Traditional POS Purchases To Plummet Due To Mobile, IHL Reports

Over the next four years, retailers will buy an average of 10 percent fewer traditional POS units, opting instead to use mobile checkout, according to an IHL Mobile study slated to be released next week. But that may be a misleadingly small change, because some sectors—such as specialty retailers—will see traditional POS purchases plunge by 20 percent in that same timeframe, which means "roughly 200,000 units going away. That's more than NCR ships for an entire year worldwide," said IHL President Greg Buzek.

Several elements over the next few years—the report projects out to 2015—will make this change even more dramatic. Some 45 percent of new stores will be "mom and pops that are just starting. There you'll see a tremendous impact," because the stores won't even start with a traditional POS, Buzek said. "Why pay $3,000 [for a traditional POS] when I can get an iPad and put Square on it? This is going to fundamentally change the mall in the next three years."

Particularly hard hit will be department stores, specialty, soft-goods and restaurants, he said.

All things considered, it really looks like mobile may, if not kill, then at least seriously maim the POS star.