How did POS systems evolve in 2015?

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The growing demand to make AMV, tokenization and mobile payments in 2015 evoked a change in POS systems. We explore how POS systems evolved to integrate new payment technology and what to expect in 2016.

Payment Trends in 2015

From regular cash registers to the introduction of debit and credit card readers, POS systems are constantly evolving. In 2014, 15.4 million POS systems were in use and 2015 was yet another staggering year for innovations in POS technology. When a new payment system is introduced, the retail realm is obliged to follow in order to accept payments by adapting their POS systems. In 2015, payment trends that arose included EMV, P2PE, NFC, tokenization and mobile – find out more about each of these below.


EMV (EuroPay, MasterCard and Visa) cards, also known as smart cards, store data on integrated circuits rather than magnetic cards which have to be inserted into a reader or read using RFID (contactless) technology. The EMV standard was introduced to improve security and allow the card to be used for multiple purposes, and was introduced to the UK in 2003. However, EMV was only rolled out in the US in October 2015, prompting many retailers that are using non-EMV compliant POS systems to update due to the liability they have to accept if any transactions are found to be fraudulent.


Point to Point Encryption is a payment security system that ensures customer card data is encrypted at all times. Once the customer taps their card, the payment gateway transforms the card details into encrypted data making it useless for any fraud intentions. It is not yet mandated, but the rise of compromised cardholder data as seen in a few high profile cases for large retailers in 2015 has seen a rise in demand for higher security.

NFC and Apple Pay

Near field communication, the subset of RFID, is the process of paying over radio waves, and is most commonly referred to as contactless. It acts as the basis of Apple Pay, which was used by an estimated 3.6 million people in 2015 in the US. This alone demonstrates the need for POS systems to include contactless payment technology. 

Apple Pay was released in the UK in July 2015 with most banks adopting the technology apart from Barclays, which will launch soon this year and no doubt instigate another increase in users. 538 million people pay by mobile phone in China, and Apple will adopt some of that market share when Apple pay is introduced in late February. At imageHOLDERS we can create a tablet or iPad kiosk with built-in card reader ideal for retail environments.


With such an increase in contactless payment, a layer of security is essential and this is where tokenization steps in. Similar to P2PE but for contactless, it replaces the card details into virtual tokens that are useless for fraudsters. This enables retailers to feel more confident in their POS systems with contactless technology and will no doubt lead to another big increase in 2016.

Mobile payment

Mobile payment apps soared in popularity in 2015 in the UK and US, with 60 millionAmericans using their mobile to pay last year. With mobile wallets such as Google Wallet, mobile apps by banks, and the introduction of biometric payments, POS systems have had to adapt their technology to accept contactless technology or verify identity with functionality such as a fingerprint scanner.

How POS technology will change in 2016

Point of sale is predicted to change dramatically this year due to mobile app payments and the decrease in need for manned-checkouts. For example, Starbuck’s mobile order & pay app drove 5 million transactions a month and more than 20% of their mobile transactions occur this way, despite the fact it is less than three months old.  

POS systems are ever changing due to the innovations in payment technology, demonstrating how essential it is as a retailer to update POS systems frequently.

For more information

Find out how our tablet enclosures with device integration such as the iPad POS stand, iPad kiosk with card reader or ePOS kiosk can be adapted to fit new innovations and serve as an effective POS system for retailers. Please call us on 01202 892 863 (UK) or 1-888-858-9778 (US) for more information and to discuss your requirements. Alternatively, email

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