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Smart terminals: how smart are they really
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‘Smart’ terminals: how smart are they really, and can they help hospitality thrive?

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Small and medium size merchants rely on technology providers to make technology work and make their lives easier. So, can the new generation of so-called “smart terminals” truly help merchants to keep customers happy, and ease the challenges of running a profitable business?

Whether you’re running a small, medium or expanding hospitality operation, to be efficient and effective the right systems are critical to the success of your business. Investing in the right technologies at the right time will certainly pay off – both in the short and long term – through operational efficiency and steady growth.


The trade-off is that merchants are usually not professional experts in technology, and their focus should be instead on running and growing their businesses by keeping their customers happy. This means that it’s crucial for providers, such as payments services, to offer merchants effective, affordable and user-friendly solutions to improve their operation, with functionality and added support that can extend reach and utility.

“Payment solutions are coming to market to meet the urgent challenges merchants face to serve their customers with personalised and on-the-spot experiences while growing their business”, says Thad Peterson, senior analyst, Aite Group, an independent research firm focused on business and technology issues influencing financial services. “Mobile and portable devices are finally impacting the mainstream merchant, as they see the benefits of leaving the traditional checkout counter to engage consumers whether they are inside or outside of the venue, or at any other physical location (such as pop-ups).”


Another growing technological trend within the hospitality industry is the ‘Internet of Things’​, or IoT, which involves extending internet connectivity to everyday objects, devices and appliances. These devices can then collect data and communicate or interact over the internet, turning previously unintelligent devices into ‘smart’​ ones, which are often semi or fully autonomous.

The so called ‘smart terminals’ then, with their unbound connectivity and flexibility, can be part of the answer to a few of the payment challenges hospitality businesses face, while also offering innovative functions and features such as touchscreen and comprehensive, cashless payment acceptance, among other benefits.

The most advanced devices today are high-powered and compact payment solutions designed for queue-busting, sidewalk service and pay-at-the-table service. They are fully functional portable payment devices that are outage-proof and can maintain steady uptime. This is essential to prevent the loss of any transactions and provide merchants with the flexible connectivity options they need to accept worry-free payments at any time, every time. Say, for example, that you operate a pub with a beer garden. You can take payments inside at the bar via your usual WiFi connection, then go outside to take payment at a table. WiFi drops out? No problem: GPRS will connect automatically. Result? Happy customers all round.

The best machines out there must also include the latest standards in payment security and the maximum PCI protection to safeguard sensitive cardholder information, combat fraud and prevent data breaches.

One of the most exciting features of smart terminals, however, is their scalability and potential to enhance POS, supporting value-added business apps that can help build brand loyalty, customer engagement and untapped revenue opportunities.


The V240m from Verifone, now available in the UK through Retail Merchant Services (RMS), is a good example of a smart POS terminal that offers all the advantages of a complete solution. With its flexible connectivity options and enhanced security, it’s an affordable option specially designed to support small and medium-sized businesses. The device is available with dual-com (WiFi & GPRS) or tri-com (WiFi, GPRS & Bluetooth) connections, so it roams to select the strongest signal and switches automatically to a new connection if, and when, required.

With the added advantages of a free SIM card included with every terminal and RMS’ 24/7 Proactive Customer Support, that can anticipate an issue before it even becomes one, the V240m truly is a device designed for the 21st century hospitality business. It brings the convenience and ease of use you can expect from a portable payment device, plus exciting new possibilities to customise your point of sale that could radically benefit the way you do business.