ISVs that develop software for businesses that accept payments from consumers understand the value of integrated payments. B2B customers also, in some cases, see the value that integrated payments bring. Your clients are on a continuous journey to streamline processes and increase efficiencies. However, to accept payments, your clients have traditionally needed a payment terminal or other device to read a debit or credit card or communicate with a mobile wallet.
That paradigm in payment acceptance is about to change. Soft point of sale, aka Soft POS, tap to mobile, or tap to phone, enables smartphones or other devices equipped with near-field communication (NFC) technology to act as contactless payment terminals.
To use Soft POS, merchants download an app – or use your software with Soft POS integration. The Soft POS technology, based on Payment Card Industry (PCI) Mobile Payments on Commercial-Off-the-Shelf (MPoC) security standards, accepts the payment while protecting cardholder data. Soft POS uses existing card payment infrastructure — it just uses mobile devices rather than payment terminals or PIN pads to capture data and communicate with payment networks.
In addition, Soft POS is processor-agnostic, so merchants can choose the processor that provides the functionality and price structure that suits their businesses best.
Growing Soft POS Adoption
Analysts are expecting phenomenal Soft POS adoption. Juniper Research, for example, is looking for the user base to grow from 6 million merchants in 2022 to 34.5 million globally by 2027, a 475% increase. Juniper points to Apple entering the Soft POS market, giving iOS users access to this technology as a primary growth driver.
However, Juniper researchers also point out that another driver is the increase in contactless payments and continued growth, with transactions expected to continue to rise from 195 billion in 2022 to 408 billion by 2027. Visa reports that 34% of transactions in the U.S. are now with contactless payments, up by a factor of seven from 2020 and 10% more than in 2022. Additionally, Interac data revealed that contactless payments grew 53% year over year from 2022 to 2023.
With increased use, consumers will expect all merchants to accept contactless cards and mobile wallets. Soft POS offers a versatile solution for merchants involved in various payment scenarios, including car-side payments, pay-at-the-table services, in-aisle assistance, roadside stand sales, and event concession purchases. It enables them to address this demand effectively. Additionally, it provides businesses with a seamless backup option in case they experience network problems that disrupt the use of traditional payment devices.
Who Benefits from Soft POS?
Soft POS is a win for retailers of all sizes. Large retailers that can augment traditional countertop payment processes with an effective and supported solution that allows them to conduct transactions on mobile devices without adding new hardware wherever they engage with customers. However, the real advantages may be for small and micro-merchants that don’t currently have a way to accept digital payments. This includes mom-and-pop shops and rideshare or delivery drivers that accept cash. Soft POS levels the playing field for these smaller merchants, enabling them to offer the convenient payment experiences that their larger competitors do.
ISVs can also be big winners with Soft POS. Processing volume has the potential to grow, driven by the anticipated spike in Soft POS adoption from smaller merchants that don’t currently accept digital payments. Additionally, your clients don’t have to wait for new devices to begin accepting payments. They can start running transactions immediately, which can help you win and retain business from clients looking for simple payment solutions.
The New Point of Sale
Enabling soft POS gives you an alternative to provide your clients with the ability to accept payments — with less effort, less waiting, and more accessibility to a wider range of businesses.
Don’t wait. Explore how partnering with a company offering Soft POS could help you grow your business as this new tech trend builds even more momentum.