Shoppers reject cash in favour of NFC, says Quectel

  • August 15, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

A whitepaper from Chinese company Quectel Wireless highlights which types of connectivity are adding detail to the retail industry.

The paper, titled “Which connectivity is the smart choice for PoS and vending?”, explains which type of connectivity is the most effective connectivity technology for smart point of sale (PoS) and vending devices.

Both industries have been revolutionised by technical advances in payment technologies but also the step change in consumer behaviour introduced by the pandemic. It is now apparent that cash is not the favoured payment method nor the default for most users.

The white paper reports that, in 2020, global consumer preference to pay with cash fell to 15%. The move away from cash and increased trust in near-field communication (NFC) for payments has seen connected terminals for in-store remote payments become part of everyone’s daily lives and the global PoS terminal market is growing even more rapidly as a result.

The market for cellular PoS terminals is now worth more than $11bn per year and is set to grow to $30bn by 2024. Growth is driven by changing consumer habits but also by a new wave of cost-effective payment terminals that rely on cellular connections.

This is enabling truly smart technology for one-person and micro businesses, but also enabling larger businesses with greater flexibility as they introduce cellular-enabled payment technology into their stores. The advantages don’t stop there. Cellular connectivity can be used not only for secure payments but to manage stock, monitor vending machine performance and enable predictive maintenance.

There are high- and low-end scenarios at play across multiple types of retailers and vending scenarios, and cellular connections, dominated by LTE Cat M, are demonstrating their value in terms of flexibility, ease of deployment, global availability, security and cost efficiency.

The same approach of having multiple use cases for one cellular connection is in evidence in the vending market, the paper says. Dumb vending machines that failed to release properly a favourite chocolate bar are a thing of the past ; machines are increasingly offering more complex products by gathering data on user choices to tailor offerings to the needs of demographics in the locations they are sited.

Smart vending machines can also use the connectivity enabled for payment to manage their business functions, which in turn is encouraging even more growth in adoption of this new generation of smart machines.

The whitepaper can be downloaded here.