The difference between mobile POS and mobile payments explained

the-difference-between-mpos-and-mobile-paymentsThere are more ways for consumers to pay, and for businesses to accept payments, than ever before. While this is great for consumer choice, it can be a little confusing and maybe even overwhelming for the uninitiated. Mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) and mobile payments are two payment methods that are currently enjoying a rise in popularity. And while they are both based on the concept of mobility, they’re not the same – but some confusion still survives.

Let’s look at how these two payment methods differ and what each has to offer.

Mobile POS

A mobile POS system is any system that is designed to accept card payments but isn’t physically fixed to one point, unlike traditional POS systems. Typically mPOS systems consist of a card reader that is paired with a smart device (like a smartphone or tablet) either wirelessly or physically (via the earphone jack, for example).

Because mPOS systems are completely portable, they can be used anywhere in and away from the business. This has made them essential for mobile merchants, but mPOS systems have also emboldened traditionally fixed businesses to seek out mobile business opportunities.

Mobile payments

Mobile payments are a set of payments that are done using smartphones and made possible by mobile wallets. A mobile wallet is a digital version of a physical wallet, but with debit and credit card information, instead of actual debit and credit cards. Different mobile wallets work in different ways; MasterPass and Visa Checkout are meant to be used online, while Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay are designed to facilitate in-app and in-store payments.

The latter group are the type of mobile wallet that makes mobile payments possible. The customer chooses the account that they wish to use to pay and authorise the payment using one of various ways like tapping their phone on an NFC receiver, scanning a QR code, or using their smartphone’s fingerprint scanner.

Which one is best for your business?

Both of these payment methods have separate, unique benefits. How you decide which one best suits your business comes down to what your the payment needs are. Mobile payments are excellent for very small businesses that operate out of the home, or at a market, and involve no set-up costs. On the other hand, mPOS systems are affordable and can be used by very small or very big businesses whether they are mobile or not.

Mobile POS also provides powerful analytics that can be used to improve the business, whereas mobile payments simply haven’t caught up in this regard. Additionally, while an mPOS card reader can be used to swipe any debit or credit card, mobile payments require the merchant and the consumer to be using the same system. Mobile payments, therefore, make great add-ons to existing POS systems but can rarely stand alone the way mPOS systems can.

ZipZap is Paycorp’s mPOS card reader that is easy-to-use and more than capable of facilitating card transactions anywhere your business takes you. You can apply to have one for free, rent it on a monthly basis, or own one outright. All you need is smart device with an internet connection, the ZipZap card reader and you’re ready to transact. Download our ZipZap brochure for more information about the fastest and easiest way to collect card payments on the go.