In the ever-evolving landscape of the payment industry, the rise of SoftPOS, specifically the revolutionary Tap to Phone technology, has been nothing short of meteoric. What once started as a niche solution catering primarily to Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) has swiftly transformed into a globally adopted acceptance type, poised to take the world by storm. Let’s delve into the journey of SoftPOS, uncovering its evolution from relative obscurity to mainstream indispensability.

From Niche to Mainstream 

SoftPOS, also known as Tap to Phone or Tap to Pay technology, emerged as a wireless alternative to traditional Point-of-Sale (POS) systems, enabling merchants to accept contactless payments securely using their NFC-enabled mobile devices. Initially focused on liberating SMBs from the constraints of fixed locations and hefty hardware investments, SoftPOS has rapidly expanded its horizons. Merchants, from food trucks to pop-up shops, embraced the freedom to accept contactless payments anywhere, untethered from conventional payment terminals. 

Advantages Paving the Way for Global Adoption 

SoftPOS addresses longstanding pain points associated with traditional POS systems, making it an attractive option for merchants across the spectrum. Key advantages driving adoption include:

  1. Cost-Efficiency: SoftPOS eliminates the need for substantial initial investments and high maintenance costs associated with traditional POS systems.
  2. Versatility: Unlike fixed POS systems, SoftPOS offers a wide range of contactless, mobile, and alternative payment methods, providing flexibility in payment options.
  3. Time to market: Enabling contactless card present EMV payments to be integrated and deployed easily, without traditional delays of EMV terminal certification processes.

Use Case Flexibility 

SoftPOS not only empowers on-the-go businesses but has also infiltrated traditional retail and point-of-sale settings, offering an adaptable solution to service a variety of merchant types, devices, applications, and use cases. The technology’s versatility can be easily integrated and deployed into various purchase environments, from farmers’ markets, deliveries, trades, and transportation, all the way to brick-and-mortar stores.

Device Enablement

One of the defining features of SoftPOS is its compatibility with non-traditional payment devices. It operates seamlessly on smartphones, tablets, and other nontraditional payment acceptance devices, eliminating the need for dedicated terminals. This ‘bring your own’ device model not only helps to reduce costs but also facilitates a more flexible and mobile checkout experience, a crucial aspect in today’s fast-paced retail environment.  

As the marketplace continues to expand, there is a growing perception that SoftPOS services will eventually displace existing models for EMV terminal enablement as the default technology model for payment acceptance. This is made possible by cloud-based and software-driven solutions that make it easier for ISVs and OEM partners to integrate payment acceptance into their POS Systems, complete with PCI security and EMV certification approvals.  

PCI Stamp Of Approval 

SoftPOS gained significant legitimacy with the release of the PCI MPOC (Mobile Payment Acceptance on COTS) standard on November 16, 2022. This certification reinforced the security and reliability of SoftPOS solutions, further propelling its acceptance in the mainstream market. The MPOC standard encompasses Tap to Pay functionality as well as PIN Cardholder Verification Methods and enables vendors the flexibility to deploy modular services that can be configured for easy branding and distribution. This includes White Label Applications, as well as SDK Libraries that can be embedded into existing POS applications. 

A Powerful Catalyst for Change

As SoftPOS adoption continues to surge, industry players are grappling with the fear of missing out. The technology’s potential to replace traditional POS systems is not merely a speculative notion; it’s a sentiment echoed by nearly three-quarters of merchants who foresee SoftPOS as the future of payment acceptance. 

According to a recent study by Juniper Research, the global SoftPOS user base is projected to grow by a staggering 475% by 2027. From 6 million in 2022 to surpassing 34.5 million, these figures underscore the rapid and widespread adoption of SoftPOS solutions globally.

Soft POS User Base to Grow 475% Globally by 2027 | Press (

From catering to the needs of small businesses on the move to reshaping the landscape of traditional retail, SoftPOS has proven to be a catalyst for change.  As the industry hurtles toward a mobile-first and user-centric approach, the SoftPOS stands at the forefront, offering an inclusive and innovative solution that transcends the boundaries of conventional payment acceptance. The time to embrace the SoftPOS revolution is now, for those who delay risk being left behind in the wake of this transformative wave.

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