mPoS: The smartphone as a payment terminal

3 min read
September 30, 2022 at 5:20 PM

The boundaries between online retail and classic offline retail are increasingly blurring. Customers now expect the same flexibility and speed from brick and mortar retailers as well as service providers as they do online. Mobile payment terminals are an important factor when it comes to speed and flexibility in shopping.

What does mPOS mean?

mPOS stands for "Mobile Point of Sale". This is a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet that is equipped with a checkout application. This provides the opportunity to offer customers a fast and mobile payment option anywhere and without a classic terminal.

Classic cash registers consist of various individual devices and are connected to the Internet with a cable. This means that these devices are tied to a fixed location and are used together with a permanently mounted screen, an EC-terminal and a receipt printer. In contrast, mPOS devices are mobile. The POS application simply runs on a tablet or smartphone, allowing it to be taken anywhere without the need to connect to additional hardware.

How does mPOS work?


Picture from David Dvořáček from

Cashless payment options are evolving rapidly. Now that the smartphone is already being used for cashless payments, there is also the option of using the smartphone as a payment station. The smartphone as an mPOS device works in the same way as classic EC terminals, which accept contactless payments. Depending on the technology, all that is needed is a card reader, an app or both to make the smartphone fit for mobile payments. Until now, POS-terminals required a WLAN connection in order to be able to pay as a customer. mPOS devices have their own fast Internet connection due to a built-in data card, which thus makes these mPOS an unbeatable companion on the road.

Advantages of the mPOS system

The advantages for companies clearly lie in the flexibility and acceleration of check-out processes. But a flexible mPOS system can do even more:

  • Reduces the need for expensive hardware
    Instead of investing in additional POS terminals, all that needs to be invested here is an additional mobile terminal. For trade fairs, for example, all that is needed is the terminal and the appropriate software solution.
  • Digital receipts
    Another advantage of the mPOS system is that it allows companies to send digital receipts to customers. instead of printing each receipt individually, a transaction log is created and the receipt is sent to the customer via email.
  • Ideal for contactless payments
    Contactless payments are on the rise. mPOS offers a high level of security and efficiency in performance. They also have an interface that can be used for self-checkouts.
  • Highly scalable
    Most mPOS systems are cloud-based, so they are a good option for growing businesses. This makes mPOS systems an ideal choice for businesses that need to scale up or down depending on seasonal fluctuations.
  • Reduce long checkout lines
    Customers don't want to wait. With an mPOS system, indoor and outdoor payments can be processed in real time, significantly reducing queue time. The mPOS system can also be integrated with a self-checkout kiosk.
  • Increased sales
    Eliminating friction in brick and mortar retail can result in more sales at the same time. Thus, using an mPOS not only increases customer satisfaction overall, but also offers a variety of mPOS solutions such as loyalty and discount promotions.

Click here for our Snabble mPOS

The brick and mortar PoS is adapting more and more to changing customer needs in terms of digitalization. Smart and innovative solutions are being adopted and piloted. In addition to the growing interest in self-checkout systems, an mPos has also risen sharply in demand. Yet the two technologies are not that far apart.


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