Our Product Pick
Unitech America (Cypress, CA) has launched its newest mobile computing device, the EA602. In dimensions of 6 in. (L) x 3.1 in. (W) x 0.6 in. (D), and weight of 10 oz., the EA602 has 5" capacitive touchscreen and runs Android 7.1. It carries Qualcomm Octa-Core CPU at 1.4 GHz, 2-GB RAM, 16-GB Flash, and 32-GB Micro-SD. As communications, there's full 802.11 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, and 3G/4G. Additional features include two-dimensional scanning, reader for RFID, 2- and 8-megapixel cameras, 4000-mAh Li-Ion battery, and rating to IP-65. "It's very aggressively priced compared to similar enterprise devices," commented Scott Chung, President of Unitech America. As MSRP: $975.
EA602 by Unitech
BlueStar Xplores North America
Already serving in Canada, BlueStar also will distribute the products of Xplore Technologies Corp. in the U.S. and Latin America. Addressing industrial, public safety, and field service verticals, in particular, Xplore offers rugged tablets, handhelds, and two-in-one tablet/laptop configurations. "Expansion of our agreement with Xplore will help our partners offer straightforward, rugged solutions to fill their needs and the needs of their customers," expressed Mike Byington, VP of Business Development at BlueStar (Hebron, KY).
In the case of VARs and ISVs, Xplore has its Valued Xplore Partner (VXP) Program. As elements, it supplies marketing support, lead generation, deal registration, discounted demo pricing, and product and solution training. "With additional resources [from BlueStar], we will be able to extend our market reach and drive even more revenue through the channel as we continue to expand our rugged mobility portfolio," declared John Graff, Chief Revenue Officer at Xplore (Austin, TX).
In June, Xplore released its new rugged mobility family, cataloged as L10. It comprises three 10" form factors running Windows 10: the slate tablet PC, or XSLATE L10; the tablet PC with hard handle and barcode scanner, or XPAD L10; and the two-in-one tablet/laptop with companion keyboard, or XBOOK L10. As features, there's Intel 8th Generation Core Series i5 or i7 CPU with vPro, 4G LTE, 500-nit or 1000-nit "View Anywhere" display with Gorilla Glass, and multiple I/Os.
New L10 Series by Xplore
[Editor's Note: At press time, Zebra (Lincolnshire, IL) announced it will buy Xplore Technologies Corp. "Addition of Xplore provides access to their great team and great products in an attractive market and should enable us to grow the category by double digits going forward," stated Anders Gustafsson, CEO of Zebra. Xplore had revenue of $87 million in the 12-month period ended March 31, 2018.]
A Trifecta (Bluefin, NCR, and P2PE)
An expanded capability in payment security, incorporating point-to-point encryption (P2PE), has been fashioned by NCR and Bluefin Payment Systems (both based in Atlanta, GA). It processes payments through the gateway of NCR Secure Pay--employing the Decryptx "Decryption-as-a-Service" (DaaS) for P2PE by Bluefin--for the NCR Counterpoint Retail Solution. Among benefits, it reduces scope of regulations of the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). In particular, the Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ).
"Combining NCR Secure Pay with Bluefin's Decryptx service allows us to offer industry leading payment security controls to our clients at a competitive price point," proposed Mike Ritchie, Senior Product Manager at NCR. "NCR Counterpoint users can now provide added payment security to their customers while retaining their ability to use the payment processor they choose." As hardware for P2PE, Bluefin has certified ID TECH's Augusta S; Ingenico's iPP350, iSC Touch 250, and iSC Touch 480; PAX's S300 and A920; and Verifone's MX 925 and MX 915.
"Malware attacks at the point-of-sale are one of the most prevalent types of cyber-attacks affecting merchants today," relayed Greg Cornwell, Head of Global Sales at Bluefin. "Our PCI-validated P2PE integration with NCR Secure Pay will help the thousands of specialty retailers they serve to protect themselves from data breaches by devaluing credit and debit card data with P2PE." A hardware security module, or HSM, performs data decryption offsite in Decryptx.
