchants don't know what customers are in their stores. The absence of that data means that they have a very limited ability to interact with that customer before, during and sometimes even after the checkout process unless they ask customers to fill out "customer cards." MPOS solutions, even at their most basic level, enable merchants to capture (and even organize) basic customer contact information.

For example, tablet-based MPOS solutions literally puts commerce into the hands of sales associates who can engage with customers and provide an even richer opportunity to link purchasing intent, preferences and habits with a customer profile and secure a client relationship.

March 2013's report features five new players to the MPOS Pyramid. The new merchant facing players are BlueBamboo, Flint, SofSpace, SpirePayments (Thyron), and PaySimple. In addition, we've updated six players from prior months. They include the following merchant facing players: Adyen Shuttle, Intuit, NCR Silver, PayPal, Payleven and Sales Vu.

Key insights from this month's report include:
  • As goes new payments channels, so goes concerns with the security of cardholder data. The increasing popularity of MPOS solutions, especially with new card accepting small/micro-merchants, has increased the decibel level over the need to protect cardholder data. March 2013 was the month that the PSCI Security Standards Council released new guidelines aimed at equipping developers, merchants and payments processors with the information needed to close the loop on those concerns.
  • iPads and iPod touch(es) retail revenues in big ways. JCP's CEO Ron Johnson told Wall Street analysts at the beginning of March that twenty-five percent of its store sales came via MPOS devices and that all store associates will have handheld iPod Touch devices by the end of May. This comes on the heels of Nordstrom's first-mover decision to do the same about a year ago. More recently, Barneys (7 of its 24 stores), Urban Outfitters (all of its stores and affiliated brands), Coach (all of its factory outlet stores), and REI (120 stores) have all made the move to MPOS devices to make it easier for consumers to transact and for associates to capture better customer information.
  • MPOS is where the innovation action is. The Innovation Project 2013, an industry convening at Harvard in March hosted by PYMNTS.com, highlighted the significance of MPOS in driving innovation in the retail environment. Ten percent of the 40 newly “birthed” innovators that were showcased at the Innovators Expo were MPOS solutions of one form or fashion, and The 2013 PYMNTS.com Innovator Awards winners had a category dedicated entirely to MPOS solutions. Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal Winners in that category were Groupon/Breadcrumb, LightSpeed and GoPago respectively. Three other Gold Medal winners (of the 15 categories) were also MPOS solutions or included them as part of their solutions: Square, PayPal (for POS including PayPal)
Download the full February 2013 MPOS Tracker report here.

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