A guide to SoftPOS for retail - 5 benefits of using Softpay

Published by

Myroslava Droniuk

myr@softpay.io

Let’s dive deep into our guide to SoftPOS for Retail. We will discuss why you need a SoftPOS, describe five key benefits of using tap-to-phone payments, explore how contactless payments are changing the retail landscape, and offer tips on choosing the best device for a SoftPOS terminal.

Think about it:

Over 15 years ago, paying with payment cards was not as widespread as today; many fewer merchants would accept cards, and if they did, people had to type in their PIN, even for small transactions like buying coffee.

 

However, in September 2007, everything changed with the arrival of contactless payments. Nowadays, most EMV cards support NFC, a complementary contactless payment technology that enables EMV cards to be used wirelessly. Technology has become crucial for retail businesses to stay competitive and satisfy customers’ wants.

With the evolution of POS (see infographic below), technology has become crucial for retail businesses to stay competitive and satisfy customers’ wants.
 

The evolution of POS
The evolution of POS – from Manual Cash POS to SoftPOS
Softpay tap-to-pay solution

What is a SoftPOS solution?

SoftPOS, short for Software Point of Sale, is a modern payment processing solution that eliminates the need for traditional hardware-based Point of Sale (POS) systems. It transforms smart devices such as smartphones and tablets into secure, efficient, and versatile payment terminals.
 
With SoftPOS, retailers can accept various payment methods, including contactless payments and mobile wallets, offering customers a convenient and efficient shopping experience.

This aligns with what customers often seek: the ability to pay easily and instantly with a card, phone, or smartwatch.

 

Watch Softpay founders Ivan Sandqvist and Jacob Aisen talking about SoftPOS advantages.

5 Advantages of SoftPOS for retail business

After watching the video from Softpay’s founders, you are now familiar with some benefits that SoftPOS provides for businesses of various sizes, including micro, small, and mid-sized merchants, as well as large and global companies. SoftPOS offers a straightforward solution for moving away from cash by turning any Android device into a payment terminal and enhancing the customer experience. Let’s review the five advantages of SoftPOS for retail businesses:

  1. Cost-Effective: Traditional POS systems require significant investments in hardware, maintenance, and software updates. Implementing SoftPOS significantly reduces upfront costs, as it leverages the devices retailers already own, such as smartphones and tablets. This makes it an affordable choice for businesses of all sizes.
  2. Enhanced Mobility: SoftPOS enables retailers to conduct transactions from anywhere in the store. Employees can assist customers, answer questions, and process purchases using their mobile devices. This increased mobility improves the overall shopping experience and can lead to higher sales. Learn how our customer Plantagen embraced their Mobile Workforce with Softpay.
  3. Shorter Checkout Times: Long lines at the checkout counter can be a significant turn-off for customers. SoftPOS allows for quick and efficient transaction processing, reducing waiting times and improving customer satisfaction.
  4. Different Payment Methods: SoftPOS can accept a wide range of payment options, including credit and debit cards, and mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Samsung Pay, and others. This variety accommodates a diverse customer base and their preferred payment methods.
  5. Integrated Business Operations: SoftPOS can easily integrate with other business systems such as inventory management, accounting, and CRM tools. This leads to streamlined operations, real-time data updates, and improved decision-making, enhancing efficiency and customer service.
    Read more about Softpay integration options here.

How SoftPOS is changing the retail landscape

The recent SPACE 2022 Study highlights the trend in contactless card payments in the euro area. Over the last three years, contactless transactions have shifted from 41% of all card payments in 2019 to 62% in 2022.

Another report on the trends in non-cash payments from the European Central Bank (ECB) shows a notable 8.8% increase in the volume of non-cash transactions in the euro area, reaching 65.9 billion transactions in 2022. Additionally, the total value of these transactions rose by 2.8%, reaching an astounding €118.8 trillion.

Europe is rapidly moving towards a cashless future, led by countries such as Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Finland, and the UK. In Sweden, cash is becoming a rarity, while Norway sees 75% of transactions as contactless, and Finland is on track to go fully cashless by 2029.


These figures show an increase in customers preferring digital payments and contactless transactions, indicating the need for retailers to modernize their POS, and integrate SoftPOS solution.


