First of all, how badly do you need to use a mobile phone point-of-sale app right now? Most of the mobile POS apps released in the last 18 months employ a card swiper accessory that connects to a smartphone, though some may require a merchant to input customer credit card information using the phone keypad. The potential benefits: You unchain yourself from the cash register and the equipment and connectivity costs associated with a fixed, dedicated POS solution.
But, for now at least, the apps carry risks for adopters. The new mobile apps should not be confused with other wireless POS systems. These older systems - the kind that allow you to pay at the table at a restaurant, transmit credit card info over a dedicated Wi-Fi connection - do not have general internet access or share their connections with other devices. The new mobile POS apps can be downloaded to any smartphone and use the same OS as other apps without firewall protection on a device that's always connected to the internet.
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