NFC Goes From Strength to Strength: Taking mPOS With It
Technology moves at such a breakneck speed that it pays to pause occasionally and see just how far we’ve come. It seems like just yesterday we were walking around with clunky feature phones in our pockets, and using mainly cash, and insecure magstripe-based cards, to pay at the till. But today, a perfect storm of technological advances, changes in consumer attitudes and forward-thinking businesses has brought smartphone-based payments within the grasp of millions of UK shoppers.
At Miura Systems, we believe mPOS is the future of card-present transactions. That’s why it’s great to see analysts predicting a huge rise in global shipments of NFC-enabled handsets. The figure is set to soar from 444 million in 2014 to 756m in 2015, and to a staggering 2.2 billion by 2020, according to IHS Technology.
Near Field Communication (NFC) has quite literally changed the game for mobile payments – but it’s been a long time coming. In development for over 20 years before it finally started appearing in mainstream technology products, this set of protocols allows two devices to communicate via radio signals when brought in close contact with one another. As such, it’s a perfect complement to those mini computers known as smartphones which we all carry in our pockets these days.
It makes a whole host of activities faster, simpler and more user friendly. You might have seen NFC tags appearing on London bus stops, for example. Tap the phone against the tag and it will take you to a specific web page for up-to-the-minute live bus departures – much easier than searching for it from scratch online. Similarly, NFC could be used for things like pairing devices via Bluetooth, sharing contacts, and even as a marketing tool for businesses who want a friction-free method for in-store customers to follow them on social media.
But the use case we’re most excited about at Miura Systems is the ability to make contactless payments via a smartphone. The advent of Apple Pay here in July will be seen in years to come as a tipping point in the mobile payments industry. NFC-enabled iPhones and Apple Watches linked via Apple Pay to user credit and debit cards are already enabling countless UK businesses to maximise sales and improve the payment experience for their customers.
Miura on board
Although Apple was by no means the first handset maker to offer NFC capabilities, it is arguably better placed than any to both raise consumer awareness of mobile payments and create an ecosystem which is fast, secure and user friendly. Already, countless businesses including the Post Office, Transport for London, Pret a Manger and Boots support Apple Pay, and market watcher IHS described it as a “shot in the arm for the NFC ecosystem as a whole and NFC payments in particular”.
We couldn’t agree more: it’s why our flagship mobile POS devices now support Apple Pay. So whether you’re taking payments at the counter, whilst roaming the store, or out and about at events, you can make the whole transaction experience effortless for customers, while growing sales and minimising queue drop-outs. Who wouldn’t want that for their business?