African Resonance, a leading provider of payment infrastructure that specialises in providing an entire value chain solution for terminal and merchant estate management, says Android-based payment terminals provide significant revenue-generating opportunities for South African merchants regardless of size. 

By enhancing these point-of-sale (PoS) terminals with value-added business applications, merchants can generate incremental revenue and ultimately improve the customer experience by giving tailored services unique to their business. 

“The world of PoS terminals has been around for more than 40 years. As technology evolved, so too have the devices consumers used to transact with merchants. While terminals have been predominantly Linux-based, Android has become a hugely successful mobile operating system used in billions of smartphones,” says Donn Engelbrecht, Managing Director at African Resonance Business Solutions (Pty) Ltd. 

“Today, Android is making rapid inroads into the world of payments and commerce. This can be ascribed to its flexibility, familiarity with a consumer market, and ability to deliver value-adding business solutions.”

Android devices give card acquirers and merchants the opportunity to differentiate services, grow their customer bases, and generate extra income from their PoS terminals. 

“This is important especially for the South African merchant community who need to differentiate on customer experience. As they get more data from customers, they can provide for a more tailored shopping environment. Even smaller merchants can use Android terminals to their advantage as they will no longer be reliant on traditional PoS solutions,” says Engelbrecht. 

For large retailers this could mean automatically integrating loyalty programmes to provide discounts at the point of payment. Moreover, it sees the introduction of applications into the payment ecosystem that can unlock additional value. 

For example, a restaurant might have a loyal customer who eats there every week. If that customer should over-indulgence on a particular occasion, the restauranteur can quickly book an Uber from within the PoS terminal at their own expense as a way of thanking the customer for their business. 

“At a fundamental level, Android terminals are resulting in applications and payments running in parallel as they unlock endless possibilities to adapt to changing customer habits. By integrating stock with the terminal, the merchant can quickly see the availability of stock when a customer requests it at the till. The payment industry has become commoditised, and people are looking for value adding business applications that can create differentiation.” 

“It is really a win-win for everyone in the payment ecosystem. Customers get a better experience, merchants deliver value-added services which ultimately generates incremental revenue opportunities, and banks increase their traction. To give an idea of the potential, data from PoS manufacturers indicate that 15% of payment terminals sold in 2020 were Android-based. 

“Over the next five years, this is expected to increase to 50%. South African merchants can therefore come in at the perfect time to start capitalising on this digitally-driven environment,” concludes Engelbrecht.