New Report Explores Cloud Computing and Innovation at the Point-of-Sale

Research evaluates the transition toward cloud-based POS systems and applications focusing on vendor solutions operating on hosted technology

Boston, MA – March 18, 2010 – A revolution is underway at the point-of-sale (POS).For merchants in several segments, solutions for payment acceptance need to be more sophisticated and more functional than ever. Along with the new demands of the merchant market, the payments industry has begun to explore new options for solution delivery.

Providers in the POS market are attempting to meet market demands by developing solutions that ascend beyond the last generation of POS systems. Increasingly, these solutions depend upon applications and services hosted within providers’ secure data centers, as opposed to running locally at the merchant level. As the payment processing industry shifts more toward a model of host-based processing, the opportunities for remote terminal management and application delivery continue to appear attractive to merchant service providers.

Mercator Advisory Group’s Cloud Computing and Innovation at the Point-of-Sale: Toward the Cloud-Based vECR report explores the transition toward cloud-based POS systems and applications by examining vendor solutions currently operating on hosted technology. Also discussed are innovations in the area of installed POS system applications, and the merits of keeping them in-house while so many are getting ready to move to cloud city. Security is not only the topic du jour for the industry, but for cloud computing as well and this report presents surrounding commentary.Mercator Advisory Group defines cloud computing and its implementations or its analogues generally within the payments space and specifically with regard to POS payment applications.

Highlights of this report include:

Basic tenets of cloud computing are not that new to the electronic payments industry, which has been utilizing network services and models since the early days of EDC.

Whereas card networks and merchant acquirers present their version of cloud computing services in either IaaS or PaaS configurations, solutions that drive the POS are typically being brought to market in a SaaS service model.

Vendors innovating in the point-of-sale space are not all leveraging cloud computing resources or delivery models, while emphasizing the benefits of locally installed software.

Other vendors claim to have assuaged the security issues by utilizing architecture that removes the sensitive data from the payment application and host system.

Security will have to be the primary focus of payments solutions providers as infrastructure increasingly migrates to the clouds.

“In the new ‘there’s-an-app-for-that’ world, where cloud-based applications have become mainstream in customer facing environments, let alone their virtual ubiquity in the realm of business computing, payment processing providers and enablers have just begun to evolve their older cloud computing paradigms to truly deliver robust cloud-based solutions to the point-of-sale,” David Fish, Senior Analyst in Mercator Advisory Group’s Emerging Technologies Advisory Service and author of the report comments. “This transition now seems to be accelerating in earnest, and could constitute the most prominent vector by which the POS revolution takes its course.”

One of 3 exhibits in this report:

This report is 21 pages long and has 3 exhibits.

Companies mentioned in this report include: Certegy; Chase Paymentech; Elavon; Fifth Third Processing; First Data; Givex; Global Payments, Inc; GO Software; Heartland Payment Systems; HP; Hypercom; Infonox; Ingenico; Intuit; Litle & Co; Main Street Softworks; MasterCard; Oracle; SoundPOS; Sun Microsystems; SVS; TPI Software; TSYS; Valutech; VeriFone; Visa.

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About Mercator Advisory Group
Mercator Advisory Group is the leading, independent research and advisory services firm exclusively focused on the payments industry. We deliver pragmatic and timely research and advice designed to help our clients uncover the most lucrative opportunities to maximize revenue growth and contain costs. Our clients range from the world's largest payment issuers, acquirers, processors, merchants and associations to leading technology providers and investors.