The impact of mobile technology on the retail industry is easy to see. Aside from consumers using smartphones to make purchases and compare pricing, merchants have put them in the hands of associates to help them answer customer questions and allow them pay from any location in the store.
However, mobile commerce goes far beyond brick-and-mortar stores. According to a recent article from the Postal News, the United States Postal Service is rolling out a new program that will put mobile point-of-sale systems in the hands of delivery drivers and sales associates. Known as mPOS, the hardware consists of an iPod Touch and a small mobile printing device that can do receipts and postage. This allowed the organization to scan and accept prepaid packages, scan pickups as delivered, sell stamps and priority mail flat-rate postage.
"During the holiday season, the 50 facilities testing mPOS processed more than 102,000 transactions using the technology," the article reads. "A retail associate can accept payments with mPOS by swiping credit cards and non-PIN debit cards. A customer can choose to accept a hard-copy receipt or have one emailed to a personal email address."
According to Kelly Sigmon, the Retail Channel Operations vice president, mobile commerce is the latest example of how the USPS is leveraging new technology to improve the customer experience.
More businesses will need to start considering the use of improved payment technology if they are going to be able to meet customer demands of the future. Merchants can partner with a payment solution provider for a hand in deploying these solutions.