mPOS, tablets and digital payments all set to increase in 2018

Digital Payment

Tablets are set to become an even more common feature at your local shop, café and customer service counter over the coming year as hospitality and retail continues to embrace the tablet trend.

These are the predictions of researchers as mobile Point of Sale takes out an increasing market share and the convenience of new digital payments sees consumers expect mobile technology instore.

So, as we look towards 2018 in retail and hospitality what are the tablet trends likely to emerge?

The state of play

2017 has been a big year for tablets with major names actively targeting the commercial sphere. It was the year Apple came out with the 10.5-inch iPad aimed directly at commercial, education and business use.

Meanwhile, other high-end options like the Microsoft Surface Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S applied their convenience and the all-important Windows operating system to also lure the commercial sector into increasing tablet adoption.

In fact, the commercial market has been attributed to a rebound in tablet sales. Sky News notes sales in professional tablets have bucked an otherwise slumping trend – tablets with detachable keyboards more than doubled their market share from 2015-17, increasing to 17 million shipments.

And IDC expects this rising take-up of detachable tablets to continue in 2018 right through to 2020.

“The benefits of a thin and light design combined with a touchscreen are bolstering growth in the detachable tablet market, but are also bleeding over into the PC market as slim and convertible-type notebooks gain popularity,” IDC notes.


Driving tablet adoption in the retail and hospitality sector is mobile Point of Sale, and this too will continue as a trend throughout 2018.

Market research firm Arizton tips the global mobile point of sale market will gross $9.8 billion by 2023, growing at a compound annual growth rate close to 12% between 2017−2023.

“The market is majorly driven by increased digital payments, introduction of mobile payment solutions, penetration of EMV-compliant POS terminals, and high demand from the healthcare and retail segments,” they note.

The benefits

The adoption of tablets as the mobile Point of Sale remains rooted in the attributes of speed, convenience and the accessibility of the Cloud.

The prime reasons retailers and hospitality providers utilise tablets include:

  • Shortening time in the queue by taking the register to the consumer
  • Allowing for quick set-up like in the case of “pop up shops”
  • Furnishing the consumer with instant information via access to the internet
  • As a self-service tool to check stock, purchase items or sign up to loyalty campaigns
  • For tableside ordering
  • As a more affordable option to traditional Point of Sale

mPOS software

The rise in tablet usage has been fuelled by the convenience of the Cloud and an increasing choice of mPOS software providers coming into the market. From PayPal to Square, Shopkeep and Revel, a host of big-name software companies have a stake in the mPOS sphere.

Each offers an app that can be easily downloaded and many also provide tablet-compatible hardware like card readers, cash drawers, and barcode scanners to complement their software.

Mobile payments

While software and convenience may spur on much of the tablet trend, a shift to digital payments also plays an increasing role, and this will continue to drive major retail change in 2018 and beyond.

The following statistics compiled by BlueSnap illustrate the playing field:

  • In-store mobile payments will reach $503 billion by 2020, reflecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 80% between 2015 and 2020. (BI Intelligence)
  • The number of in-store mobile payment users in the U.S. is predicted to reach 150 million by the end of 2020—which will represent 56% of the consumer population at that time. (Mobile Payments World)
  • Mobile point-of-sale revenue around the world is expected to reach almost $50 billion in 2021, (from just $6.6 billion in 2016); one in every three point-of-sale terminals will accommodate mobile. (Juniper Research Via Reuters)
  • Thanks in large part to more smartphones and tablets in emerging countries, the mobile payment technologies market around the globe is expected to increase at a CAGR of 20.5% between the years of 2016 and 2024. In 2015, it was valued at $338.72 billion; the 2024 projection is $1,773.17 billion. (Transparency Market Research)
  • In the U.S. in 2016, there were 232 million smartphones in use; 16.5% of those were used to make a contactless payment the same year. (Juniper Research)
  • Fifty per cent of all surveyed American retailers planned to incorporate near field communication (NFC) technology (which enables contactless payments) into their stores by the end of 2016 or had already done so. (Financial Times)

Tablets are rapidly becoming an essential tool in the retail and hospitality toolkit, which helps serve clients more effectively and swiftly, and 2018 sees no end to this market trend.

They offer an affordable, convenient and increasingly popular way for stores to embrace the customer service ethos while harnessing the power of technology.