Statement of problem
The innovation of technology leading to the introduction of wireless point of sale terminals in the trade and commerce has turned out to be a major step towards development of an efficient trading system by taking care of geographical remoteness and reducing bulk of equipment. Despite this development, the problem with regard to devolving the teller services to the customers has not been definitely achieved. For this reason, the financial transactions carried in the course of sale are still carried out by cashiers or tellers though in remote locations.
The devolution of point of sales and operations on wireless system manifests voids that need to be fulfilled to achieve efficient and advanced neo-sale transactions, where the customers are able to carry out their own sale transactions without having tellers involved as well as still being able to receive similar services as would be delivered by any other ordinary tellers.
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The resolution that lies with regard to filling the gap exhibited by the wireless point of sale terminal lies within the concept of mobility and specifically, service mobility in management of wireless systems. The concept seeks to establish a situation within which customers are able to receive similar or even better and faster sale services while being the custodians of the point of sale system, rather than having to rely on tellers or cashiers to delivers such services.
Mobility management in wireless systems
Mobility management includes the creation of devolved mobile terminals, separate from main servers that monitor and make updates in transactions carried out within the mobile terminals. Mobility management therefore assumes two aspects, that is, location management and handoff management. Location management involves the ability of the main system to track the attachment points of mobile terminals within the consecutive communication while handoff management involves stability and consistency of users’ connection while it is subject to movement from one location to another (Akyildiz, Wang, & Lee, 2001).
Importance of mobility management
The objectives that mobility management seeks to achieve rely on the ability of the system to conform to remoteness and ability to deal with encumbrances that come with dynamism and flexibility are introduced. The aspects that manifest this importance include;
Terminal mobility – that is the ability of the user terminal to continue to the network when the terminal changes location.
User mobility – the ability of a user to continue to access services from different terminals under the same user identity when the user moves, and
Service mobility – the ability of the user to access same services regardless of location (Xie & Mohanty, 2009).
Mobility management is therefore essential in establishing a user-centered wireless system therefore relies on establishment of a system that conforms to terminal, user and service mobility. Of essence, with regard to the wireless point of sale, user mobility and service mobility would be of essence as terminal mobility has already been established by virtue of existence of a wireless point of sale terminal.
The wireless point of sale terminal creates a situation that devolves the services of a teller from the main terminal to accessibility in remote locations. However this only breaks down the services from one location to another. In addition its efficacy relies on the fact that it reduces the bulk of the ordinary point of sale terminal system. This however doesn’t resolve the issue of mobility as the customer will still have to locate the teller with access to the wireless point of sale in order to make a transaction. This therefore doesn’t resolve the problem of mobility, which in order to address, the system should be able to allow the customer to be able to conduct a transaction by themselves, in whatever location they are located and by use of any mobile terminal that can gain access into the system and still successfully execute a transaction.
The efficacy of the wireless point of sale can be realized by introducing a personal mobile terminal by creation of an actual device that specifically deals with carrying out transactions. Alternatively, a system or mobile application would come in handy, if it is one that allows users to create accounts for identification and secured using passwords; that can carry out transactions upon connection to the main system at the convenience of the user from any location at any time.
The integration of service mobility on a wireless point of sale terminal can be effectively achieved by the development of a mobile application that can make such transactions that a point of sale does, from any location at the convenience of the customer as opposed to creation of a single-purpose device that would only carry out commercial transactions without being attributed to any other functions.
The integration first can be done by creation of a mobile application that can command and operate commercial transactions similar in function to the point of sale terminal. This would therefore necessitate the creation of a database that would host user identification details including user names and passwords. Finally, the operation of the system would be crowned by connection of the system to the main servers that monitor transactions and to update records real-time as the transactions are carried out.
With regard to integrating service mobility to the wireless point of sale, the main objective to be realized is user mobility. This can be illustrated as follows; the aspect of creating system that delivers similar services as a teller would purport to deliver to a customer forms the background towards achieving user mobility; such that a customer will be able to receive same service despite variation in location or a shift from one mobile terminal to another. This would also eliminate the need of having to recruit many tellers in order to reach remote locations, as it is substituted by the fact that a customer would be able to initiate and conduct transactions at their own convenience notwithstanding their location or availability of a point of sale device, as their user details and passwords and the mobile application would be sufficient to gain access to the system, make transactions and have services delivered to them.
