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Mobile payment terminal for shops

Reading time: 2 mins

You know the little device they hand you at the restaurant or in the market so you can enter your PIN to pay by card, it is a key component of a mobile electronic point of sale (EPOS).

In this way, transactions worth hundreds of billions of euros are exchanged between customers and sellers of goods and services.

For the retailer, the principle of the mobile point of sale is simple. Instead of collecting payments centrally at a single point in the store, the seller or manager can bring the device to the customer. There are two main types of mobile EPOS – short distance devices and those (wireless models) that the entrepreneur can take with them, as used by taxi drivers and travelling salespeople.

Transaction speed

The main advantage of all the portable models is transaction speed. The information is transmitted to the bank via the Internet or General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) on a mobile telephone network. This means that authorisation requests controlling, for example, the limit set for weekly spending, and validations are carried out in a few seconds. Perfect for retailers who deal with a large number of calls at busy times...

Another advantage is that these communication technologies are considerably cheaper than landlines (PSTN) because the communication costs are included in the corresponding subscriptions. There may be additional costs, however, such as mandatory use of an approved e-payment gateway.

The mobile point of sale, cheaper for communication

Also, be careful when choosing the model and network for mobile POS using a radio system – remotely, it can potentially cover a distance of more than 50 m but metal or concrete infrastructure can interfere with the signal sent to the base.

The same goes for wireless POS that operate using GPRS alone – make sure that you have good mobile phone coverage for payment areas.

Of course, the closer the portable device is to its base, the more reliable it will be. Some fixed Internet or GPRS models have a backup "PSTN" system for security purposes, which allows them to operate if the primary system breaks down. Such models must be connected using a non-specific PSTN socket – fax or remote monitoring – and the switch to the backup system will occur automatically in the event of a fault.