Small businesses are growing thanks to mobile point of sale

The age of internet has revolutionised our lifestyles. It has transformed the way we shop, the way we connect and the way we enjoy music, movies and TV. It has also altered how, when and where we work and has opened up new potentials for how businesses operate. South Africa’s tough economic climate, coupled with a joblessness rate of 25% (according to data from Trading Economics) have encouraged thousands of people to start their own businesses. In fact, Stats SA’s Survey of Employers and the Self-employed found that the number of people running small businesses rose from 1.1 million to 1.5 million between 2009-2013, in the informal sector alone. Mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) devices are giving small business owners more flexibility in how and where they transact.

All you need to take payments is a smartphone, bluetooth connection and an mPOS reader

mPOS works like a traditional credit card machine: a card is inserted into a reader, a payment amount is entered and the customer types in their PIN to authorise the payment. Moments later the payment is processed and money is transferred from the customer’s account straight into that of the merchant. The only difference is that instead of a card machine, the merchant uses their own smartphone (with a 3G or wifi connection) connected to a card reader via bluetooth to conduct the payment. Unlike a traditional POS, set up and maintenance costs for mPOS are significantly lower and the merchant is ready to take payments as soon as they’ve received their card reader and downloaded the payment app.

mPOS helps you manage cash flow and keep ahead of the competition

Being able to accept card payments from your customers on-the-go, whether you’re a personal trainer or a plumber making home calls; a food vendor working at farmers markets or a hairdresser who visits corporate offices, not only improves your brand image and gives your customers a better experience, it’s better for your cash flow and bottom line too. You’ll no longer wait for EFTs to clear or have to chase up late payments. Not only that, it’ll give you more freedom as to where you can do business and help you to innovate your service offering. As more and more businesses like yours emerge, the pressure is on to keep ahead of the competition: mPOS is one way to do just that.

Small businesses can now make use of Big Data

Looking at the bigger picture, mPOS has also made it possible for a small business to take on a big business mindset. Not only can you function anytime and anywhere - thanks to the mobility afforded by this payment solution, you’ll be able to access Big Data. Previously a privilege of huge corporations, Big Data provides you with information for improved decision-making, and as a result, customer service. Your whole mPOS transaction history can be viewed online, so you can spot patterns that you might not have picked up if you were transacting solely in cash.