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Mobile Apps replacing traditional retail POS systems

Will a physical wallet soon become a relic of the past?

As mobile technology continues to grow, the way consumers make purchases is also evolving. Some businesses are moving toward a mobile point of sale system, where customers can use tablet or smartphone apps for payment instead of cash or credit cards.

There already appears to be a market for mobile point of sale apps. According to a 2012 study from the US National Restaurant Association and FT.com, about half of consumers would use at-table electronic payment options and a smartphone app to view a restaurant’s menu and make reservations.

Nearly four out of 10 consumers said they would be likely to use a tablet-based electronic menu and ordering system at table service restaurants. The association predicts that these numbers will continue to grow, which is significant for the restaurant industry, where diners are expected to spend more than $630 billion this year.

4 Mobile Point of Sale Apps At a Glance

1. Square
Square offers simple and affordable point of sale system options for business owners and payment options for consumers.

Square Register
Square Register is a free iPad app that is an alternative to a traditional cash register for startups or small businesses. Business owners can add custom inventory, plug the free card reader into an iPad and begin accepting payments from customers via cash, credit card or their Square profile. Square Register tracks analytics, prints receipts wirelessly and can create a customized rewards system for repeat customers.

Square Card Reader
The card reader is compatible with iPad, iPhone and Android and features fast set-up, next-day deposits and a 2.75% per swipe fee for credit cards.

Pay With Square
Pay With Square is a free smartphone mobile wallet app for iPhone or Android. It links to a credit card and allows a consumer to open a tab to pay at businesses.

2. Google Wallet
Google Wallet is a free mobile wallet app that stores credit cards and offers on a consumer’s Android phone and in a cloud online. Customers can use the app to pay in-store at participating merchants or check out in some online stores. Transactions are encrypted by SSL technology and do not carry any extra fees for consumers.

3. LevelUp
The LevelUp app works on iPhone and Android smartphones (as well as on BlackBerry through a mobile browser) and links to a credit card to generate a unique code. Consumers scan the code to make payments and receive rewards the more they use the mobile wallet app. For participating businesses, there are no processing fees and LevelUp Campaigns can be customized to acquire new customers and reward regulars.

4. CashierLive
Cashier is a point of sale iPhone app built for retailers. It can scan barcodes, manage inventory, track customers, email receipts, create reports and accept payments in the form of cash, credit card, checks and more. The app is free to download, but the associated hardware is sold separately.

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