Ingenico's Roam has added staff management functions to its mobile point of sale technology as the company pursues a broader range of businesses.

"A home services company or a delivery company may have employees out in the field who are providing services and taking payments," says Ken Paull, CEO of Roam. "This can enable the business to have control over how these payments are managed."

Roam plans to introduce its new ROAMmcm5 mobile commerce management system in the U.S. in the coming months. Roam is targeting merchant acquirers, restaurant chains, direct-selling companies and retailers who wish to deploy mobile payment capabilities to disparate and traveling staff. Roam's system integrates with different mobile operating systems, which allows employees to use their own mobile devices.

Once employees are linked to the system, their employer can configure different profiles, policies, access and roles. The employer can also track performance, transactions, and add features such as marketing and social media links. Roam also integrates with a company's back office to manage reconciliations and other business management services.

Roam is working with partners and clients in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Australia, France, Belgium and Norway to deploy the system. A top-ten U.S. bank will go live during the first quarter, and Roam's other U.S. clients are expected to migrate by the end of the year.

Roam sees the product as part of mobile point of sale's maturation into the foundation of a suite of merchant services that can be accessed by a variety of mobile devices.

"When we looked at the market, we saw a need for an enterprise-grade system with a high level of security and functionality," Paull says.

The integration with different mobile devices allows employees to access a personalized payments app that can be shut off or changed quickly, similar to how telecommuting staff use a virtual private network from personal computer, Paull says.

"Restaurants, for example, turn over quickly, so you can quickly onboard or disable someone when necessary," Paull says.

Mobile point of sale companies are using a variety of different strategies to appeal to a greater range of businesses.

Square offers a product called Square Stand, which it designed for larger merchants; and Leaf offers a payments-only table with an app store  to provide flexibility. Groupon has steadily updated its Breadcrumb POS technology to provide merchants with a broader range of functions.

"Mobile point of sale 1.0 was heavily focused on the micromerchant, but that is a very difficult segment in which to make money," says Rick Oglesby, a senior analyst at Aite. "Mobile point of sale 2.0 is and will be heavily focused on larger merchants with more complex needs and use cases, so mobile point of sale platforms need to be a lot more flexible and powerful."

The mobile point of sale play most similar to Roam's ROAMmcm5 comes from Payleven, which in 2013 introduced a new management feature that allows merchants to monitor transactions from different mobile devices. It also provides control over user permissions. Payleven did not return a request for comment for this article.

"I can certainly see the attraction of central management," says Gareth Lodge, a senior analyst at Celent. "Missing point of sale devices is a security nightmare for super markets, for example…being able to manage their inventory [of devices used for mobile payments] would be excellent, particular if they can enable or disable them."

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