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Welcome to the monthly mPOS Tracker, a PYMNTS Special Report sponsored by ROAM. In this report, we rank the players that we track, and score these players based on numbers and types of devices used, geographies where solutions are implemented, the number of payment types accepted, and more.

This month’s report highlights the merchants who are using mPOS to their advantage this holiday season. With the increase of mPOS terminals in stores, holiday shoppers may have a reason to be slightly merrier, and retailers have prepared for an increase in sales with these devices.

The report also reviews the results of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, both of which made for an increase in the use of bitcoin as a payment method – accounting for a total of $296 million online. NCR Silver also announced that its cloud-based POS platform now offers merchants the ability to accept bitcoin. The buzz around bitcoin has some advocates of the crypto-currency thinking that with its rise, Apple Pay’s growth would also spark. At the same time, NCR Silver believes that offering bitcoin acceptance to merchants would provide them with an option that’s flexible for small and growing merchants.

Other developments in mPOS this month show that the space is expanding in areas outside of the United States, like lower-income Chinese cities and small towns in India. Qiandaibao focuses on lower-tier markets with poor payment structures, yet has a daily transaction volume of over $81.4 million

Those who scored the highest this month were those whose platforms enable a variety of capabilities and functionalities – they have the greatest ability to support many retailers and fully monetize the mPOS ecosystem. Those players are: PayPal Here, Kalixa pro, GoPago, Adyen Shuttle, Vexilor from Givex, Creditcall, and ROAM. Four new players joined the mPOS pyramid this month: Bypass Mobile, Positron, QNB Mobile and Qiandaibao. We also provided updates to eight players’ profiles. The details on on these entrants are included in the report below.

Here are the three key takeaways for this month:

1) Merchants make merry with mPOS this holiday season. Or at least that’s the hope. mPOS-enabled sales associates will be on hand to make the experience inside the store efficient for the consumers who enter. The benefits, in addition to happier consumers, is a reduction in shopping cart abandonment, as well as a reduction of time spent in training temporary sales associates.

2) mPOS goes bitcoin? Well, someone has to accept those bitcoins that the early adopters bought, and now need to spend (but don’t seem to be doing – bitcoin transaction values are down as is the price of bitcoin). It seems a bit hard to understand how merchants’ interest in bitcoin due to its ease of integration and alleged flexibility that can top their interest in accepting Apple Pay, but who knows, perhaps the merchants surveyed were in the St. Petersburg Florida market where the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl Game is being played.

3) mPOS delivers big gains in (seemingly) small places: We tend to forget about the use cases for mPOS where there are real payments problems to be solved and no real infrastructure to easily solve it. But, as we’ve seen in rural India and China, using mPOS devices to create mobile micro-ATMs and enabling the easy payment for goods and services drives volume, and economic prosperity, in the region.

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