According to a study into the acceptance of new payment solutions published by Visa Europe today, mPOS (mobile point of sale) usage by small businesses (SMEs) in Europe will take off dramatically in 2014.
This will be driven by changing perceptions towards card acceptance by small businesses once they become familiar with mPOS as a solution.
The research, which questioned 2,000 small businesses in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Poland, confirms that many small businesses are changing their attitudes toward card acceptance. An understanding of the potential of mPOS for small firms is a key reason for this. Those who were initially reluctant to take on mPOS, believing their business to be too small and that card acceptance solutions were too expensive and complex, soon changed their views once they had seen a demonstration and understood the usability and benefits of the technology.
A small Chip and PIN mPOS card reader is a convenient, cost-effective way to turn a smartphone or tablet into a secure card terminal. Working with a merchant's smartphone or tablet, the solution makes card payments portable and therefore easy to use in places such as market stalls, festivals and 'on the doorstep' home deliveries. The technology thereby helps to open up card acceptance for small businesses and micro-merchants who may not have accepted Visa before.
Highlights of the research include:
Over a quarter of SMEs surveyed expressed an interest in taking up an mPOS solution within the next 6 months.
mPOS' ease of use is cited as its unique selling point by the majority of small businesses (74% of those in France, 73% in Germany, 63% in the UK and Poland respectively and 59% in Italy)
Security was noted as the most important feature, closely followed by industry compliance and the ability to accept all major cards
Almost half of those surveyed in Germany thought that mPOS would increase their sales as customers may spend more and are not limited by the amount of cash they have available at the time of purchase
45% of small business surveyed in Italy found that mPOS would improve their cash flow as it would enable them to get paid quicker
The survey alssurvey also confirms that mPOS appeals equally to all industries. The determining factor is the way businesses receive payments, rather than the type of industry, especially those businesses who deal primarily with face to face transactions.
Twenty-five mPOS solutions are currently live across Europe and several key banks have started mPOS pilots with 30 implementation projects set to launch a new Chip and PIN compliant program by autumn this year; the most recent being Barclaycard in the UK.
Caroline Drolet, Head of Mobile Point-of-Sale at Visa Europe said: "Small businesses have been traditionally reluctant to embrace card payments but across Europe that is changing. mPOS is the catalyst for that - it's a solution that dispels many of the convictions previously held and genuinely works for small businesses, if they are accepting payments at their premises, or on the go.
"As these firms get to grips with the benefits and usability of mPOS we are going to see adoption rise - the last quarter of 2013 showed momentum and the early signs are that will continue in 2014. We continue to play a key role in mPOS's development, ensuring that industry standards and requirements are met and solutions are secure before they are deployed in the market."
Notes to the editor
The research was conducted in five European markets, including UK, France, Germany, Italy and Poland between the months of September and December 2013.
The research included a quantitative element with 2,213 online interviews with a nationally representative sample of tax-registered business owners with less than ten employees that are non-acceptors of cards.
The qualitative contribution consisted of 16 in-depth interviews in each market with tax-registered businesses with less than ten employees that are non-acceptors of cards (64 total interviews) and accept payments mostly out of the office and/or face-to-face and use a smartphone for business.
The research was conducted by Rainmakers CSI on behalf of Visa Europe.