The next generation of Android POS are revolutionizing commerce. As smart as your smartphone, the flexible platform holds great potential for merchants and developers alike.
Designed for merchants, Axium’s Android ecosystem merges business and payments in one central solution. Its seven-inch touchscreen gives it an attractive aesthetic for customers and declutters the checkout counter by gathering all functions in one easy-to-use device. As well as enhancing the customer experience, Axium is paving the way for digitally connected stores by offering the full capabilities of a native open Android operating environment, combined with the security and stability of Ingenico’s proven Telium TETRA operating system.
Nicolas Divin, Head of Solutions Developer Relations at Ingenico Group explains why everyone stands to gain, not least developers.
What are the benefits of an Android POS?
Today you have hundreds of millions of devices running Android, with millions of apps. It's the most popular and versatile platform and suitable for commercial apps too. It’s secure and developers know and understand it. Ingenico’s new Axium product runs on Android, coupled with a larger real estate and screen size. It makes it a really flexible device, which means developers can produce more complex apps that enable merchants to run their organization. As the Android POS is so adaptable, the same equipment can be upgraded as merchants' needs change, simply by downloading new apps.
How many commercial apps are available?
There are thousands of business-specific apps available. The number for payment processing (such as ECR apps) is naturally limited by their specificity, although the number will, of course, grow with the market. Ingenico has developed and continues to develop strong one-to-one relationships with carefully selected partners in electronic cash registers and EPOS to provide specific applications for our customers. By combining our cutting-edge technology with their expertise, we can make sure that the service we render on the device is the very best.
What advantages are there to developers in partnering with Ingenico?
Ingenico is the market leader in payment terminals. As we launch one of our most versatile and innovative solutions to date, it’s a great time for developers to engage with a large audience. We can provide developers with access to our estate of clients and a huge payment ecosystem.
Why is it appealing to merchants?
As well as payment solutions, an Android POS can offer streamlined operational functions such as staff management, bookings, stock management and loyalty schemes, all in one integrated hub. That’s attractive because it gives merchants of any scale, even small and medium-sized, the power to compete with larger retailers with much bigger budgets. Take a loyalty scheme, for example: bakeries and coffee shops often give paper loyalty cards but customers often lose them. With an Android POS, the retailer can download and install a loyalty app that recognizes regular customers via their payment card. Rewards can be automatically applied, such as 'buy 10 and get your next product free', which helps the merchant build a closer relationship with consumers. It's networked and an open Android platform with standard features so it’s easy to add peripheral devices such as barcode scanners, printers, cash drawers or Bluetooth devices. Practically that means companies can print out a bill or an order from one central hub. It’s better performance, better capacity.
How secure is the POS?
Security is vital for retailers. There has been huge progress in Android security in the past few years: it is the reason we chose the platform.
In addition, Ingenico offers extra layers of security. Whilst the platform is open, the payment side is not. The two environments are distinct and segregated and everything related to payments sits behind a firewall with dedicated connection layers.
What are the benefits for banking partners?
Banks have two priorities. They want to reduce the total cost of ownership of the hardware they supply to retailers, and they want to improve their customers' stickiness.
Until now, the differences between POS offerings have been minimal – security, Wi-Fi, colour screens and so on. An Android POS is a game changer. A single product replaces multiple devices and services in-store, reducing the total cost of ownership. It gives banks and acquirers the opportunity to offer a superior, cheaper service to clients, boosting their relationship over the long term.
It also allows banks and acquirers to increase stickiness by developing their own apps for merchants: if a merchant has three years of loyalty scheme data with their bank, they will think long and hard before changing their provider.
What is the future? Will all POS terminals be Android?
Android POS will be the standard in the next 10 years. Just as we manage our lives on Android smartphones today, in the future all businesses will be run using Android devices because of its sheer flexibility.
There is a lot of innovation in payments, from Chinese QR code payments to NFC smartphone methods. Axium can handle all of these. An Android POS gives retailers the ability to work with whatever evolves, which is why merchants and banks and acquirers are all so enthusiastic about the technology. It's incredibly exciting for the entire retail industry.
Experienced project, product and operations professional with over 15 years of experience in both B-to-C and B-to-B[-to-C] environment.
I worked on consumer electronic product lines (MacBook and iPod), software and service (iTunes client and store) for over 10 years, gaining a real understanding in technology and consumer business as well as strong knowledge on market and business trends.
I gained a strong experience in launching products on European markets with tight schedules as well as working in fast moving and growing environment that enabled me to gain the ability to adapt quickly to different situations and work under pressure.
Now within a BtoB environment looking at delivering digital innovative and efficient solutions for stores and businesses along with third party partners.