Now that the holiday hoopla is over and the New Year has begun, many savvy restaurant operators are beginning to make changes in their cadre of POS hardware and software. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the top projected POS trends for 2015.
Software upgrades. This year will bring a strong push among restaurant operators to upgrade their existing POS software in a move to broaden their customer bases and increase sales. Sixty-seven percent of restaurateurs that revealed POS software purchasing plans to Hospitality Technology magazine for its 2015 POS Software Trend Report said upgrades to their existing solution are in the cards for the next 12 months.
Heading the list of POS trends on the upgrades front will be changes that enable restaurants to accept payments via a mobile wallet, such as the upcoming CurrentC and the recently introduced Apple Pay. A majority (59%) of participants in the Hospitality Technology study said they intend to add mobile wallet acceptance capability over the next 12 months. Tablet-based POS software and loyalty tools will also rank among popular upgrades this year (both at 57%), as will cloud-based POS (35%) and integration with social media (33%).
New capabilities come to POS software. The introduction of “dynamic pricing” (yield management) capabilities, previously used almost exclusively by the hotelier contingent of the hospitality vertical, comprises an example here. In a foodservice scenario, the dynamic pricing component will allow foodservice operators to create more demand for menu items by adjusting prices according to daypart, with tablet POS devices and/or integrated digital signage used to display price changes. Restaurateurs may also use dynamic pricing capabilities to test various pricing scenarios and menu substitutions.
Tablets, tablets everywhere. In 2015, the industry will see even more of a push to upgrade to tablet technology from outdated cash registers, order pads and paper menus. Among key trends this year will be the use of tablets as the anchoring technology for self-service kiosks, and as a vehicle for accepting self-generated food and drink orders, supplying tabletop entertainment, and conveying promotional messages to diners as they sit in their seats.
EMV emerges. Forty-seven percent of restaurateurs polled for the study agreed that attaining compliance with the Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) standard is on their “to-do” list. Installing EMV-capable hardware is not mandatory, but as of October 2015, liability for credit and debit card fraud will shift to merchants unless they have deployed it to replace their existing equipment. A desire to avoid significant financial fallout from data breaches and other fraudulent activity places migration to EMV on the top of the POS trends roster.
Crazy for PCI compliance. January 1, 2015 was the deadline for compliance with Version 3.0 of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) by all companies that access, store, and/or transmit cardholder data (CHD) and personally identifiable information (PHI). However, according to an annual PCI compliance report, only 10% of these entities are passing their baseline PCI DSS assessment. More than 40% of respondents to the Hospitality Technology survey consider PCI compliance a key business driver and reported plans to work toward achieving it this year.
Other POS trends will likely emerge this year, and restaurant operators may need to adjust their approach to hardware and software accordingly. But, for now, paying attention to the five top POS trends described above is a wise business move.