6 Reasons why you should use an mPOS (mobile point of sale) or smartphone POS

October 9, 2020

Processing payments may appear to play a small role in the happiness of your customer, but it plays an extremely important part.

Customers should journey through the checkout in second or minutes at the most. If there are long queues, lengthy waits or a lack of payment options, customers get frustrated.

Poor customer experiences impact your business’s bottom line so it is imperative that your customer glides through the payment process.

If you currently have a fixed point of sale (POS) system, perhaps you don’t process payments as fast as you like, or maybe you want to offer WeChatPay or Google Pay.

If so, you may want to explore a different POS system, and an mPOS or smartphone POS could be the product you need.

Table of contents

What is an mPOS?

A mobile point of sale system, otherwise known as a mobile POS system or mPOS refers to any device that can accept payment. They refer to mobile card terminals but also smartphone POS’s that work through specialist software.

An mPOS can accept a wider range of payments and is usually more straightforward and user-friendly than traditional POS systems.

The advantage of a fixed point POS is that it may offer more complex order and employment management features.

Since mPOS's are small and nimble, they are particularly useful for businesses that are constantly on the move or have little space, such as food trucks, stallholders, tradesmen, taxi drivers and mobile beauty businesses.

With covid-19 still lingering, mPOS solutions are also a great way to accept payments from a safe distance, making it easier to follow government guidelines.

Some mPOS systems will require a card reader device whilst others, like ours at Pomelo Pay, just require an app and a mobile device.

If you’re using a card reader, it will be a wireless device and you’ll need to be connected to the internet to accept payments. If you use an app that accepts QR codes, you can print your QR code anywhere in your shop and you can even drop offline (although your customer will need to maintain a connection through Wi-Fi or mobile data) to accept payment.

Can I use my phone as a POS?

Yes. Nowadays, specialised card terminals aren’t the only way to process payments. Advancements in technology mean that payments can now be taken on the phone.

Here at Pomelo Pay, we don’t use any POS hardware. Our mobile app turns Android and iPhone smartphones into POS terminals which makes us unique when compared to many other mPOS providers.

Find out more: discover smartphone payments

How does an mPOS/smartphone POS work?

Most mPOS terminals are powered by NFC wireless technology, which is considered a lot more secure than Bluetooth.

Using a mPOS with a terminal is straightforward. To get started with most companies you need to download an app, create an account and purchase a card reader.

Customers can still use chip and pin or swipe their card, and some may accept cards with a signature.

With a mobile phone POS like Pomelo Pay, you just need to download the POS app and you’ll be able to take card payments immediately.

Customers have a variety of options to pay and the exact process will depend on whether they wish to use a debit/credit card, mobile wallet or bank transfer. Payments are instant and card details or sensitive information is never stored on any device.

What are the benefits of an mPOS/smartphone POS system?

1. Low fees

An mPOS system doesn’t require as many devices or tools as traditional POS systems. With an mPOS you won’t need a payment terminal, custom software or specialist installations.

Some mPOS companies charge a monthly subscription but many don’t. Pricing varies but mPOS typically work out cheaper than the fees that a fixed point POS will require.

You’ll also save money in more indirect ways. With an mPOS or smartphone POS you’ll produce less paperwork and spend less time and money training staff as mPOS’s are much easier to use.

2. More payment options

Some fixed point POS terminals aren’t keeping pace with the various payment options that consumers are now using. Gone are the days when customers would use either cash or Mastercard/Visa EMV chip cards.

Customers have a wide array of payment methods including cryptocurrencies, digital wallets and buy now, pay later platforms.

When customers can’t pay the way they want this reduces customer satisfaction and makes it less likely they will return.

One of the benefits of mPOS terminals is that they offer all the latest ways to pay. At Pomelo Pay, for instance, we currently offer over 25 ways to pay including Google Pay, Klarna and BitPay.

Find out more: discover QR code payments

3. Faster checkouts

Customers will leave a store when waiting times are too long. Studies show retailers lose around £15bn to competitors simply because their queues get out of control.

With an mPOS device, the payment process is a lot faster. Not only does the software process more quickly, but you can place your card readers or QR codes in several places in the store, so customers don’t have to wait in one queue to pay.

Staff can take phones or mobile card readers and walk around the store completing payments. Since nearly everyone has a smartphone, mPOS’s make paying simple.

