Our companies twenty-two year and counting history in EPOS has seen us working with an ever-changing set of payment systems. Notable topics including the introduction of PCI Compliance; the public learning contactless payments (and their pin numbers!) and then the rapid growth of mobile payments during the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of Fintech.
Whilst it often feels that technology is changing at an ever-faster pace, it is actually our use of technologies that adapts quickly. This is definitely true with payment systems, and our ways of individually becoming comfortable making payment for foods and services. Our original EPOS systems had the ability to print details on cheques for example, whereas our latest software has QR codes and pay by link texts being sent all around the world by e-mail and text messages.
Here in the UK, the gradual shift to credit cards from paying by cash has continued since our company’s inception, but some of the other countries we serve continue to use cash as their preferred method of payment. Japan, Germany and India are notable countries that MYPOS Connect operates in that have a strong preference for cash. Meanwhile countries such as Sweden move further away from cash and towards a cashless society, with card payments, contactless transactions, and mobile payments gaining popularity. Cash use will vary of course, in the UK it was still used for most purchases as recently as 2015, but a recent report from the British Retail Consortium said that now just 19% of purchases were made with cash last year (2022), which is a slight rise for the first time since 2013 and is likely due to shoppers keeping a stricter eye on budgets.
Areas of change in Payments
Important shifts in the changing face of payment methods that we constantly watch at MYPOS Connect include:
Contactless Payments Growth
Contactless payment methods, including mobile payments and contactless cards, continue to become increasingly popular. Speed and convenience, as well as hygiene during the COVID-19 pandemic, are the main reasons contactless is now commonplace. The introduction in the UK of the £100 contactless limit in October 2021 played a key role in this.
We are working on open banking initiatives in a number of markets, most notably with third parties such as Adyen, together with our Self-Serve QR codes and Secure Link Services. The MYPOS API (Application Programming Interface) and accessing the financial institutions' data through APIs gives our apps the edge.
Payment systems are increasingly adopting biometric authentication methods, such as fingerprint and facial recognition, to enhance security and streamline the authentication process for users.
The integration of cryptocurrencies into traditional payment systems is gaining momentum. Some businesses and financial institutions are exploring ways to incorporate digital currencies into their operations, and there is growing interest in central bank digital currencies. Indeed, our own local Member of Parliament (MP) here in Arundel West Sussex is playing a key role in the UK's review of a British central bank digital currency.
"Pay-by-links" refers to a payment method where MYPOS business users generate a unique link that, when clicked, directs users to a payment page for a specific transaction. This method offers several advantages, making it a convenient and flexible option for various purposes.
The integration with MYPOS Connect and the payment platforms from Adyen, Dojo, Stripe and Worldpay has given us the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of their systems and from there build out our EPOS offering to allow Pay-by-links and the advantages they offer.
This is a whole other subject that I will leave for a future blog! They are rather marmite, love or hate them.
What are the advantages of using Pay-by-Links
Pay-by-links provides a convenient way for users to make payments without the need for a dedicated e-commerce website or even a physical electronic point-of-sale system. The users can simply click on the link and complete the payment and the detail can be seen on the MYPOS Connect portal or on the till software running on their iPad or Surface.
Pay-by-links can be easily shared through various communication channels, such as email, messaging apps, sms text, social media, or even printed materials.
Pay-by-links can help reduce the friction associated with traditional payment methods. Users don't need to navigate through multiple pages or enter extensive payment details; instead, they follow a direct link to complete the transaction.
With the increasing use of mobile devices, Pay-by-links caters to users who prefer making payments using smartphones or tablets. The simplicity of clicking on a link and completing a transaction is well-suited to mobile users.
Pay-by-links can be used across various platforms and devices, making it a flexible solution for businesses or individuals with a diverse audience. It's not restricted to a specific operating system or device type.
For businesses without a sophisticated online payment infrastructure, Pay-by-links can be a cost-effective option. It eliminates the need for a full e-commerce platform and associated maintenance costs.
Pay-by-links from MYPOS Connect come with secure payment gateways, providing a level of security for both businesses and customers. The use of established payment processors helps protect sensitive financial information.
Examples of Pay-by-Links we provide
As mentioned earlier, our integration and development work using Adyen, Dojo, Stripe and Worldpay payment systems means we can offer scenarios for “Pay before” and “Pay after”. These include:
Click-and-Collect – The ability to ring up a basket and send it to a customer via e-mail or text message. Once paid the order details are then sent back to the store for preparation and a message sent to the customer with pickup details and perhaps store opening hours and directions.
Click-and-Ship – Again the ability to ring up a basket and send it to a customer via e-mail or text message. Once paid the order details are then sent to a warehouse or a store for preparation and shipping. This can eliminate the need for an e-commerce website.
Table self-serve – A QR code placed on a table allows the customer to place their order and have it print in the kitchen and bar without requiring wait staff. Pay and eat also eliminates the problems of people eating and then leaving the establishment without making payment.
Room service - A QR code placed in a room allows the customer to place their order and have it print in the kitchen and bar without requiring staff to answer phones. In some hotels phone systems are becoming rarer.
Other QR codes – we have codes we use for all sorts of identification, such as takeaway stations. Again, this all allow the customer to place an order, and pay, before the food or service or items are prepared.