In an interview with APG’s V.P. of Global Marketing, Stephen Bergeron discusses how to address security, mPOS, and traditional POS peripherals.
Whether retailers are implementing tablets or standalone POS, some factors still remain consistent. Customers require receipts and people continue to use cash as a medium of exchange.
What can solution providers do today to help SMB retailers make systems more secure?
Solution providers can address a retailer’s network security and password management protocol. Dealers can advise retailers to never use generic or installation/training passwords and to never keep them written down on a post-it. Network security is another issue. Industry security and compliance experts would advise on network segmentation to prevent breaches. Look at how devices will be connected and segment them. Secure POS systems that are connected to the back server so that they can’t be accessed by employees who use computers to surf the internet.
When it comes to mobile POS, how worried are retailers about security? What needs to be done to ensure mPOS security?
Recent survey data from Deloitte shows that the theft of customers’ data is still retailers’ primary concern. The survey also points to organized criminals, disgruntled employees or former employees as sources of potential attacks. The accidental misuse by authorized users also ranks high.
Ensuring the mPOS security requires a multi-layered approach. As discussed during an APG hosted panel of mPOS security thought leaders at RetailNOW 2015, password protection is just a start. Retailers risk a potential hack when transaction data first enters a smartphone or tablet. Anytime data is added to a mobile device in a POS system, just about any app on the device potentially can access the data. Point-2-Point encryption should be implemented, which will assure that this data is never in the clear. Make sure your Anti-Virus software is up to date with all the latest patches. When looking into mPOS solutions look for high levels of integration between the hardware and application. Lastly and typically the easiest part of the equation is to limit the data or device access to authorized employees only.
As tablets invade nearly every facet of POS, how do traditional peripherals fit in?
Whether retailers are implementing tablets or standalone POS, some factors remain consistent. Customers require receipts and people continue to use cash as a medium of exchange. How retailers choose to integrate traditional peripheral devices with tablets or handheld devices comes down to the store environment. Wired Ethernet, Wireless, and Bluetooth are all viable connectivity options and retailers using mPOS solutions need to meet the environment’s operational requirements.
What are your predictions for the future of payments, particularly when it comes to cash?
In 2014, the US Federal Reserve showed that the amount of cash in circulation has increased since the recession of 2008/9. As of April 6th 2016, the Federal Reserve reported 1.45 trillion dollars in circulation. 40% of all retail transaction in the United States remains cash and in the case of transactions under $10 the percentage soars to 66%. For convenience stores, small retail shops and eateries that process lots of small transactions daily, it’s easy to understand why cash still rules. It’s fast, simple, direct, and gives buyers the anonymity they can’t get with plastic or electronic transactions. Cash also makes it easier to negotiate prices, and some larger stores prefer cash to avoid credit card merchant fees.
Even with all the buzz around mobile wallets, EMV and electronic payments, the old adage that “Cash is King” still rings true today and for the foreseeable future. As mobile payments gain in popularity, we see mobile point of sale systems becoming the new target and more consumers turn to cash. Security concerns regarding the use of mobile wallets and the fact that there are roughly 168 companies’ vying for acceptance has slowed mPOS adoption. Needless to say, cash is going to be around for some time to come.