Poynt - Merchant screen on counter

Poynt, the Android-Powered Payment Terminal, Could Usher a New Age of Digital Payments

October 29, 2014 - Written By Phil Bourget

The Apple Store.  In every one of them around the world, there are the employees walking around with iPod Touches and iPhones with custom modified checkout terminal cases so you can check out anywhere in the store.  But, that seems silly.  What if you can’t get your card to work with it, for any various amount of reasons?  You’re relegated to the cash register and the possibly-broken or buggy card reader terminal there.  People have seen and experienced the troubles of hassle-packed checkouts at stores everywhere.  Now, one company hopes to change that.  Their product is called Poynt, pronounced ‘point’. What makes it special?  Well, it has two touchscreens, a bend in the body to make it like a traditional payment terminal, and a bunch of cool things packed inside.  The best part?  It’s custom software is Android-based.  Let’s look at the Poynt smart payment terminal.

What does it have in the ways of card-reading?  It’s got an EVM/MSR hybrid card reader at the top of the customer side, the one with the bulge on it.  That bulge is where the receipt paper is stored then printed out for the customer, by the way.  But what if you have one of those new-fangled NFC wallets on your device, so you don’t carry a card with you anymore? Poynt has NFC built into the customer-side as well, so you can use Google Wallet, SoftCard (previously called ISIS), and even Apply Pay to get you favorite things at the store.  What’s more is that there is, within the bulging customer-side, there is a processor that deals with payments, and its main function is to do so securely, which is a great thing to hear nowadays.

For the merchant, there’s a much roomier touchscreen, resembling about a 6- or 7-inch display by the looks of it.  This one lets the merchant do a whole host of cool things.  The biggest and boldest move by Poynt is the ability to integrate the merchant’s cash register into the Poynt terminal.  This works great if you only take cards, or have a limited amount of counter space and can’t afford to waste it on a traditional cash register.  You can have your normal keyboard layout of items to buy on the screen, then it can go to price calculation, and any other part of the checkout process you might need or involve. The official launch site lists off a few well-recognized names among e-commerce folk, so let’s see who’s helping out Poynt.  Bigcommerce, Boomtown, Intuit, Kabbage, Swarm, and Vend are all going to be able to make use of the Poynt system, so that means that many smaller businesses can take advantage of the new tech within Poynt and convince the big names companies to adopt Poynt, or something even better in the future.

The Ponyt smart terminal looks to be a great revolution to support for e-commerce and digital payment handling.  And the best part is, and it looks to be possible since Poynt itself is a small-ish size, you will likely be able to bring it around with you if you work somewhere that you moving and the customer being stationary is the plan.  People and businesses that want to get in on Poynt can pre-order the terminal (and it will begin shipping out in December of this year) for $300, which is $200 off of the final retail price of $500, so jump on it if you think this will make business easier and pleasant for all involved. Does Poynt sound like something that will ease the troubles of people that hate companies removing NFC payment terminals from stores ‘just because’?  Think it will catch on, or will it just be kind of like the Google Wallet of payment terminals until some bigger-name company comes in and steals the show and success?  Will you be joining the Poynt-using members of society, or will you wait to see what happens?  Let us know down below.