The Ultimate Guide To Mobile POS Systems For Your Food Business
Aside from seeing happy customers, being fulfilled within your life’s purpose, and selling out your inventory, the next best thing about having a food business is getting paid. For cottage food businesses, home-based commercial kitchens, farmers market regulars, and food trucks having a reliable mobile point of sale system (mPOS) is a must.
Mastercard revealed that 82% of customers surveyed believe that contactless payment is a safer way to pay. The transition away from cash payments is picking up pace. Mobile and contactless payments are expected to grow by 221% between 2022 and 2027.
Where once cash was king, cards have taken the crown. We are quickly moving towards a cashless society, and adapting to consumer spending habits is part of keeping up with contactless payment methods should be a top priority.
The Benefits Of A Mobile POS System
Whether you are tethered to a brick-and-mortar kitchen at a fixed address, or you are ruling the city in your moving food mobile on wheels, a portable mPOS system should be a top priority investment.
They can help streamline payments on the go at farmers’ markets, festivals, and private events.
You can eliminate a bulky register and use your phone or smart tablet instead.
You can accept contactless payments.
Your payment information is safely stored in the cloud and accessible anywhere.
Commerce is paper free. Receipts are stored and can be emailed quickly.
You can sync your sales with inventory management, bringing an extra layer of efficiency.
It makes your business accessible to customers who don’t carry cash but have their phone on hand for contactless payment.
Perhaps most importantly, mPOS systems can help expand your revenue streams and allow you to be in multiple places simultaneously. In addition, because the mPOS systems are cloud-based, you can access business information anywhere, anytime, allowing you to untether from your computer, creating higher productivity and efficiency.
How Do Mobile Payment Systems Work
The learning curve for mobile payment systems is a relatively easy one. They are typically uncomplicated, allowing both employees and customers a smooth experience.
Getting your mPOS system up and running will require choosing a software provider, downloading the app, and connecting your card reader to the mobile device. After that, the only limiting factor is a strong WIFI or data connection.
Even without a signal, some mPOS offer an offline mode that lets you continue to accept payment even if you’re without a connection. In contrast, others won’t allow payment but will still provide some functionality while offline.
What To Look For In A Mobile POS System
Mobile POS systems can have a wide variety of features and operating modes catering to an equally wide variety of needs.
mPOS systems can process a variety of payment types, including:
Contactless credit cards
Digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Click to Pay
Credit and debit cards with a magnetic stripe or EMV chip
Knowing what kinds of payments you want to accept will help you make an informed decision on your mPOS system.
In addition, you’ll want to keep in mind which features work best with your business model. Here are six features that might help you decide which mPOS system is right for you.
Many mobile POS systems will allow you to create and process coupons, gift certificates, and loyalty programs, in essence operating as both a payment portal and your marketing department.
Secure payments are crucial for both you and your customer. Therefore, your mPOS should be PCI-Compliant which will help you keep transactions secure and protect you from disputed charges.
Reports are essential to analyzing sales figures, inventory, and buying trends. Knowing when your customers are most active, what they are buying and how they are paying will help you optimize your business.
4. E-Commerce Compatibility
As your business grows, you may consider integrating other platforms like websites, to sell products. An all-in-one concept like Square that will provide you with mobile POS hardware and website-building software that works in sync and can become a centralized place to manage your food business.
5. Third-Party Integrations
New food start-ups are often lean operations with one or two people at the helm. For example, using third-party programs for advanced accounting, inventory, and staff management that integrate with your mPOS system will help keep the juggling act smooth.
6. Employee Management
Some mobile POS systems will allow for multiple employee profiles to help you resolve human error issues or track time. You will also be able to set different roles and permissions using unique profiles.
How Much Does an mPOS Cost
There are typically three areas of the cost associated with an investment into a mobile POS system: hardware, software, and payment processing fees.
The physical hardware can cost between $0- $800 whether you choose an mPOS that will work with your existing smartphone or tablet (Poster) or you invest in one that has its own unit (Square).
Software for mPOS systems can also vary greatly, with some being free with the purchase of a portable terminal and others upwards of $270 per month.
Payment Processing Fees
Payment processing fees average 2.6% and are usually accompanied by a flat rate per transaction fee. All around, mobile payment systems tend to be cheaper than their traditional counterparts.
The Best Mobile POS Systems
There is really no ‘best’ mobile POS system; there is only the best mobile POS system for your specific needs. Here are a few of the most popular entry-level mPOS systems on the market.
Per Merchant Maverick: Clover has several mobile Android-based and purpose-built POS hardware solutions to choose from, but the most mobile-ready Clover device is the Clover Flex.
The mobility of the $499 Clover Flex makes it easy to line-bust, sell on the floor, or even outside the bounds of your brick-and-mortar store with a data plan. In addition, the Clover Flex has a built-in card swipe/chip/tap payment reader, receipt printer, and barcode scanner.
- Suitable for any business type
- Monthly Fee: $0-$290/month
- Processing Fee: 2.3%-3.5% + $0.10
Square Point of Sale is a mobile POS system available for iOS and Android devices. Key capabilities of the Square POS system include online payment processing, sales reports, inventory tracking, digital receipts, email and SMS marketing campaigns, eCommerce, insights/analytics, and more.
- Suitable for any business type
- Monthly Fee: Free
- Processing Fee: 2.6% + $0.10
Reviewers report that one big draw with Shopify POS is how easily you can upgrade and scale as your business grows. Shopify is also versatile in that you can use it on any mobile device or laptop and has various pricing plans.
The entry-level service plan, Shopify’s Starter Plan, comes at a reasonable monthly fee of $5/month and provides access to the POS system as well as invoicing and limited online selling tools — embeddable buy buttons to sell on your existing blog or website (supports WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, Tumblr, and more).
- Suitable for retail
- Monthly Fee: $9
- Processing Fee: 2.7%
Using a mobile POS system will soon be the future of frictionless payments. Even if you feel you don’t need a mobile payment system yet, it’s worth looking at for the future scalability potential one offers.