Using an iPad for mobile Point of Sale

March 03, 2019

Intuitive to use, affordable to purchase and easy on the eye, the iPad is an ideal tablet for retailers, restaurants and cafes looking to embrace the growing trend of mobile Point of Sale.

Not only are there a ready supply of iPad Point of Sale apps available to assist, but a host of hardware like cash draws, secure tablet stands and card readers also make transforming the iPad into a full point of sale a simple procedure.

Here’s an insight into how it’s done…

Mobile Point of Sale

Mobile POS

In 2018, Juniper Research noted the mobile Point of Sale (aka a device that connects wirelessly to the internet) accounted for an estimated 28 billion transactions globally. By 2023 that figure is expected to increase three-fold, with 87 billion transactions to be completed at a mobile Point of Sale.

Effectively that means one in four transactions in 2023 will be made by mPOS. The upward trend is driven by the flexibility mPOS offers a business, allowing them an affordable POS system that is easy to set up, can slash the time consumers spend in a queue, and allows the register to be taken to the customer.

Among the perennially popular devices handling this mobility is the iPad. Globally the iPad accounted for more than a quarter (26.6 per cent) of the tablet market in 2018, according to Statista.

So, what’s involved in using your iPad as a mobile Point of Sale

Acquire an iPad

Apple currently has three options when it comes to iPads – the Mini, the standard 9.7-inch and the up-scale iPad Pro, and each is available in a variety of configurations with Wi-Fi or cellular access.

Pick your app

There are a wealth of options available when it comes to Point of Sale apps for the iPad. Ranging from POS apps specifically suited to café and restaurants to more generic POS software for retailers, it pays to do a bit of research about the options that might best suit you.

Among the big names are:

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but offers a good place to start your POS software investigations.

Things you’ll need to consider when selecting the right app for your business include the number of terminals in use and the number staff members utilising the system, ease of use, ongoing cost (including charges on different payment types) ease of set-up for your store or hospitality venue, invoicing options, payment receipts, inventory tracking, and technical support available.

Card reader

Card Reader Stand

A number of app providers, like Square, Shopify and PayPal, offer card readers as part of their POS bundle, but it also pays to consider exactly what you will need.

Some card readers include a keypad and offer the ability to tap, insert and swipe the card, while others are tiny additions that insert into the headphone jack of your device.

Cash drawer

Cash Drawer

Regardless of whether you’re a retailer or hospitality provider, chances are a cash drawer will be required. Again, some app providers offer these as part of their POS bundle.

But if you’d rather select your own or it’s not available from your provider, cash drawers that interact with your POS app and receipt printer are available.

Receipt printers and scanners

Receipt printers are also available from a variety of suppliers. Many interact with the iPad using Bluetooth or wireless communication.

Some retailers won’t require a scanner and for restaurants and café’s it also won’t be a necessity, but they are also readily available and communicate using wireless or Bluetooth.

Stand and enclosure

Secure tablet mount

In a commercial environment your iPad will need a stand that offers security against theft and protection against damage. This stand and enclosure also helps complete the streamlined, professional look of a mobile Point of Sale.

Enclosures should be lockable and durable, allowing staff to access the device yet ensure it is secure. At Bosstab we have a range of enclosures and stands suited to this purpose.
Our Fusion enclosures are designed specifically for commercial environments, featuring a lock, a heavy-duty metal face-plate and a durable ABS plastic case.

They are compatible with a range of stands suited to countertops, wall mounting, or freestanding mPOS and come with options like flexible arms, or the ability to rotate and flip your device.

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