Chart 1 (source: www.ecb.europe.eu)
Use of the main payment services in the euro area
(number of transactions in billions, right-hand-side scale refers to the first and second halves of 2022)

SoftPOS use cases for the retail industry

  1. Improved In-Store Experience: Retailers can equip their sales associates with SoftPOS-enabled devices, allowing them to assist customers anywhere in the store. This minimizes the need for customers to wait at a crowded checkout counter and provides a more personalized shopping experience. Learn how Matas, the largest Danish beauty retailer, improved the in-store experience with Softpay’s POS partner Fiftytwo.
  2. Pop-Up Shops and Events: SoftPOS is an excellent solution for temporary setups, such as pop-up shops and events. Retailers can easily equip staff with SoftPOS-enabled devices for convenient and secure payment processing. Read our customer case of how Dyreparken used 30 additional handheld SoftPOS units over the high season.
  3. Reduced Hardware Costs: SoftPOS eliminates the need for dedicated POS hardware, reducing capital expenses for retailers. This can be beneficial for small and independent retailers with limited budgets, as well as for enterprises as part of a bigger strategy.
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  4. The Emergency POS: SoftPOS helps you to be ready for unexpected events such as power outages, cyber-attacks, or payment infrastructure breakdowns. In the case of an emergency, SoftPOS can be preinstalled and ready on your mobile devices, ensuring that your business is always up and running, even when your regular POS system is under attack. Read how Softpay helped 7-Eleven establish a new payment solution within a day after the cyberattack.
SoftPOS for retail - Softpay.io

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How to choose the right device for SoftPOS

SoftPOS can be implemented on many devices as long as they support Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities, making it flexible and accessible for retailers. These devices include:
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  • Smartphones: Android smartphones can be used as SoftPOS devices, provided they have the necessary NFC capabilities and are equipped with SoftPOS software, like the Softpay app.
    Consider using one of these smartphones for SoftPOS: Most models are from Samsung, Oneplus, Moto, Google, etc.
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  • Tablets: Similar to smartphones, Android tablets can serve as SoftPOS terminals, offering larger screens for enhanced usability. Example: Zebra CC6000, Samsung Active Tab 4 Pro.
  • Enterprise Android NFC Devices: Android devices have been at the forefront of SoftPOS technology, with numerous Android NFC-enabled smartphones and tablets supporting SoftPOS applications. This wide range of enterprise Android devices provides retailers with diverse options. Example:
    Unitech [EA660], Point mobile [PM45, PM75, PM67, PM85],Sunmi [V2S,V2s plus, L2H], Zebra [TC52, TC57].

    Softpay’s Supported Devices list is available on our developer website. Sign up to get access.

Example of Softpay app on different Android devices

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Compliance and MPoC

One of the key features to watch out for in 2024 is, if your SoftPOS solution is certified according to the MPoC specification (Mobile Payments on COTS). This was announced in November 2022 by the PCI Security Standards Council, and it marks a significant step in mobile payment security. It is merging important features from previous SoftPOS programs and is the global standard for allowing PIN and contactless data entry on mobile devices.

Going forward and to avoid risks, SoftPOS solutions should be MPoC compliant, since payment networks or financial institutions might restrict or prohibit transactions through non-MPoC compliant systems, limiting business opportunities in the near future.

Softpay will complete the MPoC certification in spring 2024, thereby becoming one of the early adopters of this important regulation and ensuring top-notch security end-to-end. For businesses considering a SoftPOS partner, choosing Softpay means opting for a secure, modern, and compliant payment system.

7 important criteria to consider when choosing a SoftPOS app

When assessing a SoftPOS application, it is important to take into account several factors to ensure that the solution is suitable for your retail business. Below are some considerations to keep in mind when evaluating a SoftPOS app:

  • Check if the SoftPOS app is compatible with your preferred devices.📱
  • Verify the required OS version for the app to run smoothly.
  • Look for the ability to process various payment methods, including credit/debit cards, local card schemes, and mobile wallets. 💳
  • Check if the app integrates seamlessly with your bank and preferred payment provider.
  • Vital criteria to consider are security and compliance. The application must be PCI DSS certified and have data encryption and tokenization. Keep in mind the MPoC certification we mentioned above.🔒
  • The app should have extensive APIs and be easy to integrate with.
  • Check if it is easy to contact support in case of an emergency.

    You can accept contactless payments from your mobile device with Softpay’s tap-to-phone solution.

About Softpay

Softpay is a leading European paytech company headquartered in Copenhagen that provides a Tap-to-Phone solution, turning any Android device into a contactless payment terminal.

Softpay supports international and local card schemes and a range of acquirers and POS integrators in Europe. Accept payments easily from credit cards, wallets, and smartwatches. For every transaction, we’ve got you covered. Learn more about Softpay tap-to-phone solution here.

Softpay app can be used as a standalone tap-to-phone solution on any Android mobile device. Additionally, it can be integrated in multiple ways into your current Point-of-Sale system. You can opt to integrate your app with Softpay on the same device using AppSwitch or on a different device with our CloudSwitch options—more options are coming in 2024.

In case of any questions, contact us at sales@softpay.io

Accept contactless payments

Start accepting payments today with the Softpay app on any Android device.