By Stacey Finley Tappin, Senior Vice President, North American Sales and Marketing Communications, Apriva
One of the greatest inventions of modern day technology is the smart device. Sleek, powerful and efficient, smartphones and tablets have become the tool of choice for consumers who enjoy the ease in which they can find information, communicate via the web, and make purchases of goods and services.
While they’ve become ubiquitous in the consumer space, these devices are now being used increasingly in the business world. It’s no surprise mobility is a real game changer. Through these products, employees have the ability to become much more productive and functional out in the field. The “anytime, anywhere” aspect of mobile communications certainly gives businesses the unique ability to better serve customers and deliver services when their employees are not tethered to a specific location or work station.
In addition, the architecture of the device is perfect for business needs. Though the apps can be quite different from those many of us know and rely on in our personal lives, the smart device can host a variety of business- and company-specific applications that can have a tangible effect on productivity and operations. From an IT perspective, these apps are easy to update, easy to customize, and easy to manage remotely.
In The World of POS
As point of sale devices, smartphones and tablets are ideal for merchant services providers and retailers as efficient and low-cost alternatives to integrated POS systems and expensive made-for-purpose terminals that have long dominated the industry. The device’s reliance on low bandwidth Wi-Fi and cellular connections eliminates the need for merchants to maintain phone lines for the sole purpose of running transactions. In addition, the intuitive interfaces of these tools have become almost universal in nature. Most people, particularly young adults that comprise a large majority of the retail workforce, are intimately familiar with the operation of smart devices. This comfort level greatly reduces the time necessary to train employees on the operation of the phone or tablet.
Things To Consider
While the benefits of these devices are compelling, merchant services providers should not assume that their merchants will immediately agree to migrate their operations to smartphones and tablets. There are several points that merchant services providers should consider discussing with their customers in order to determine if these products make sense.
Conducting business on smartphones and tablets may not be suitable for every business, but for those small- and medium-sized merchants that rely on limited staff, multiple locations and mobile workforces, these tools can certainly be a viable, low-cost solution for maintaining an efficient and profitable operation.