Finding the right mPOS solution can be difficult. Demanding flexibility and device agnostic technology from partners can go a long way toward making a successful decision.

The mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) option is a must for brick-and-mortar stores and a boon for retail trends like pop-up shops, trunk shows and food trucks.

Merchants must dig through lists of features and benefits, weighing each solution’s differentiator against the others. However, by focusing on a few key criteria, the selection process can be much easier and faster. Here are some tips that will help you make the best choice for your organization.

Don’t get locked in: It’s important to consider which bank and/or processor you want to use to support your mobile payment solution. Some mPOS systems pigeonhole merchants into using a specific bank, processor or both. Your business needs constantly change and evolve over time, so being stuck with a specific bank or processor means you may be unable to negotiate for the best rates and services as your objectives shift. Your best bet is choosing an mPOS solution that is bank- and processor-neutral, as well as device agnostic.

As an example, consider the needs of a large hotel environment. The staff at the reservation desk has different needs than those selling drinks at the pool. Merchants need a solution that enables them to customize the configurations of each revenue center with countless combinations of devices, banks and processors. When selecting an mPOS, having the freedom to set up each terminal with the hardware and bank/processor relationship that works best for each of your various revenue centers is critical. Being able to use your existing payment devices means you save hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars that would have gone toward uprooting your payment infrastructure and starting from scratch.

Safety first: When introducing new technologies into your merchant environment, payment security is one of the most important factors to consider. It is the single most important factor you should consider in prospective mPOS solutions. You can have the most innovative, flashy payment processing solution, but none of that matters if it isn’t secure.

Customers’ payment information must be protected – no matter what. With security solutions like tokenization and point-to-point encryption (P2PE), a competitive mPOS solution will ensure that you never store, process, or transmit sensitive payment card data – protecting your brand from the damaging effects of a data breach.

Make it your own:A truly customizable mPOS solution will allow merchants to get as in-depth as they need to, or keep things simple. Mobile payments should fit your business — not the other way around. A small boutique may only need to account for one state tax; by contrast, a large restaurant chain requires different tax rates applied to items like alcohol, gift cards and food. Merchants with complex menu items may need the ability to add modifiers, such as cooking instructions (rare, medium rare, burned to a crisp, etc.) and include notes for things like food allergies. And what about customizing default tip settings? An mPOS solution with such a flexible feature set can easily grow with your business.

Keep it simple: Customers expect to be able to pay anywhere, anytime. The world has gone mobile, and it’s time for payments to catch up. In addition to a standard brick-and-mortar store or restaurant, places like kiosks and concert venues are becoming perfect locations for mobile revenue centers. Customers have countless choices when it comes to their purchasing decisions, and employing an mPOS solution that makes the payment process simpler, more convenient and flexible for them will go a long way toward ensuring they’re spending those dollars with your business.

Flexibility and scalability: For businesses with just a few revenue centers, an mPOS solution may seem like a great fit initially, but it lacks the potential to grow with the business. For larger businesses, merchants need a mobile solution that can handle the scale and volume of their enterprise and allows them to manage their various revenue centers from one convenient account.

Whatever the size of the company, merchants need an mPOS solution that allows them to conveniently monitor and manage their system anywhere, anytime. A flexible solution should make it easy for you and your managers to quickly add or disable any employee’s access and permissions. It should enable merchants to view and report on transaction data in real-time.

Consumer today have high expectations for their purchasing experiences, both in terms of convenience and security. Merchants need mPOS solutions that can help them overdeliver on those expectations while also getting all the features they need. By focusing on the five elements listed above, you can find the solution that works best for your current and future needs.

Jeremy Fried is a systems architect for Shift4 Corporation