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VeriFone, Lenovo partner to bolster POS service awareness

June 26, 2013

VeriFone Systems and Lenovo have teamed up on a new mobile point-of-sale solution targeting larger retailers that can integrate with their existing Windows-based systems.

The mobile POS space has grown quickly over the past couple of  years, with players such as Square, VeriFone, Intuit, PayPal Here and others focusing on enabling small and independent merchants to process card-based payments from a mobile phone or tablet.  However, many of these current mPOS offerings are built on proprietary platforms that can make it challenging for larger retailers to integrate them with their existing business infrastructure and operations.

“Large retailers invest heavily in Windows-based systems to run their business,” said Dennis Mos, general manager of the OEM product group at VeriFone, San Jose, CA. “This includes systems for store operations, ecommerce, inventory and more.

“Naturally, when extending their point-of-sale beyond the checkout counter, they want to use a platform that maximizes their existing investments while reducing the integration effort,” he said.

“The primary challenge is managing, deploying and integrating devices built on various operating systems, adding additional layers of complexity for the retailer. Ensuring a consistent user experience for the retail associates across all touch points, including tablets, reduces ramp time and training for the employers.”

 A new strategy
Late last year, VeriFone shut down its mobile POS Sail business targeting small merchants, saying at the time that the low margins from small merchants was behind the decision (see story). Currently, it focused on delivering mPOS solutions to its channel partners, such as banks.

There is less competition for a mobile POS strategy focused on larger retailers.

Retailers are increasingly looking to expand their POS into mobile as a way to enhance the in-store shopping experience for customers.

One of the promises of mPOS is the ability for users to easily access some or all of these areas while they are on the retail floor to, for example, place an online order for customers if what they want is not available on the shelves.

However, if the mPOS platform does not easily integrate with the infrastructure retailers have previously invested in, this can cause headaches for the retailer and may require additional investments.

Transitioning to mPOS
The solution from VeriFone and Lenovo is powered by the Windows 8 Pro operating system to make it easier for retailers with Windows-based infrastructures to transition to using mPOS. The solution integrates a ThinkPad Tablet 2 with VeriFone’s PAYware Mobile technology.

Retail sales associates will be able to use the ThinkPad Tablet 2 mPOS platform to engage customers and help them making purchasing decisions, scan bar codes and securely accept card-based payments, from anywhere in the store.

“The integration of VeriFone and Lenovo technologies creates a robust Windows-based mPOS platform solution that features a unique combination of best-in-class security, processing speed and enterprise class features – such as rapid bar code scanning and an encrypting mag stripe reader – that makes it an ideal solution for retailers,” Mr. Mos said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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