02-26-13 | Blog Post
Crain’s Detroit reports on the latest retail technology trends among stores in Michigan – mobile point-of-sales systems are replacing traditional cash registers in order to allow consumers to use their smartphones or tablets to pay for purchases in-store. According to the NRF (National Retail Federation) magazine, STORES, consumers who use their mobile devices for payment spend eight times as much as other traditional shoppers – making a solid business case for investing in the technology switch.
One benefit of switching to a mobile system includes freeing up additional retail space that can only increase profits by allowing for more merchandise realty and sales per square foot. Ideal for small Michigan retail businesses, wireless systems free up not only space but personnel resources, allowing customers to quickly check out without the help of a sales associate. Integrating the online shopping process with in-store purchasing completes the sales cycle and is preferred by many customers that spend more time online perusing than in-store.
According to the NRF, engaging with mobile shoppers is imperative, and it can’t be intrusive. Simplifying the retail experience as much as possible is how major retailers can stay relevant to their buying demographic. The Apple store at the Troy Somerset Collection is currently using mobile POS, and Nordstrom will start a pilot program with new technology early next year.
This demand for mobile POS means mobile payment application developers need to step up and ensure they can secure applications to the industry standards established to protect credit card data – PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). The PCI council recently released guidelines for secure mobile payments, taking note of the upward trend in mobile sales – read more in New Industry Guidelines for Secure, PCI Compliant Mobile Payments to learn about recommendations for merchants as end-users. Or read PCI Mobile Payment Security Recommendations Released by PCI SSC for information targeted at application developers.
Michigan businesses can’t afford to be non-compliant – data breaches can degrade business reputation and cause significant profit loss. For some small and medium-sized businesses, a data breach can put them entirely out of business, with the remediation fees that may include legal and investigation fees, PR, free credit monitoring to those that lost credit cardholder data, etc.
One part of the mobile payment PCI compliance puzzle involves the data hosting solution – infrastructure as a service (IaaS) providers must also have achieved an attestation of compliance with the latest PCI DSS version 2.0. Not only do mobile payment applications need to be compliant, but their servers, storage, network and virtual machines must also meet and maintain ongoing compliance with PCI standards.
Michigan data centers can provide the security and compliance required for mobile payment application developers, as well as retailers that seek to take advantage of the mobile POS trend. Check that your data center operator and PCI hosting provider have a documented PCI Report on Compliance, and they have established security policies and training in place for their employees. With some planning and diligence, Michigan retail businesses and mobile payment application developers can implement a not only efficient but also secure mobile POS system.
Read our PCI Compliant Hosting white paper for more about data security requirements.
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