Configuring NCR Secure Pay in NCR Counterpoint
Worth Your While
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Bixolon: "E" for Economical
Bixolon America (Gardena, CA) has unveiled its new 4" thermal desktop label printer, the SRP-E770III. Cited as "economical," the SRP-E770III measures 7.4 in. (W) x 8.7 in. (D) x 6.7 in. (H) and weighs 3.2 lbs. It features maximum print speed of 5 in./127 mm per second at 203 dpi for one- and two-dimensional barcodes. It includes an easy-to-open cover, drop-in paper loading, and adjustable media width guide/folder (with optional peeler).
As programming languages, the SRP-E770III supports SLCS, BPL-Z, and BPL-E. In order to auto-detect printer commands, the SRP-E770III carries the company's "Smart Switch." As label design software, the SRP-E770III furnishes Bixolon's Label Artist, as well as Seagull Scientific's BarTender and BarTender UltraLite. Various mode set-ups via button are confirmed by visual LED.
With 64-MB RAM and 128-MB Flash, the SRP-E770III has standard USB and optional USB + Serial and USB + Ethernet. A set of software development kits (SDKs) address iOS, Android, Windows, and Linux. "We believe our customers have the right to choose a cost-effective solution boasting high reliability and basic functions," said John Kim, Marketing Director at Bixolon Ltd., in description of the SRP-E770III.
Model SRP-E770III Label Printer by Bixolon
TruVue in Sight at MMF
MMF POS (Wheeling, IL) has previewed its multi-purpose counterfeit detection station, dubbed TruVue. In dimensions suitable for use in conjunction with 16" or 18" cash drawers, and reinforced top surface at height of 2.4", TruVue has state-of-the-art technologies, including Magnetic Ink (MG), Infrared Ink (IR), and Ultraviolet Hologram (UV), to verify bills and identification types (including passports, driver's licenses, credit cards, and IDs). It furnishes power switch, status panel, ports for power supply (12-V) and USB, and integration to the POS. A compartment for confiscated items has deposit slot and "LockIt."
"Counterfeiting hurts all businesses, negatively impacting operations and profits," indicated Kevin Schroer, Director of New Product Development and Marketing for MMF POS. "Counterfeit detection pens are not enough, they only detect legitimate paper, but criminals are washing small denomination bills in bleach, and using the paper to print larger denomination bills. There is also a rise in fake IDs used by minors to purchase controlled products; businesses that do not properly validate identifications may be subjected to liability and hefty fines."
Available on October 1, 2018 (stocked as Part No. 225T10004), MMF's TruVue Verification Station has been shortlisted in the 2018 North American Office Products Awards. It's being considered for Innovation of the Year, Business Product of the Year, and People's Choice. A longstanding supplier of cash drawers to the channel, MMF POS.
TruVue Verification Station by MMF POS
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Epson: Dawn of Millennium
Epson America (Long Beach, CA) will market two of its popular thermal printers in conjunction with ISV Millennium Systems International (Parsippany, NJ). Addressing the beauty and wellness industries, in particular, the "Meevo" solution from Millennium S.I. will employ the 3" OmniLink TM-T88VI-i and 3" OmniLink TM-T20II-i by Epson America. As "intelligent" devices, these printers embed functionality of the PC.
"Epson is one of few vendors on the market that can support our cloud software without the need for the PC/printer driver," explained Brent Olson, VP of Software Development at Millennium S.I. In addition to front-desk operations, this combination of software and hardware will offer users the ability to handle overflow via smartphone or tablet or to offer their customers the option of self-checkout, according to the two parties. Along with itemized receipts, the printers can be used to issue tickets which show the time spent by an employee on specific services.
"For over 30 years, Millennium S.I. has been providing businesses of all sizes with the latest software tools to not only manage daily operations, but also to foster long-term growth," observed Tom Kettell, Director of Commercial Channel - North America, at Epson America. "We are pleased to partner with such an established and innovative SaaS provider. Together we can deliver a seamless checkout experience at the point-of-sale, enabling merchants in the increasingly competitive beauty and wellness industries to stay ahead of the curve."
