Voice of the Industry

Optimising Point-of-Sale solutions through Smart Cellular Connectivity

Thursday 11 May 2023 08:37 CET | Editor: Irina Ionescu | Voice of the industry

Curtis Govan, President, Americas at floLIVE, uncovers how businesses adopt cellular connectivity to boost security, stability, and reliability for their POS terminals.

Who uses cash nowadays? For retailers, point-of-sale (POS) terminals are becoming the de-facto way to take credit card payments, used by everyone from large department stores to street food vendors. Many businesses now offer extensions that turn a mobile phone into a POS terminal, so that even a teenager running a lemonade stand can take credit card payments.

floLIVE looks at why businesses are increasingly utilising cellular connectivity via a SIM card rather than relying on traditional WiFi, and how to increase your capabilities by ten times in this market, whether using a mobile, or a specific POS terminal.

Understanding the POS value chain

We can roughly map the POS market vertical into three links of the value chain: 
  1. Terminal vendors: These are the companies that manufacture devices, such as Ingenico, Verifone, or PAX. There are also white-label vendors who allow businesses to brand their own POS service. 

  2. Independent Service Operators (ISOs): These local or global operators provide everything - terminals, payment software, and managed support. Sometimes, terminal vendors offer this service, too. 

  3. Retailers/Merchants : In this category are the customers, those who are using the terminals and the software to take their own customers’ credit card payments.


Factoring in compliance for POS terminals

Processing credit card payments is one of the most highly regulated activities. Terminals need to be compliant with a wide range of regulations, such as PCI-DSS, GDPR for data privacy, as well as CCPA, and similar emerging regulations for the USA. 

There are also broader security considerations, including network and software vulnerabilities, avoiding unauthorised access to the terminal either physically or remotely, and obtaining quick insight into potential attacks such as malware injections, ram scraping, or skimming. 

All radio equipment will also be subject to general certifications, which vary between regions. In the UK, manufacturers must keep to the Radio Equipment Regulations 2017 that govern all equipment that uses the radio spectrum. 

The Radio Equipment Directive in the EU and FCC approval in the US both ensure compliance with regulatory standards for cellular devices, alongside other rules to ensure privacy and protect against fraud.

Additionally, in the US, as well as in some other countries, cellular devices need to be certified by the mobile operators themselves, following PTCRB. If a single vendor wants to buy SIMs from multiple operators such as AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, they will need to undergo certification from all three vendors.

Adding connectivity to the mix

If a payment terminal can’t connect, it can’t process payments. Most POS terminals use WiFi for connectivity, but the tides have been turning towards cellular connectivity for some time. The main reasons are:

  • Stability: With WiFi, it can take something as small as a colleague changing the password for the POS  can prevent it from being able  to connect and accept payments. For an ISO, low stability means it’s  harder to support stores that rely on WiFi. 

  • Security: Most data sent over unsecured WiFi isn’t encrypted, and even when using secured channels, WiFi remains less reliable. Data transmitted via 4G, LTE, and 5G is authenticated, while WiFi networks leave you at greater risk of attack. 

  • Coverage: Cellular coverage moves wherever employees move, which means wherever a payment transaction is being taken, coverage will be reliable and strong. 

Thus, cellular is becoming the connectivity option of choice for POS terminals, but there are still things that need to be taken into account to help smart cellular connectivity work through its main challenges.

Network coverage

You need your business to be as simple as possible, and partnering with multiple operators is anything but simple. It can open compliance headaches and add operational and administrative overheads. However, without multiple operator relationships - how will you ensure 100% coverage across all your branches - or even within a single large department store?  


Roaming has become a real pain point for POS terminals. The connectivity cost of a roaming SIM is significantly higher than one that connects via local connectivity. At the same time, the performance when roaming is poor due to high latency, and keeping to data privacy regulations is almost impossible as your customers’ personal and financial data leaves your home country to other regions.

floLIVE uncovers how businesses adopt cellular connectivity to boost security, stability, and reliability for their POS terminals. 


What can a multi-region business do?

Smart businesses have found a new approach to handle connectivity for POS terminals. Modern connectivity solutions provide local coverage anywhere in the world, with a single SIM that automatically connects to multiple carriers in each country. 

One SIM means one vendor relationship, simplifying compliance and connectivity in one fell swoop. With a vendor that owns the whole tech stack, visibility and control over global operations becomes simple, with central monitoring into a whole device fleet that alerts to any security issues or fraud, and all the control a business needs to optimise performance. 

About Curtis Govan

Curtis Govan serves as floLIVE’s President, North America. He is an accomplished leader with 25+ years of broad experience and expertise in technology leadership, business development, and sales. He was most recently the GM/Global VP Dealer and Heavy Equipment for Uptake, a company focusing on industrial artificial intelligence and IoT. Prior to joining Uptake, Curtis spent almost 12 years with Cisco Jasper, where he held several roles, with the most recent being Head of Global Sales Business Development and Regional Managing Director – Canada.

About floLIVE

floLIVE offers the largest global, hyperlocal data network, providing centrally managed local connectivity for any device, anywhere. With low latency, high performance, and full compliance, our network meets privacy acts, data regulations, and roaming restrictions. Gain direct network access, control your connectivity, monitor devices, access real-time events, switch operators remotely, and troubleshoot ahead of time for seamless device performance.

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Keywords: POS, mPOS, mobile payments, mobile money, ecommerce, transaction monitoring, regulation, eftpos, data sharing, data, data privacy, data protection, financial data, online payments, payments infrastructure, instant payments, digital payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: floLIVE
Countries: Latin America, North America
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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