Mobility in management of wireless systems
Management of wireless systems greatly relies on mobility for effectiveness of operation. The aspect of mobility brings into the system the benefit of flexibility such that access to the system is not limited by location, availability of devices, human resource or restrictions of access into the system. Mobility therefore ensures that a wireless system does not only reduce the bulk involved in wired connections or bulk of devices but also devolution of services while eliminating a third party involved as the service provider and introducing a software or application that renders similar services and therefore also deals with shouldering the burden of a third party.
The issues arising with regard to management of wireless systems includes the incorporation of service and hence user mobility into the system; order to ensure that the wireless system does not only reduce the bulk of equipment by creating wireless connection, but also transferring the delivery of services to a mobile user who would receive better and efficient services compared to relying on a third party to deliver the services through the wireless system. The topic therefore seeks resolve the issue of flexibility that ought to come with a wireless system.
The topic is therefore founded on the fact that, point of sale terminals have been innovated to lead to the generation of wireless point of sale terminals. However, this has only served to reduce the bulk and other physical disadvantages that are attributed to the ancient system. For this reason, there remains an aspect of mobility that the wireless point of sale terminal is yet to achieve, which can only be resolved by putting to consideration mobility in management of a wireless system.
Problems and issues
A wireless point of sale terminal in vitiated by various setbacks that hinder it’s efficacy. They among others include the following;
The wireless point of sale terminal relies on an agent or a teller to operate in order to render services. In modern technology, the evolution of technology moves to the direction that leads to a point where customers or clients seek to operate systems on their own at their own convenience without having to involve a third party.
The wireless point of sale doesn’t resolve the matter of breaching the gap on remoteness. This is attributed to the fact that, since operation of the wireless device is mandated upon an agent, the customer or client still has to move from their point of location in order to access services that come with sale transactions.
The wireless point of sale system doesn’t give the customer the privilege to directly interaction with the main system while carrying out financial transactions. To this extent, it limits the kind of operations a customer can carry out within the system.
The wireless point of sale device can only carry out financial transaction exclusively. The device therefore lacks flexibility of being able to transact other services in trade and commerce, ability of which if attributed to would be able to save on costs and depict efficacy within the system.
The wireless point of sale is prone to inefficiencies of operation. This is attributed to the fact that radio signal communications can be hindered by bad weather among other physical factors that may limit it operation.
The wireless point of sale, by virtue of transacting on ration signals to the main systems would be susceptible to hacking hence to that extent does not guarantee security of transactions carried out. This would be highly detrimental to both clients and system operators and transactions are monetary in nature and therefore bear great significance.
The acquisition and incorporation if the wireless point of sale system into a business organization is expensive and requires a lot of reorganization.
The wireless point of sale is prone to be misplaced in a busy environment.
The issues emerging for determination with regard to integration of the service mobility into the wireless point of sale terminals include;
whether the aspect of user mobility can be incorporated into the development of the system to enhance remoteness and efficacy on operations;
Whether service mobility can be used to innovate the wireless point of sale system without threatening the security risks involved with giving customers access to the main system in the course of conducting sale transactions, without involving the organizations third party or a supervisor or an agent.
Cause of problems
The physical defects attached to the wireless point of sale terminal are attributed to various inevitable factors. First, being based and found on modern technology in its development, the wireless point of sale terminal is susceptible to error in installation and or activation. This would be greatly detrimental to the service department as customers would be demoralized from seeking such services and therefore opt for alternatives.
In addition, the high cost incurred in the acquisition and incorporation of wireless point of sale terminals are attributed to the fact that the devices set back the organization by thousands of dollars, apart from purchase, repair and maintenance and the need to adapt to impending upgrades hat may come along. I addition, the organization also inculcates its valuable time into training of staff envisaged to be the operators of the said system. This in the long run would cost dearly without the promise of remitting efficacy proportional to the dear costs incurred.
The problem attributed to security of the system is attributed to the fact that the system incorporates the use of credit cards in financial transactions involving trade and commerce. The Federal Reserve reports that many consumers still prefer the use of stationary point of sale terminals when it comes to transactions involving credit cards (Imielinski & Badrinath, 1994). Wireless system being operated in busy environments becomes vulnerable to being subject of theft, misplacement or breakage in the course of operation. This elevates the risks at which company data and customer information may be lost or eventually compromise customer information, which adds to the problem regarding security.