Epson's Printers, Including the TM-T20II-i, Endorsed by Millennium's Software for Beauty and Wellness
A Pair of Hoteliers - EMV
A joint solution with certification to EMV has been introduced by Shift4 Payments (Allentown, PA) and Megasys Hospitality Solutions (Tulsa, OK). With its Portfolio Hospitality Management System (HMS), Megasys addresses hotels, resorts, conference centers, and campgrounds. It includes Property Management, Central Reservations, Conference Services, and POS (designated as"MegaTouch"). Administering restaurant, retail, and lodging transactions, this integrated payment processing solution by Shift4/Megasys features tokenization and point-to-point encryption (P2PE), in addition to EMV.
"Our solution for EMV has been leading the industry for years," remarked Jared Isaacman, CEO of Shift4 Payments. "This new integration with Megasys enables even more businesses to benefit from the ironclad security, reliable connectivity, fast transaction speeds, and advanced functionality provided by our world-class EMV and complete payment offering." Above and beyond payments, Shift4 addresses hardware and software for point-of-sale with its brands, Harbortouch, Restaurant Manager, POSitouch, and Future POS.
"The Shift4 Payments and Megasys partnership opens up a large number of new opportunities for our hotelier customers," projected Mark Jewart, President and CEO of Megasys. "With one integrated solution, our clients can have the software, technologies, and services they need to provide their guests with a secure, worry-free experience." A 30-year track record for Megasys Hospitality Solutions.
A New Partnership Between Shift4 Payments and Megasys Hospitality Solutions
GiftLogic (Englewood, FL) has enhanced its POS Software with "Sales Receipt Transfer." A utility tool, it allows retailers to export sales from one store into a text file that can then be imported into another store in GiftLogic. This facilitates use at portable venues such as festivals or trade shows, for example. Another case involves migrating sales histories from different systems into GiftLogic, via downloading an import template. Sales Receipt Transfer is found in the back-office management portion of GiftLogic POS. Two tabs, Import Sales History and Export Sales History, walk users through the process. A Windows-based package, GiftLogic serves the retail SMB.
GiftLogic Adds "Sales Receipt Transfer"
Zebra Does the Loco-Motion
In addition to its purchase of Xplore Technologies Corp. (Austin, TX), Zebra (Lincolnshire, IL) has unwrapped its advanced asset management framework, entitled MotionWorks. Employing the company's data intelligence platform, called Savanna, its draws together location technologies such as Ultra-Wideband (UWB), UHF RFID, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and Barcode Scanning. Described as "flexible and customizable," this new solution comprises MotionWorks Asset, MotionWorks Materials, and MotionWorks Yard.
Along with its end-to-end capability, Zebra MotionWorks integrates into major plant floor and enterprise resource planning (ERP). In making its announcement, Zebra cited the success of its earlier "Official On-Field Player Tracking," based on RFID, for the NFL. In early installations of MotionWorks, it reported savings of $1 million for an aviation manufacturer, $750,000 for an automotive maker, and an 80% reduction of average trailer check-in time in the supply chain for retail.
"With its global reach, Zebra offers the industry's most comprehensive portfolio of location solutions, ranging from simple beacons on packages to the most complex tracking of athletes in real-time, helping turn edge data intelligence into business value," proclaimed Matt Seltz, GM of Location Solutions at Zebra. "Zebra MotionWorks helps manufacturers and transportation and logistics companies know the exact location and condition of their assets, people, and goods to make smarter, faster decisions that improve operational efficiency, enhance business processes, identify new avenues for revenue growth, and meet the market's shifting demands." Also, Zebra has introduced three new fixed combination reader/antennas for RFID.
Zebra Debuts "Location Intelligence" With Its MotionWorks Platform
The Skinny at CardFree (i.e., Wallet)
CardFree (San Francisco, CA) has been awarded U.S. Patent No. 10,002,366 for the integration of offers, payment types, and loyalty points in one transaction. It eliminates the "current consumer pain of having to present multiple items at the POS," according to CardFree. A leading mobile wallet provider to major retailers in the U.S., CardFree offers its services via "Universal" API (Application Programming Interface) for smartphone, tablet, kiosk, digital menu board, and POS.
