Most people know NEC Corp. of America as a display company. However, with the needs and wants of customers in the channel changing rapidly, NEC is expanding its focus. Beginning in 2014 the company will be adding mobile point of sale (POS) solutions.
Gary Price, director of sales for NEC’s Retail Solutions division, says mobile POS satisfies many requirements for retail. For instance, tablet-based POS makes sense for many retailers considering this technology is low cost (compared to PC-based or all-in-one units) and capable of multiple uses. Tablets give retailers the option of moving the “point of sale” to the “point of decision.” Price says apparel retailers, for example, can upsell by showing items on a tablet that complement the clothing a shopper selected. He says mobile POS also enables a retailer to add multiple checkout lanes without adding infrastructure.
Price points out there isn’t one solution, however, that suits every application. “It’s up to the retailer to work through the decision if mobile POS is right for them.”
If your customer does decide to employ mobile POS, Price says the choice between consumer grade and commercial grade will be an important one. He says to work through total cost of ownership (TCO) with your clients. “If it’s easy to replace — it doesn’t require a lot of time or cost — it lowers TCO,” Price says. Tablets that are durable — resulting in longer lives — also have lower TCO. He also says your customer’s specific needs will dictate other features of the solutions, like choosing between wireless or USB, which OS to use, and other functions — besides POS — the device will have.
Something else to consider is the looming EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) deadline, placing responsibility for fraud prevention on the merchant, with all terminals upgraded for the regulation by October 2015. “It’s definitely going to play into all hardware engineering,” Price comments. He says the first application the channel is seeing is restaurant pay-at-the-table systems. In coming months retail will also have systems that allow customers to never lose sight of their credit or debit cards when they pay.