By speeding up the payment process, you catch more customers at the point of decision rather than the point of sale - they have less time to overthink decisions and change their minds. 

Once you build a reputation for processing sales quickly, customers won’t think twice about coming to your shop during peak shopping times.

If you are using a smartphone POS you can speed up payment processing even further by printing QR codes at various locations in your, shop so customers can pay whenever they are ready. Faster payment processing means more sales.

4. Robust security

With an mPOS device, you can continue accepting payments while maintaining a safe distance from your customers.

You can either put your card reader on a separate table and input the payment amount from your own phone or iPad tablet touch screen, or you can simply print out QR codes and display them in your shop for your customers to use. 

With mPOS terminals, it is much easier to follow ever-changing government regulations.

Not only are mPOS terminals safe they are also secure. Contactless payments like Apple Pay and QR codes are just as, or if not more secure than debit card payments or cash.

This is because every single transaction is tokenized (encrypted) so customer details are always protected against criminals.

Pomelo Pay as a company is regulated by the FCA and is PCI compliant which underlines our commitment to security.

5. Better data

Many mPOS software and devices offer real-time analytics and insights about your customers. If you integrate your mPOS with an online ordering system, you’ll be able to see what your most popular times are, which products are selling and how your customers like to pay.

By connecting all of your in-store and e-commerce channels together you will get a better picture of your business at any moment in time.

A mobile payments system also allows you to offer a much more personalised and complete experience to your customers. This will help increase engagement and loyalty, increasing your sales and growing your revenue. 

Customers now expect payments to be frictionless and smooth. With mPOS systems, you can make your payment experience so intuitive that customers may not even notice they’re paying. 

Find out more: discover unified commerce

6. Simple to use

Using an mPOS is simple and easy. You won’t need to commit to a one year contract, pay monthly fees or purchase any expensive hardware. If you already have a fixed point POS terminal, you can still pick an mPOS machine that offers integration.

With mobile devices, you can take payments on the go instead of waiting to get home to send an invoice for payments.

The user-friendly interface makes mPOS’s easy to understand, and you won’t need to spend hours training your staff or experimenting with various payment methods.

Many mPOS's are also highly versatile. You can connect your POS software to third-party platforms such as Shopify or WooCommerce as well as link it to essential business add-ons such as receipt printers. This way you can reduce the cart abandonment on your website and provide a more comfortable experience for customers.

What is the average cost of an mPOS/smartphone POS system?

There are a variety of mPOS’s on the market. They are cheaper than fixed point POS’s but the majority of them use hardware and you can expect to pay anything from £25 to £300. Some companies may also charge you a monthly fee or tie you into a contract.

Every payment company will charge you a fee for processing payments. These can range from 1.5 to 3%, and you may pay different fees depending on what kind of card a customer uses.

Here at Pomelo Pay, our POS operates from your smartphone so there are no hardware fees. We also charge just a flat rate of 1.49% on every transaction, one of the lowest payment processing fees on the market. 

Which businesses should use an mPOS?

The versatility, portability and functionality of an mPOS mean that it can be used by a variety of businesses in almost any kind of environment.

If you run a restaurant or retail shop you’ll be able to benefit from increased checkout speeds and lower processing fees simply by adopting an mPOS system.

However, small business owners that are ‘on the go’ will find a mobile POS particularly useful. Pop-up shops, trade show kiosk, tradesmen and food truck businesses take payments sporadically and in different locations.

Carrying a payment terminal doesn’t make sense in such circumstances, so a mobile POS is an ideal solution.

Yet, even then, a mPOS may not make sense. If you would rather take payments from your phone, you can do so instantly and securely with a smartphone POS.

If you starting a new small business or experimenting with a side business, a smartphone POS is a low-cost solution that will enable you to enter the market quickly. If your business doesn’t succeed, you won’t have spent any significant outlay on your payment processor.


If you cannot decide whether to use a mobile POS solution or invest in card terminals, think about how often you take payments, how many locations you operate in and how much functionality you require. What is the best POS system will all depend on the needs of your business.

Some fixed point POS systems are highly complex and offer advanced inventory management and barcode scanner features or connect with cash registers/cash drawers, things which an mPOS cannot offer.

However, if you want to speed up checkout speeds and reduce your card processing fees, an mPOS may be the right choice for your business.

If you require even more functionality and versatility, then why not test our ios/android POS software and find out what you can do with your phone by downloading the Pomelo Pay app.