My Chip - Tighten your POS belt to become the Biggest Loser

In today's society, the obesity epidemic is everywhere. Even in the world of payments!

I admit it. I'm addicted to the TV's 'The Biggest Loser'. Watching people challenging their weight problems with diet and exercise is an enthralling way to spend an hour and a half, especially when I'm sitting on the couch eating biscuits!

As often happens during the advertisements, this week my mind drifted off to the world of payments. I thought to myself, "Why do so many of our software applications still reside on the point of sale (POS). Is this making our payment solutions as fat as a contestant in Biggest Loser?"

Continuing on that vein of thought I questioned a solution - "In order to combat our obese POS systems, can retailers move to thin client computing and relocate software into the cloud?"

I don't understand why retailers haven't already embraced cloud computing for card present payments. The idea is not a new one! I access the cloud every time I get on my web browser to check my email and have been doing so for many years.

Perhaps retailers worry about not being able to connect to the network reliably, but over time I've noticed my connectivity has become significantly faster and more resilient. I can seamlessly, quickly and reliably connect to my email when I'm at home, using WiFi while sitting in a cafe or by plugging in at work. My laptop even has a built in 3G mobile backup which kicks in if any of my other connections fail.

So given that network speed and reliability continually improve, couldn't a retailer take advantage of that? Moving payment systems to the cloud could be their POS PC's diet to help them shed their bloated software fat.

So by the time the advertisements had finished I had come to an answer.

The time has come for some businesses to discard their full fat software solutions and move to thin client architecture. For payment solutions, such a move will result in simplified terminal estate management, removing the PCI scope burden away from the POS and allowing value added services to be offered from one central location.

Retailers can beat their competitors in their own personal Biggest Loser battle, they just need to move their software to the cloud!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010