The rise of the mobile-wielding traveler has revolutionized subsections of the tourism industry. From Airbnb to Uber and Lyft, mobile devices are transforming the very definition of industry segments and the players (and winners) within them.
One innovation that is transforming not only subsections, but the entire travel, tourism, and hospitality eco-system is mobile point-of-sale (mPOS, or mobile POS). The travel payments ecosystem is rapidly growing, as we highlighted in our blog post, here, and mPOS is positioned to be the catalyst that propels the industry to new heights.
With it, operators can truly focus on reforming the guest experience to be one that is personalized in real-time, boosting sales and satisfaction, and improving security and accuracy.
These top 7 mPOS advantages in the travel industry will prove the importance of this industry-defining moment – the time to become a player in the mobile revolution.
1. Customer Experience Improvements
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) explains that mobile broadband has become the “fastest growing technology in human history.” The unprecedented speed and availability of mobile networks is driving consumer demand for a new class of travel experiences. Travelers expect to wait less, carry less cash and fewer credit cards and paper receipts, and quickly and easily share positive experiences with their networks.
Mobile POS enables hotel guests to order drinks by the pool, at the moment they decide they want one, without waiting in line; it enables an extreme sports operator to charge guests on the beach or in the desert – without having to scan their credit cards (using a mobile wallet instead) or issuing a paper receipt (emailing it directly to their inboxes).
2. Increased Sales
The mobile device can do more than simply process more transactions faster (though isn’t that a great mPOS advantage on its own accord?) It can also store data. For example, a restaurant can store its menu on the device and servers can quickly and easily answer diners’ questions or relate special requests to the kitchen.
Reducing the time required to complete a sale and enabling your business to sell “on demand,” reduces friction and boosts sales. It enables you to respond at the moment a prospect is ready to make a purchase. A quick response means less time for people to change their minds and more purchases completed (not to mention, more customers satisfied and evangelizing)
3. Improved Security
Among the mPOS benefits is that using an mPOS device limits your liability because transactions are encrypted and card data is not stored on the mPOS device. This minimizes the risk of a security breach and makes it quicker and easier to comply with regulations like PCI DSS.
Mobile POS enables smaller businesses to benefit from the security technologies and monitoring that once were only available to the largest of merchants.
4. Efficient and accurate transactions
Thanks to their mobility and flexibility, one of the great mPOS advantages is that the devices make the purchase process an efficient one. Sales agents can be ready at any place and any time to accept a payment from anyone. Thanks to the speed of mobile networks, the purchase process becomes a real-time affair that can be completed anywhere. Compared to the manual credit card imprinter of yesteryear, mPOS is immediate. Thanks to the digital nature of its transactions, data can be automatically transmitted to bookkeeping systems, and statistics and traveler preferences can be stored for future personalization.
5. Accommodation of growing transaction volumes
As your travel business scales, your mPOS (and your mPOS benefits) will scale alongside your healthy business. According to Juniper Research, a U.K.-based research firm, by 2021, mPOS will account for about 1/3 of all installed POS terminals worldwide and control more than 45% of POS transaction value, or about $5.6 trillion. The size of the market enables small travel operators to increase volumes without investing heavily in new systems, security, or infrastructure, to compete with big players.
6. Less expensive and easier solution for migrating to EMV
For travel businesses that accept credit cards, EMV solutions are a necessity. Those with traditional POS solutions are suffering through issues of compatibility, like requiring PIN pads and two-way communication.
Mobile POS systems allow travel businesses to easily and inexpensively accept EMV transactions as well as offer NFC capabilities.
7. Easily accept mobile wallet payments
Travelers who do not want to travel with cash or credit cards (or antiquated travelers cheques) are increasing their reliance on mobile wallets like Android Pay and Apple Pay. As this trend grows, the mPOS is ready to accommodate those travelers who simply wish to swipe their phone.
The future of mobile point of sale, which we discussed in this blog post, is here now. Mobile POS is revolutionizing the industry by enabling merchants to be more flexible. Travel businesses can support additional payment methods for customers who prefer not to use a credit card. It is easy and affordable to have a good mobile payment app combined with the mPOS to allow additional types of mobile payments, like email request for payment, which is offered with mSWIPE. Travel businesses can greatly increase revenues and improve customer satisfaction by adopting this revolutionary payment technology.