What is MPOS?
Everything you need to know about MPOS
In a world where there are more mobile phone and tablets than people it’s no wonder that MPoS is the buzz word within the industry. MPoS stands for Mobile Point of Sale and is a term often used when talking about tablets or mobile payment devices. These systems are generally used on one of 3 platforms. IOS, Android and Windows.
The operating systems offer users different experience in terms of power, quality and functionality. Regarding peripherals, this is also the case, with each operating system offering different compatibility of equipment.
The idea of MPoS is that it is an expansive till based platform that moulds itself to whatever business you may be running, be it retail or hospitality.
Now you may be questioning what this means for the cash register and EPOS industry. MPoS is not a replacement for these existing systems but closer to an addition to the cash register and PoS range that can work with or independently of the system you are currently using.
So, the big question still lays unanswered “Why should we use Mpos?”. Hopefully the information below can help answer some of your questions and perhaps even help you to consider the possibilities of MPos for your business.
The biggest and most noticeable feature when it comes to Mpos is the size of the system. They are very small in comparison to cash registers/epos systems and can be as small as the phone in your back pocket.It’s specifically designed to be a space saving solution that doesn’t sacrifice any features that any other system can use.
The small size factor does often make people question the usability of the device, however, Mpos systems are designed to be versatile and fit for any environment that it is placed in. Dependant on the tablet you use, you may still be able to use the same printer and cash drawers that are used with any basic epos system just with a fraction of the main unit size.
Size can also be adjusted and the software can run on a wide range of devices (compatibility needed) of all shape and size. We have seen software running on 6” screens all the way up to 22” tablets. This form of flexibility ensures that users have some form of control with device selection.
Mpos software is designed to be simple to program, quick to set up and easy to use. When talking about Android and IOS devices, cloud based software is often paired with it. Cloud based software keeps all the data off the main system and hosts it on a server that can be connected to with a standard network connection. This form of software allows editing of products, prices and more without using the Mpos hardware.
If you do not have a network connection or cloud based software doesn’t seem quite like your cup of tea, you can either choose a non-cloud based software for IOS or Android or, even better so, use a Windows based Mpos tablet.
The main advantage of a Windows based Mpos solution comes from the operating system itself.
Most Windows tablets run a full version of the windows operating system. This allows the tablet running windows to run all windows compatible Epos software.
This also means that if you are already using an Epos system for your business, it would be highly likely that you would be able to include an Mpos solution alongside your Epos software to the extent of sharing communication between the two devices. This means shared products, shared reports and shared clerks.
Disregarding the size of the Mpos unit, the design of the systems are frequently commented on. The words “modern” and “sleek” are thrown around when it comes to Mpos and this is partially down to the make of the system.
IOS devices are all modern looking devices with professional interfaces and sleek designs. Customers won’t turn their nose up at you for any solution you are using however there is a certain edge of professionalism that comes with using an IOS Solution. The only problem with using an IOS device is that despite the nice look, all the devices look the same. If you aren’t keen on IPads, the IOS Mpos solution will not change your mind.
Android on the other hand offer so many different looks, it’s almost hard to look for them all. Android tablets are mass marketed by different companies which means you can have the same great functionality and power with a lot of company branded tablets but with a different look. This means that you can have an Mpos system that reflects your style. Some Android tablets also come designed with a rugged form factor in mind, protecting itself from harmful drops and impacts.
Like Android, the Windows tablets are also very customisable for any Mpos customers. The difference between the Windows and the Android tablet is shown with the look of the interface. Windows is a very recognisable OS and is also very easy to use and navigate. This adds further to the appeal of a windows tablet for the use of Mpos. The exterior designs of these tablets are thicker than the standard tablet on most occasions due to the extra power so the machine can come off as bulky in comparison to the other systems however as with most things, aesthetic appeal is objective as everyone will have a different idea on how a system should look.
Considering both previous factors of size and the aesthetics, portability is also an important feature.Portability allows your business to remove itself from the restrictions of epos in one simple move.
Epos systems are large systems without much flexibility in terms of movement. Mpos tablets encourage the user to experiment with its form factor by allowing your clerks to sell items with system in hand. The portability is perfect for anyone using waiters or waitresses in their staff list. Imagine being served by a member of staff, Mpos system in hand, confirming your order to the kitchen as soon as the table’s order is secure.
As most the connections for Mpos are wireless, this helps sell the system as a great addition to any business with a large staff base. You can equip staff working on that shift with a tablet each to encourage quick sales, less mistakes due to pauses in taking and processing information on a till and it also helps to show your customers how modern your business is.Portability also assists customers that work with events as their main process. Having to set up a large system with lots of cables is troublesome and unneeded even for the IT minded individuals.
Mpos takes that away by relying on mostly wireless components.
This portability for events yet again still allows users to walk around with the device to potentially serve customers at table.
Mpos systems compare quite well in terms of price between a cash register and an Epos system. In terms of functionality, power and cost, Mpos fits perfectly between the two different systems. Although you will be able to find systems lower in cost than the Mpos unit, you also sacrifice features that are not available on lower powered machinery.
The costing of the systems of Mpos is slightly lower than that of an Epos system but this is largely due to the smaller screen size, the drop-in power and the drop-in storage size as well.
Although a lot of businesses will not need the added power and storage, a large amount of companies will still need to use an Epos solution for businesses needing a higher performing piece of hardware.
As with other till systems Mpos is flexible in costings due to the different set-ups required. Mpos systems can use scanners, secure stands and even mobile payment devices alongside them however this is entirely optional for yourselves; if you don’t need it, you don’t need to buy it either.
Other factors to the cost revolve around the choice of tablet for your Mpos system, choice of software and even preference of peripherals. Talking more strictly about software, the cost is dependent on what type of system you need for what hardware. Almost all software for IOS and Android require a cloud based system. This software is offered on a monthly rate rather than the standard upfront costs you will find with Windows.
As an overview of all the statements made above, I will summarise a few major points when considering Mpos for your business. Now the first few points to investigate is that Mpos is not for everyone. If you prefer to use Epos due to the size and convenience of having larger and more complete looking system, then Mpos will not be for you. Mpos is designed to act alongside existing systems or to be used as an independent system for events and small business owners. As not to restrict larger companies, it is still viable to use an Mpos system as a main foundation for sales if you wish.
It is also important to highlight a few other restrictions with Mpos and that comes down to the sacrifice of legacy peripheral. Epos systems to this day still support some legacy formats such as com ports and serial ports however the Mpos system relies more towards wireless input and USB connectors. Due to the size factor, the device can also not hold a lot of USB input devices without the need of a USB hub to assist.
All in all, I think that Mpos is a system that will take the world by storm, helping to develop smaller businesses and modernise longer standing larger scale businesses. We feel that Mpos has the power to offer many different advantages to companies that do not feel Epos is right for them. However it can be said in reverse, Epos is here to stay, Mpos is not for everyone and it is another choice to consider when you next look to purchase your POS Solutions.
I hope these observations above have helped you to understand Mpos more of a business tool rather than the gimmick that it is sometimes portrayed as. Please feel free to contact us if you require any more information.
With over 17 years of experience with 100’s of businesses, we are experts in the world of EPOS and provide advice to businesses of all sizes on a daily basis. As a business owner we are fully aware that you are very passionate about the way your business is run, like how we are with our Cash registers, Epos systems and MPOS Systems.