As more retailers consider uses for tablets in their stores, Moki Mobility Inc. figures it is in the right place at the right time to offer its cloud-based point of sale management technology.
For Lehi, Utah-based Moki, that place is the U.K., where it will provide its Total Control System for London-based payment technology company PayPoint and its deployment of Android stand-alone tablet terminals in 37,000 retail outlets.
Moki allows payments providers and their retailer clients to bring digital commerce into the physical store, in effect providing the network that handles all of the tasks that allow a large number of consumer-facing tablets to operate and communicate as one, said Tom Karren, CEO and co-founder of Moki.
"We are primarily involved with a customer that is replacing older terminals with tablets, which is exactly what is happening with PayPoint as they connect to the cloud using Moki," Karren said.
Moki Total Control will provide remote management, security and other compliance measures to all of PayPoint's in-store payment devices. It frees up PayPoint to upgrade its payments infrastructure, deploy new services, generate more transactions and more readily extract and analyze data.
Moki has offices in London that facilitated the PayPoint agreement.
Moki may be limited to only the customer-facing aspect of an omni-channel approach, but it allows a terminal provider to bring mobile and digital technology to its retailers in any face-to-face interaction in a store or office environment, Karren said.
"Typically, it is some sort of customer-facing device in a fixed location that is running an app, and think of that as a terminal to perform transactions, promote sales or provide customer service," Karren said.
Moki allows all tablets within a retailer's system to deliver the same messages to customers, whether it is promoting a specific deal or used for customer self-service.
Other companies are seeking ways to link mobile tablets together on a network. TruBeacon recently launched software to allow retailers to link all of the First Data Clover Mini terminals they own.
"This type of solution [from Moki or others] is more of a competition to the cash register software, like NCR or Oracle, because it is about the ability for a retailer to conduct commerce," said Gil Luria, analyst with Los Angeles-based Wedbush Securities.
Retailers are increasingly seeking mobility in their terminal systems, Luria said. "If they are not able to get control technology from enterprise vendors, they would look to get it from smaller providers such as Moki," he added.
Moki software helps address deployment issues for terminal providers and retailers, Karren said. It also is payment agnostic and network rail agnostic.
"When deploying 37,000 new terminals based on tablets, they are going to come in different batches, and all coming from a box as an open tablet and then turning that into a payment terminal," Karren said. "It takes a lot of time to set those up properly."
In addition, Moki Total Control monitors how each tablet operates through different wireless networks in different locations. Through analytics, Moki is able to monitor how the terminals are being used and how the customers are engaging with the technology, Karren said.
Moki provides the security system for the terminals, while the payment provider utilizes the needed software to protect card data.
"The important part is that retailers want to deploy mobility, but they can't do it themselves," Luria said. "They need packaged solutions that can help them deploy mobile devices into the hands of sales associates."
Opportunities exist for companies providing the software needed to provide network management of a tablet-based system, Luria added.
"No one has come up with the winning solution yet, but that's not to say there aren't a lot of companies working on that solution to help retailers deploy mobility in a much broader way," Luria said.