Retailers using mobile checkout will have happy holidays

Retailers that enable mobile checkout will be able to serve more customers and shorten checkout wait times, reducing lost sales from shoppers who don't want to wait in long lines during the holidays, judges Shailendra Pandey, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

Last year, jewelry retailer Alex and Ani deployed mobile checkout technology in a number of U.S. stores and saw a 318 percent increase in sales from transactions processed by sales associates using mobile point-of-sale (POS) terminals.

"Many retailers have now deployed, or are in the process of deploying, mobile POS terminals. Unlike a few years ago, many vendors are now offering mobile POS terminals and support services. These vendors are also offering attractive incentives to merchants and retailers to upgrade their old terminals with new mobile POS systems," says Pandey.

Supermarket chains in particular are interested in deploying mobile POS systems and self-service checkout counters to reduce staffing. In the longer term, increased adoption of near field communications (NFC) and cloud technologies could reduce the need to have checkout counters at all. For example, shoppers could scan items using their mobile phones and pay for those items by waving their phones in front of an NFC reader, explains Pandey.

In addition, retailers are using plug-in card readers made by Square, mPowa and Ezetap to process payments on mobile phones. In Europe, Payleven launched a chip-and-PIN POS terminal that links to a mobile device using Bluetooth.

By 2016, Informa estimates that about 1.1 billion people will be using mobile payment in retail stores and on public transportation.

For more:
- see Informa's release

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