By Brad Hyett, CEO of Phos

We’ve seen the payments landscape strengthen over the past decade and it’s now in its most exciting and inventive era. Payment technology that would have taken years to materialize has now materialized in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not only do payments provide the foundation for the broader economy, but they continue to drive changes in technology and the way we do business. With the possibility of a cashless society on the horizon, Software Point of Sale or ‘SoftPoS’ is an innovative payment technology that is gaining popularity.

This emerging mobile payment technology aims to meet the challenges of payment digitization for SMEs. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, the payment ecosystem has undeniably evolved following a global increase in the use of digital payments post-pandemic. However, to understand the extended benefits of SoftPoS, we need to ask the question – what exactly is it?

An overview of SoftPoS

SoftPoS allows merchants to accept card payments directly on their phones or mobile devices without the need for additional hardware. This allows businesses to avoid the high costs of paying for expensive point-of-sale (POS) terminals, i.e. card readers.

The ability to accept payments on mobile devices has come a long way, and many SMBs can now run their businesses from their smartphones. Using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, card payments can be accepted on any Android smartphone or tablet – devices readily available in the SMB market.

Since SoftPoS is based on Android OS, the integration of additional business applications serves to improve the functionality of how payments are made.

With 5.32 billion unique mobile phone users worldwide today, according to the latest data from GSMA Intelligence, mobiles have become an integral part of everyday life. The fact that a large majority of people own an Android or iPhone device has democratized access to technology, meaning that even small retailers have everything they need to accept contactless payments in their pocket.

Benefits of SoftPoS for SMBs

SoftPoS offers a host of benefits for traders and customers. The ability to turn commonly used devices into payment acceptance devices is revolutionary. For example, scalability is easy and requires little or no staff training since almost everyone has access to a mobile phone.

As many industries continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic, not having to pay for additional hardware saves merchants money that can be invested in other vital areas of their business. .

Likewise, giving consumers more ways to pay for products and services will ensure that SMBs don’t miss out on opportunities to close more sales, while creating a frictionless experience for their customers.

In short, SoftPoS enables businesses to reach more customers than ever before. and keep them coming back with the ability to pay in a way that works for them.

Forward-thinking companies have recognized this potential and are already taking advantage of the technology today. For example, card giant Mastercard has enabled millions of underserved businesses across Europe to accept cashless payments using a SoftPoS solution.

Contactless Adoption in Developing Markets

According to the Global Findex 2021 database, two-thirds of adults worldwide now make or receive a digital payment, with the share in developing economies rising from 35% in 2014 to 57% in 2021.

Many countries have moved digital transformation projects up their priority list in response to the pandemic. The digital revolution of cashless alternatives has created new economic opportunities around the world while bringing greater financial inclusion.

Emerging markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region highlighted the growth of mobile-centric propositions for businesses. With merchants in these developing markets typically relying on cash-based transactions, greater access to mobile money services has served as a catalyst for SoftPoS adoption.

This momentum shows no signs of abating as tech giant Apple recently announced that it would allow contactless payments on the iPhone for the first time earlier this year. Its entry into the space validates the market potential of SoftPoS worldwide and will increase adoption of the technology as contactless adoption increases in both mass and developing markets.

Historically, SoftPoS was not supported by iOS operating systems, but the recent turn of events highlights the growing demand and appetite for mobile contactless payments.

Final thoughts…

There’s no denying the impact that SoftPoS will continue to have in the payments world. But we’re only scratching the surface of what’s possible. As contactless payments continue to enter new markets and consumers increasingly favor cashless means of payment, the addressable market for SoftPoS can only move in one direction.

As SMEs continue to focus on technology, digitization and quality services for customers, digital payments are set to grow exponentially. With SoftPoS technology, they already have an inexpensive, convenient, and user-friendly way to meet this demand.

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