A1 Retail: Feature on EPOS

By Nigel Hyslop, President and Managing Director UK

New tablet and mobile EPOS technology presents exciting opportunities for retailers to grow sales and reduce queues associated with traditional desk-based POS. Many retailers have already integrated tablets into their stores to showcase more of their range and facilitate payment and delivery. This gives them huge business growth potential, and we expect many more retailers – large and small – to take up the technology this year, particularly as the cost barriers are now so low.

In-store, this has the potential to transform the customer experience as tablet EPOS can be placed at stages throughout the store to maximise sales. In time we may even see them replace traditional POS entirely, thanks to their flexibility and interactivity.

What we are also seeing is the blurring of lines between high street and online shopping as in-store retail technology connects with online merchandise. For example, tablets placed in fitting rooms can help customers match accessories and see different styles or alternative colours. Mobile devices are also going to become more common point-of-sale devices once payments technology is installed, allowing customers to order directly for home delivery or in-store when items are out of stock.

One area that remains grey, however, is that of card security. When customers pay through tablet POS the payment is considered an online transaction taking place in a face to face environment, which means that different Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) apply. PCI DSS is a set of globally agreed compliance standards that any merchant who processes, stores or transmits cardholder data has to adhere to. The standards are designed to provide a framework for minimising fraud and safeguarding customers’ data. In order to avoid any compliance issues, retailers can use a PIN entry device and attach it to the tablet, thus making it a true Chip & PIN transaction and, therefore, making it easier to conform with PCI DSS.