As smartphones and tablets become increasingly cost-effective and powerful, mobile POS (point of sale) acceptance is posing a growing threat to traditional terminal-based solutions and vendors. Mobile POS provides all the existing functionality of a terminal with platform-specific benefits, including lower hardware costs, portability, and an improved user interface along with lower processing fees and easier application processes. Mobile POS has the capacity to attract all merchant tiers: from small self-employed cash-only vendors to the largest big-box U.S. retailers. And the allure of mobile POS reaches both sides of the counter — the majority of consumers currently view mobile POS acceptance as very or extremely convenient. However, translating mobile POS’s strategic benefits and consumer appeal into broad adoption requires an understanding of both the crowded mobile POS acceptance marketplace, feature set, and pricing, and the consumer segments to target for early adoption. This report provides an actionable dollar sizing of the merchant marketplace and feature comparisons among 14 selected leading solution providers in the POS space based on executive interviews. Backed by a qualitative and quantitative examination of various provider strategies, best practices and recommendations are provided in this report. Additionally, key survey information on consumer demographics and segments on views of the convenience and security of mobile POS are included for targeted marketing purposes.

Primary Questions:

  • What is the merchant market for mobile POS solutions in the U.S. today?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks to mobile POS compared with terminal-based solutions?
  • Who are the key providers of mobile POS and how do their services and strategies differ?
  • How do consumers view the security of mobile POS?
  • What demographic groups and segments can be identified for targeted marketing for mobile POS?
  • What are the constraints to adoption of mobile POS?
  • This report is based mainly on data collected online from a random‐sample bank benchmark panel of 6,651 consumers in January 2013.