Restaurant operators pride themselves on the ability to maintain a finger on the pulse of trends for their business.  Most importantly staying on top of POS trends is as vital to continued success of the business as making sure that they have the hottest new items available in the marketplace.  With that in mind, here are three of the biggest trends for Point-of-Sale (POS) systems coming in 2015.

Trend 1: Rising popularity of new payment options and technologies, along with their continued implementation

apple-payE-Wallets: according to this article at digitaltrends.com, Apple claims that their e-wallet, Apple Pay (launched in October 2014), has partnerships with 220,000 stores and the Apple Pay is available in each and every one. Also, chances are, if you see the NFC mobile payments symbol on a cash register, Apple Pay will work at that store, too.

The adoption of mobile payment services should be an even bigger trend in the marketplace for 2015, given that in addition to Apple Pay, Apple is expected to debut the Apple Watch this year.  Also there is another e-wallet offering coming out in 2015, called CurrentC.

vp_153315Pin & Chip Card Accommodations: The marketplace has been very slow to shift to software systems that accommodate credit and debit cards that are manufactured under the Europay/MasterCard/Visa (aka EMV) standard.  Also called pin and chip cards, they are designed to be much more secure than traditional credit and debit cards that are available today.  That being said, as of October 2015, businesses that have not replaced their existing POS technology with a system that is “EMV-capable,” will now be liable for credit and debit card fraud.  Granted, installing such technology is not mandatory, it is very easy to see why business owners would want to shift to using technology like this, both for their customers’ security and their own bottom line.

With a shift like this, it is very easy to see where POS trends will be shifting in the coming months, as business owners rush to accommodate the deadline.  Enhancing security and adding the ability to avoid the financial calamity that can result in the fallout from data breaches and fraud is at the top of the list of any responsible business owner.  Additionally, adding technology that works with these pin and chip cards, they use near-field communications (NFC), with almost automatically allow these same businesses to accept Apple Pay.  This is due to the fact that NFC is the “enabling technology” for Apple Pay as well as other technology methods that are emerging on to the marketplace.

Trend 2: Increased integration of tablet POS.

ipad-pos-terminalEase of use: Business owners can see on a daily basis that their employees are already used to the interface of a POS, as a majority of cellular phone users are now on smart phones.  As the same cannot be said of a traditional POS system, it makes a lot of business sense (especially when it comes down to training) for operators to look into investing into a tablet POS system for their business.  The learning curve behind a tablet POS system is much less, and businesses will find that they can spend less time and money invested into training new employees.

Flexibility: with a tablet POS system, businesses now have the flexibility to complete customer transactions at a traditional register or even at the table.  This will have a positive affect on customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and will most likely boost sales, as it is a much more efficient system that is in place.

Statistics from Hospitality Technology magazine’s “POS Software Trend Report 2015” underscore the heightened popularity of new payment options like e-wallets, along  with the transition to EMV-ready POS systems.

Trend 3: PCI Compliance

Version 3.0: Restaurant operators are constantly working to continue and improve their compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).  January 1, 2015 was the deadline for all companies that access, store, and/or transmit cardholder data and personally identifiable information to be in compliance with Version 3.0 of the standard.  The major elements of PCI DSS 3.0 call for the development of operational processes and practices that allow merchants to be proactive in their approach to data security.  Merchants should be able to audit endpoints, and networks, for deviations from the norm in real-time, versus reacting to incidents after they’ve taken place.  Currently experts are saying that a majority of organizations are overwhelmingly ready for PCI DSS 3.0, and more than 40 percent of respondents to the Hospitality Technology survey consider PCI Compliance a key business driver.

Of course, there are dozens of other trends that could pop up in 2015.  With that in mind, operators that are focusing on the three trends addressed here will be in the perfect position to succeed in the long-term.