Poynt's smart store terminal lets you pay any way you like

One of the many reasons you don't see widespread support for mobile payment tech like Apple Pay or Google Wallet is the hardware investment needed to make it all work. Why should a store spend thousands of dollars on machines that miss out on some features, or will be obsolete in a few years? That's what Poynt wants to fix with its new smart terminal. The Android-powered device takes just about every form of payment imaginable, including NFC transactions from your phone, chip-and-pin cards, QR codes and old-fashioned magnetic stripe cards. You can even add a cash drawer through USB. The countertop machine also has Bluetooth beacon support for in-store offers, and its app platform lets stores adapt to new services by either downloading apps or writing their own.

For some shops, the allure may simply be the price. At $299, Poynt's all-in-one device is potentially a better deal than buying a tablet and attaching a dedicated payment reader; even if it becomes outdated, an upgrade should be relatively cheap. The main obstacle right now is patience. Poynt's terminal ships in early 2015, and the company only has deals with two of the top five US banks so far; that's likely to improve in the next few months, but it may need broader support to really take off.