The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the desire for convenience, and the growing importance of technologies such as contactless payments, cloud, and shopping interface personalisation. In the last three years alone, there have been over 133,000 patents filed and granted in the retail industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Retail: POS integrated card readers. Buy the report here.

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Data Insights Innovation in Retail: POS integrated card readers

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However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

70+ innovations will shape the retail industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the retail industry using innovation intensity models built on over 128,000 patents, there are 70+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, ATM type vending kiosks, delivery returns handling, and shopping interface personalisation are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Retail trading platforms and contactless payments are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are POS-integrated card readers and transaction receipt printers, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the retail industry

POS integrated card readers are a key innovation area in retail

Smart card readers communicate with smart cards by using RFID or direct physical contact. They can also communicate using short-range wireless connectivity standard. Smart card readers access data on the card’s chip or processor. A credit card or other kinds of payments can be smart cards, enabling faster transactions. They help in faster movement of customer at point-of-sale (POS) terminals at retail stores.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established retail companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of POS integrated card readers.

Key players in POS integrated card readers – a disruptive innovation in the retail industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to POS integrated card readers

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Dynamics 100 Unlock Company Profile
Digimarc 82 Unlock Company Profile
DeviceFidelity 71 Unlock Company Profile
Bundesdruckerei 15 Unlock Company Profile
Semiconductor Energy Laboratory 14 Unlock Company Profile
Dominion Harbor Enterprises 14 Unlock Company Profile
Thales 11 Unlock Company Profile
Elan Microelectronics 7 Unlock Company Profile
NXP Semiconductors 7 Unlock Company Profile
Dashpass 6 Unlock Company Profile
Stryker 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

In terms of patents filed, Dynamics, Digimarc, DeviceFidelity, Bundesdruckerei, Semiconductor Energy Laboratory, Dominion Harbor Enterprises, Thales, Elan Microelectronics, and NXP Semiconductors are the leading players in this space. NXP offers a Linux Point of Sale Reader solution, which helps in building a Linux-based Point of Sale terminal or adding an NFC reader, magnetic reader and chip card reader to enable credit card payments.

In terms of application diversity, DeviceFidelity, Digimarc, Semiconductor Energy Laboratory, and Stryker are the leading players in this space.

In terms of geographic reach, Semiconductor Energy Laboratory, Bundesdruckerei, DeviceFidelity, and Elan Microelectronics lead the space.

These solutions simplify POS check-out processes and, as a result, are important for achieving greater operational efficiencies in retail stores.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the retail industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Retail.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.