The problem related to limitation to financial transactions only is attributed to the fact that, point of sale terminals cannot be integrated with other relevant systems that are involved in the transactions involving a business organization. In addition, the quest to establish compatibility would cost dearly yet not render the ultimate objective, which should at least save on costs. The problem related to vulnerability of the system with regard to network transmission is founded on the fact that connection of the wireless point of sales to the local area network creates a weak-spot in the business that may paralyze transactions in case the network system fails hence failure to incorporate updates into the main system.
Integration with Literature
An analysis the problem with relation to the problems surrounding point of sale terminals can be integrated to the concept of service mobility and user mobility. Integration of the two would therefore bring to life an efficient system that devolves services to the customers as well as secure transactions involved (Chen & Zhang, 2004). This can be achieved through various integration patterns and schemes that may be adopted in a quest to incorporating the same.
First, user mobility relies on the fact that a particular user can access services despite their geographical location. This would resolve the problem of having to be subjected to the services of a teller from a central point from which difficulty of access may be exhibited as well as free the customer of the apprehension of having their personal or confidential information or data being vulnerable to compromise (Li, 2007).
User mobility would also reduce an organization’s need to purchase and maintain equipment as this would be the burden of the customer to bear, of course to their convenience. This is attributed to the fact that for service mobility to be achieved, the point of sale terminal has to in the hands of the customer and render the services of a teller, a cashier or an agent invalid to that effect.in addition, such problems as misplacement of devices in a busy working environment would be done away with (Liu, 2010).
Through integration of user mobility, since it will incorporate the use of the cell phone, it would bring to light more efficiency as the cell phone is multi-purpose and is compatible to other telecommunication devices that may be required. Besides, it would allow the user the opportunity to interact directly with the system without having to seek customer care services in case of inconveniences.
Integration of service mobility is pursuant to ensuring that the services that would be rendered by the wireless point of sale terminal would still be rendered by the integrated system. This would be by the programmed application enabling transaction of finances into payments, generation of receipts into portable document format for printing among other services in trade and commerce within and organization (Sajal & Asish, 2013). This would go in the long run to devolve such financial services from organizations, saving on the cost of recruiting human resource and liability incurred by inefficiencies attributed to human errors among other problems identified earlier such as misplacement of equipment.
Due to the wireless communication involve between the wireless point of sale terminals, user and service mobility management is important in effective delivery of services as manifested by various schemes that have been tried and put to task to depict the efficacy involved in integrating the two.
Concepts of application
The two concepts that apply to the integration of service and user mobility into the wireless point of sale terminals include;
In Profile-Based Scheme, the network keeps a record of each user’s list of intended operations on the presumption that the user’s location distribution probability can be established based on previous information and patterns exhibited by them. If incorporated into a cell phone device, such a pattern can be examined by consideration of the users calling history. The location list is then reflected in the switch for access in order to establish the same (Ma, Fang, & Lin, 2007).
“ The Mobility-Pattern-Based Strategy can reduce the user update cost and at tempts to limit the paging cost at the same time. Comparing with the PBS, two more elements—the time a user entering and the residence time in are added in the user profile.” This concept is essential by introducing an aspect of keeping up to date record of the customer as such is of essence in integrating mobility into the system. Real-time records the location and signals suggesting locations are paramount to determine the mobile location of customers and in the long run enables the prospective system to work effectively. The essence of acquiring such personal information emphasizes the aspect of mobility; that is to track customer’s mobile locations with accuracy (W. Ma, Y. Fang, & P. Lin, 2007 ).
Recommendation and Implementation
The integration of user and service mobility into the wireless point of sale terminal shall therefore take steps that lead towards the development of a mobile application that can carry out transactions similar to those carried out by the wireless point of sale terminal and eventually connecting it to the system for real-time updates and eventually making it available to the customers for installation and application.
The development of a software program that transacts and provides similar services to that of the wireless point of sale terminals.
The modification of the software to befit integration as a cell phone application available for installation in smart phones.
Establishment of a data base that would keep records of user details and passwords, secure enough from hacking among other cybercrimes.
Connection and inter-linking the mobile application to an organization’s financial database for updates and storage of records.
By making available the mobile application to frequent customers for subscription and the incorporation into use for transactions.
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