Mobility Management Makes Mobile Checkout Less Worrisome

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By: Esther Shein |

These days, you can swipe your credit card at a restaurant table, avoid long lines at the cash register and conduct the transaction in the clothing aisle — all thanks to mobile checkout.

These point of sale (POS) devices are essentially a mobile cash register or terminal, and their ease of use is making them ubiquitous. It’s no wonder; more than 46 percent of U.S. consumers make mobile payments already, which translates to about 114 million adults, according to Pew Research.

By the end of the year, 4.8 billion individuals around the world are expected to carry a mobile phone, and smartphone users will account for 46 percent of the global population, according to Forrester Research as reported by RIS News. The firm also expects mobile and tablet commerce to reach $142 billion in the U.S. this year.

Unlike traditional cash registers, many mobile POS systems have added new functionality, like the ability to email or text receipts to customers, set employee schedules or view transactions and sales reports.

Setting Up a Mobile Checkout Environment

Retailers need to factor in whether their legacy POS equipment meets PCI compliance and security standards, or the hardware will not be secure when operated across the store’s Wi-Fi network. This is important to consider when figuring out if the system can be extended to a mobile device.

In most cases, carrying over legacy equipment may not be a secure route to take when implementing mobile checkout. Businesses have to put a lot of thought into software and security architecture, and the supporting hardware stack that goes behind it, notes Accucode.

The wireless infrastructure, internet connectivity and wide area connectivity in the store must also be considered in any mobile checkout deployment. The good news is today’s card readers can encrypt a cardholder’s data before it ever reaches the mobile device, which significantly reduces the risk of malware gaining access to that data through a mobile endpoint.

Managing Mobility

As more businesses adopt mobile checkout, not only do they need to seamlessly integrate their retail enterprise systems with these devices, but they need to manage usage as well. As these checkout systems are deployed, businesses need to figure out who is going to remotely administer and manage the devices within the store every day.

Mobility can be a double-edged sword: It provides convenience and operational efficiencies, but mobile data can also expose the enterprise to new types of risk during transmission and in the storage and protection of customer data. For that reason, it’s important for businesses to implement an enterprise mobility management (EMM) strategy, which encompasses using software to help enable, manage and secure mobile devices, apps, documents and data.

There are separate packages available for mobile device management (MDM), mobile app management (MAM) and mobile content management (MCM); some cross the lines and encompass features of all in a single platform. Others integrate with other enterprise systems, providing additional options and functionality, as noted by Tom’s IT Pro.

EMM takes the headache out of management challenges. When evaluating which solution is the right fit for you, remember that security is paramount, as well as ease of use.

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About The Author

Esther Shein

Freelance Writer

Esther Shein is a freelance writer and editor specializing in technology, business and education. Her work has appeared in several online and print publications, including Inc., Computerworld, NetworkComputing, InformationWeek, BYTE, CIO, CMO.com and The Boston Globe. She has written thought leadership whitepapers, customer case studies and marketing materials in addition to news and feature articles. Prior to going freelance she was the editor-in-chief of Datamation, an online enterprise technology magazine. She was also a senior writer at eWeek (formerly PC Week) and worked at The Associated Press.

Articles by Esther Shein
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