A Year in Payments: 2016, Miura and Mobile
It’s almost time to bid farewell to 2016, and what a year it’s been. The staggering geopolitical events taking place over the past 12 months may have grabbed most of the mainstream headlines, but 2016 was no less momentous for the payments industry … and for Miura.
When worlds collide
Over the past year we’ve finally begun to see mainstream adoption of mobile POS and payments technologies, as retailers around the world begin to comprehend the enormous benefits they can reap. Our own research released in the first quarter highlighted perfectly the need for greater retail mobilisation. When Worlds Collide: Store staff and shoppers in retail today revealed that UK retailers could be missing out on millions by not spotting the opportunity to improve customer service. Rising customer expectations plus out-of-date chip and PIN terminals are creating a perfect storm, forcing businesses to invest in new payment technologies.
These include mobile POS platforms which allow staff to roam the store with handheld mobile devices linked to chip and PIN readers. These help reduce queues at peak times and increase engagement with customers, overcoming the common issues that lead to customers leaving without buying – such as out-of-stock items, and a lack of available shop assistants. In short, consumers love the Apple Store experience, and many retailers are following suit with their own version.
The trend towards mobile payments accelerated further in the UK thanks to the launch of Android Pay in May. Supported by all Miura devices, the system works in a similar way to Apple Pay. However, users don’t have to authenticate up to £30, and businesses can choose to accept transactions up to £100 if they wish – authenticated by fingerprint, PIN or pattern lock.
With Android the dominant OS in the UK and worldwide, this has offered businesses even more opportunities to drive profits, cut queues at the till and improve the customer experience by accepting smartphone-based payments. We’re looking forward to seeing Samsung Pay launch its own version here in the coming year.
Miura is fully behind this mobile push, and we made our own play this year with the launch in March of the POSzle – an innovative tablet POS bundle which supports integrated payments. The idea was to offer SMEs a highly modular, out-of-the-box solution with a range of connectivity options so they can expand and adapt it over time according to their preferences. The tablet can be unlocked and used anywhere in store with compatible Miura payment devices
EMV kicks in
The drive to replace legacy technology at the till was also accelerated in the United States this year following the EMV liability shift at the end of 2015. It means that merchants are more likely to be held liable for any counterfeit or lost/stolen card fraud if the card and terminal are not EMV chip enabled. It has meant a rush of enquiries for terminal upgrades, and we’ve spent the past 12 months expanding our presence in North America to take advantage.
This has included partnerships with players including leading distributor POSDATA Group and mPOS firm CardFlight; and appearances at major shows such as Money 20/20 and the National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention & EXPO, Retail’s Big Show. Miura has also been expanding its team to include our new Regional Director of Business Development for North America, Dreux Flaherty and new board member, Silicon Valley veteran, Eric Dunn.
The past 12 months has seen some major landmarks in the industry and for Miura – our millionth device and recognition by the Tech Track 100 among them. We can’t wait to see what next year has in store.