Contactless payments are becoming the predominant payment method for customers and merchants alike, but how can software point of sale (SoftPOS) accelerate its usage further, in particular for those smaller businesses in emerging markets? 

Brad Hyett, CEO of phos, writes for Payment Expert on why small businesses should look to implement SoftPOS detailing the myriad of benefits and why they should integrate it now to get ahead of the curve. 

Brad Hyatt, CEO of phos / Credit: phos

Businesses in developed markets are able to utilise the latest payment technology and have access to a well-developed payment infrastructure. This environment caters to the growing needs and ever-changing habits of the modern consumer. However, smaller businesses in emerging markets face a unique set of challenges that makes it hard for them to catch a break. 

In order to operate efficiently, companies in emerging markets need to adapt to local consumer habits. For many years, incorporating a traditional point of sale system into any business has required the involvement of local entities and navigation of complex money transfer restrictions. This creates high barriers to entry but cutting into profits, limiting financial inclusion and hindering economic growth.

This is where SoftPoS changes the game. The solution not only eliminates cumbersome hardware but empowers merchants to accept secure contactless payments on the NFC-enabled devices they already own. By helping them adapt to traditional markets, SoftPoS truly has the power to revolutionise how businesses operate in emerging markets. 

Bridging the gap and demystifying obstacles

Research reveals that approximately 163 million small businesses in emerging markets don’t have adequate access to mainstream financial services. With numerous regulations, entry requirements, and transfer restrictions in place, these businesses struggle to overcome initial obstacles. Sometimes, local governing bodies also incentivise businesses and consumers to transact in the local currency, rather than foreign currency. All of this translates to extra costs for businesses. 

SoftPoS can help manage these costs, allowing businesses to accept payments using technology that they already own and are familiar with. This also includes payment methods that have wide local acceptance. 

The technology reduces dependency on local entities and gives businesses more autonomy over their operations. At the same time, SoftPoS addresses customer reservations by allowing them to conduct transactions using methods that they trust.

Empowering small merchants through SoftPoS

SoftPoS solutions provide a simple way to manage payments, and simplify the process of expanding payment acceptance points once implemented. Traditionally, when payment terminals reach their end of life, they create significant logistical challenges for device replacement and disposal.

With SoftPoS, the beauty lies in the logistical simplicity of dealing with software rather than hardware. Compliance updates are a matter of updating an app, which is more straightforward and cost-effective than dealing with physical hardware. This is especially beneficial for small merchants who have limited financial resources. 

Instead of spending precious time and money in procuring and managing payment hardware, businesses can rely on software that can be updated efficiently at little to no cost.

credit: Shutterstock
credit: Shutterstock

Building a more inclusive future

SoftPoS technology stands as a beacon of hope in the realm of financial inclusion, improving access, affordability, and adaptation in emerging markets. 

By removing bureaucratic hurdles and simplifying operations, it paves the way for previously excluded vendors to participate in the formal economy. Through its innovative approach, SoftPoS not only facilitates secure contactless payments but also democratises access to financial services. 

This empowerment of small and medium-sized businesses would not only create new job opportunities but also stimulate regional growth by fostering entrepreneurial activity and expanding the reach of organisations into underserved communities. As SoftPoS continues to gain traction, its transformative impact on inclusive economic development becomes increasingly evident, promising a future where financial services are truly accessible to all.

Its ability to streamline operations and enhance financial inclusion not only benefits individual businesses but also contributes to the overall economic development of these regions. With SoftPoS paving the way, merchants in emerging markets can embrace innovation and compete more effectively, driving sustainable growth and prosperity for all involved.