"If you look at today's large merchants, they're still struggling with consumers having to present coupons, their loyalty cards, and payment types separately at the POS," related Jon Squire, Founder and CEO of CardFree. "That's not only resulting in terrible customer experience, it can also slow lines at merchants, which translates into lost revenue during peak hours. Our patent allows for one scan at the POS or one check-in 'in the cloud' to fire off all relevant items for the consumer. This is one of the key differentiators of having an integrated platform where all services work together seamlessly."
This new patent also covers CardFree's proprietary stored-value product, which holds standard and non-standard currencies (such as cryptocurrency), product SKUs, and so-called conditional values for the loyalty program. As an example, this capability may be used to create an extended program in which values can be exchanged and redeemed at different participating merchants--including currency, product, or loyalty. An intellectual property portfolio at CardFree has previous patents covering technology linking reservations to mobile payments.
A Simpler Digital Wallet by CardFree
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An Armour of Dynamic Receipts
Anticipating benefits in so-called "loyalty activation (LTV), customer feedback (VoC), and bounce-back revenue (ROI)," Under Armour has enlisted the dynamic, digital receipt technology of FlexReceipts (Orlando, FL). It will be deployed across the clothing maker's retail locations across North America (estimated at 300). An important factor in this decision, according to the two parties, was integration to Under Armour's Aptos POS.
In replacing paper receipts, or even static e-mails, this scheme emphasizes personalization, loyalty incentives, product recommendations, couponing, and shopper surveys--in near real-time, notes FlexReceipts. It cites high numbers for shopper opt-in (75%), open rates (60% to 85%), and click-throughs (15%). "As a market leader, consumers actively seek to engage with the Under Armour brand," espoused Tomas Diaz, CEO of FlexReceipts. "We are happy to support their post-sale consumer engagement strategy in North America."
"With FlexReceipts, we can now engage with 'brand-right' digital receipts that deliver content and product suggestions tailored specifically to each customer," expounded Brent Ott, Senior Manager of Athlete and Teammate Retail Experience for Under Armour. In addition to Aptos (Atlanta, GA), FlexReceipts supports Oracle (Redwood Shores, CA), Retail Pro (Folsom, CA), and Verifone (San Jose, CA) in POS. As integration partners, it names Big Hairy Dog (Sacramento, CA), Red Iron (Groton, MA), and One Step Retail Solutions (Phoenix, AZ).
Under Armour Deploys FlexReceipts
Yes, It's A Channel Play
Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions (Durham, NC) has presented its next-generation Self-Checkout System 7. In three form factors--kiosk/pay station (Model 6800-1K0), cashless/with bi-optic scanner bed (Model 6800-100), and cash recycling/with bi-optic scanner bed (Model 6800-110)--Self-Checkout System 7 is powered by Toshiba's Checkout Environment for Consumer Service (CHEC) Software. An in-store Back-Office Server (BOSS) is also offered (Model 6800-1B0).
According to Toshiba, Self-Checkout System 7 has been designed to improve the user experience, while allowing modules to be added or reconfigured. It cites implementation of enhanced audio tones, handy language switching toggle, and intuitive on-screen icons and graphics. In addition, it meets requirements of the American Disabilities Act. As an example, the CHEC Software can move the touchscreen functionality to the lower half of the display via an "accessibility button."
In addition to BOSS, with Self-Checkout System 7, Toshiba offers its Enterprise Back Office System Server, dubbed eBOSS. It provides centralized administration and reporting. In the case of peripherals, Self-Checkout System 7 has transaction awareness light, handheld barcode scanner mount, choice of credit card reader/PIN Pad, and single-station or dual-station thermal printer. A variety of bagging stations are available.
Toshiba's Self-Checkout System 7
See Your Shrink
-Thefts, fraud, and losses from other retail "shrink" decreased to $46.8 billion in 2017 from $48.9 billion in 2016.
-Average shrink in 2017 was 1.33% of sales, down from 1.44% in 2016.
-A total of 59% of retailers surveyed said shrink was flat or decreasing in 2017, up from 51% in 2016. Only 41% said shrink was growing in 2017, down from 49% in 2016.
-Shoplifting and organized retail crime were the most frequent causes of shrink in 2017, accounting for 36% of losses, followed by internal employee theft (33%), administrative paperwork errors (19%), and vendor fraud or mistake (6%).
