Smart and Intelligent: Payments Redefined

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Craig Leppan

The global fintech market is currently expected to grow at a CAGR of 20% over the next few years, achieving an impressive $305 billion by 2025. The Global Fintech Market Report also pointed out that low-cost, personalized, and intelligent solutions are playing a significant role in this growth. Within this market, soft point-of-sale (SoftPOS) solutions have gained traction and are set to grow by almost 500% over the next five years, according to Juniper Research. The firm also found that SoftPOS will become a far more entrenched reality for merchants, globally thanks to its ubiquity and accessibility and this is reflected in adoption growth that’s expected to increase by 475% by 2027.

“There’s been significant innovation in the SoftPOS space,” says Anna Branquinho, Product Marketing Manager from TrinityIoT. “This has been driven by multiple factors, but perhaps the biggest is the ability to significantly minimize payment complexity. It can be overwhelming for service providers in the payments industry to manage the innovation of their product and the backend building, let alone undertaking the risk of developing and maintaining their own managed connectivity and mobile device management environment - the latter requiring a significant investment of resources (time, capital, and expertise). Now, through partnerships with service providers like Trinity IoT, SoftPOS providers have access to unique solutions designed to bolster its core product. Trinity IoT develops and integrates connectivity and mobile device management infrastructure for their partners so that companies like Halo don’t have to start from scratch which significantly reduces time to market and risk of failure.”

Now, fintech disruptors, like Halo Dot, have leaped into the space to provide game-changing solutions that not only empower companies to refine their payment processes but lower the barrier to entry for anyone to run a business, manage payments and streamline customer sales. However, as Branquinho points out, smart solutions are only as successful as the connectivity infrastructure and management capabilities it has access to.

“Managed connectivity has become incredibly important,” sheadds. “You can have an application with all the bells and every whistle, but if it cannot connect, and control your operational environment, it cannot deliver on its most basic mandate – payments. Along with accessibility and functionality, managed connectivity has become a major competitive differentiator.”

For some merchants and sellers, especially micro-entrepreneurs, this connectivity comes with the caveat of connected mobile devices. They can install SoftPOS applications onto their personal cellular devices to tap, pay and go without having to worry too much about connectivity at large. Sure, they’ll occasionally hit a stumbling block with network outages or latency during load-shedding, but their reliance on this infrastructure is enough. However, larger merchants, or merchants with higher turnovers and a higher transaction rate can’t afford the cost of downtime, no matter how brief. Suddenly, operating your application through an unmanaged personal device with an unmanaged SIM becomes a threat to the success of your application - and the merchant's business.

“These merchants have deliveries to manage, workers to collaborate with, stores to check – they have multiple balls in the air and every one of them relies on connectivity,” says Craig Leppan, Business Director from Halo Dot. “They don’t have the patience or the bandwidth to rely on shaky connectivity, they need solutions that just work.

This is why it’s become increasingly important for retailers to invest in managed connectivity and  hardware solutions that are always-on to mitigate connectivity bottlenecks and  hardware-based failures.”

This can make all the difference in how a merchant engages with their payment technology and customers. It’s easy to blame the SoftPOS if it can’t connect, but it’s easier to invest in an infrastructure that ensures every part of the business remains connected. And, perhaps one of the most important factors, is that it puts control back into the hands of the merchants and the sellers. Not only does it empower merchants, but it allows SoftPOS providers to focus on the development of their core product - their application - while service providers like Trinity IoT maintain a tightly controlled connectivity and mobile device management infrastructure to support the mobile application.

“It’s imperative for businesses, like Halo Dot, to have a large element of control over their products and applications,” says Branquinho. “Ultimately, SoftPOS providers will determine the quality of their end product. If they develop an award-winning solution, their product shouldn’t fall flat due to poorly managed connectivity or mismanaged devices.  End-to-end solutions should be battle-tested, reliable, and agile enough to handle different environments and expectations.

Platform-enabled connectivity and mobile device management for SoftPOS providers, like Halo Dot, ensures that there is accountability and visibility in the operational environment of their solution.”

Fintech payments are a highly competitive market. There are hundreds of solutions shouting for merchant attention, all promising rich layers of functionality and security, all offering robust service delivery.

“Ultimately, if you lose a transaction, it can be down to a single quickly solvable error, but these moments stack up as your solution scales, and the last thing you want is to lose customers and significant revenue because systems don’t integrate with one another and functionalities don’t deliver,” concludes Leppan from Halo Dot. “You never want to miss a transaction. The revenue of the SoftPOS provider is directly linked to the revenue of the merchant. Ideally, you want to be at the edge of customer sales. And this edge demands robust connectivity management and excellent mobile device management.”