Smart PoS terminals globally in service, which integrate analytics and loyalty directly to the terminal, are set for extraordinary growth in the next five years driven by a range of drivers from rising digital payments to changes in shopping habits as a result of Covid-19.
According to research by Juniper Research, there are some 13.7 million snart PoS units in action globally in 2021. This is set to hit 35 million in 2026. As digital payments accelerate and QR codes provide intense competition, particularly in North America, PoS terminals need to offer more features than before.
The research recommends PoS manufacturers and retailers focus on high-value features, such as inventory management, loyalty scheme automation and store synchronisation, in order to maximise the appeal of their offerings in a highly competitive hardware market.
The research, PoS Terminals: Device Innovation, Competitive Landscape & Market Forecasts 2021-2026, found that by 2026, 57% of all payments at POS by value will be contactless globally, compared to just under 25% in 2021. This growth, supported in large part by increasing contactless payment limits, represents a steep change in how consumers pay.
The research also recommends that, as contactless enablement is now the default for PoS manufacturers in their products, they need to focus on new capabilities, such as smart PoS and greater device mobility within stores, to sustain current PoS hardware shipment levels.
Soft PoS carves out a niche
The research identifies that soft PoS, the ability to use NFC on mobile devices to accept contactless payments, will also accelerate. Soft PoS provides a cheaper route into card acceptance than ever for the smallest businesses, meaning that it is compelling for this particular niche.
Accordingly, the global number of smartphones being used for soft POS payments will increase from 3.2 million in 2021, to almost 24 million in 2026. However, the research emphasised that soft PoS not being an immediately recognisable PoS terminal will limit consumer confidence around security; restricting growth.