-Greatest losses per incident came from retail robberies, at an average of $4,237 each (down from $5,309 in 2016), followed by employee theft at $1,203 (down from $1,922 in 2016), and shoplifting/organized crime at $559 (down from $798 in 2016).
Source: "Annual Retail Security Survey," by the National Retail Federation and University of Florida
A Drop of $2.1 Billion in 2017
A Prince Among Printers
Seiko Instruments USA, Thermal Printer Division (Torrance, CA), has named James Prince as its Regional Sales Manager for the Western U.S. and Canada. He brings extensive experience in our channel as Gulf Coast Regional Manager for Code Corporation (2014 to 2017), Business Development Manager for Fujitsu (2012 to 2014), Technical Sales Manager/OEM - Channel Sales for Star Micronics America (2008 to 2011), and Regional Sales Manager for Axiohm (2000 to 2007). He will be based in Dallas, TX.
"It's a great time to be part of the thermal printer channel, especially as there are countless new innovations and technologies going to market each day," enthused Prince. "I'm beyond excited to be back within this space, and I look forward to growing Seiko's current distributor and partner relationships, as well as forging new ones that will undoubtedly further our position as a leader within our market when it comes to servicing both partners and end-user customers."
"With James Prince joining Seiko Instruments, I am confident that he will take sales tactics and strategies to the next level when it comes to the U.S. West Coast and Canadian regions," commented Yoshi Murakami, GM of Seiko Instruments USA. "We are proud to have James on the team, and with his background and industry expertise and experience, there was no question he would be a natural fit for us."
James Prince, Regional Sales Manager, Western U.S. and Canada, Seiko
He'd Like the World to Buy an Omnivore
Omnivore (Hayward, CA) has added an executive from Coca Cola, Shane Wheatland, in the role of CMO. A career of 20 years at Coca-Cola included positions such as Account/Sales Executive (1996 to 2005), Director Area Sales/Group Director West Region (2005 to 2010), and VP International Development/National Accounts (2011 to 2018). Established in 2014, Omnivore offers its "Universal" API (Application Programming Interface) for POS.
"With the hospitality industry worldwide setting a new pace for innovation, Omnivore's consumer engagement platform supported by our App Marketplace and Universal POS API gives restaurateurs an entirely new level of capabilities to transform the on-premise experience," suggested Mike Wior, CEO of Omnivore. "We're very pleased to have Shane's leadership and vision as we continue connecting our clients to the best digital technologies and providing restaurants with a deeper understanding of their guests." As pricing, plans start at $250 plus $19/location per month for Omnivore.
"I have been fortunate to work closely with many of the restaurant industry's finest leaders, and jointly build strategies to drive new trial, frequency, and value," contributed Wheatland. "There are certainly many growth opportunities, but I can't think of a more important one in our industry right now than accelerating the digital experience for guests, staff, and support centers. Omnivore has exceptional capabilities to do so, and our industry needs to know more about them. I'm thrilled to be working with Mike and the exceptional talent at Omnivore."
Shane Wheatland, CMO, Omnivore
Fortifying at TouchSuite
TouchSuite (Boca Raton, FL), which straddles payments and POS, has engaged Jeffrey Fortney as its SVP of Business Development and Partnerships. Previously, he served as VP - ISO Channel Management for Clearent (2006 to 2018), VP - ISO Channel for Payment Alliance International (2004 to 2006), and Senior Director for Paymentech (1995 to 2004).
"I'm delighted to be joining TouchSuite," reflected Fortney. "Their entrepreneurial focus positions them well in today's ever-evolving payments world." Added Sam Zietz, Founder and CEO of TouchSuite, "Jeff's extensive experience across multiple payment verticals, as well as his involvement with industry thought leaders, will be key as we focus on broadening our ties with strategic partners."
In similar vein, TouchSuite has purchased merchant acquirer, Alpine Payment Systems (Vancouver, WA). Started in 2007, Alpine Payment Systems addresses restaurant, hospitality, and retail SMB. "Alpine will serve as our west coast hub [in the U.S. and Canada]," remarked Zietz at TouchSuite.
Jeffrey Fortney, SVP of Business Development and Partnerships, TouchSuite
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