Our Product Pick
eFAN (Seoul, Korea) has unveiled its mini-kiosk, "Pandora." With horizontal 12.3" TFT LCD (aspect ratio of 8:3, resolution of 1920x720, brightness of 600 cd/m2), Pandora may serve as digital signage, table ordering system for restaurants, in-room guest service system for hotels, or electronic shelf label. It carries ARM Cortex A7 Quad-Core CPU at 1.2 GHz, 1-GB/2-GB RAM, and 8-GB Storage, and runs Android O/S. As interfaces, it has USB, Bluetooth, and 802.11 Wi-Fi. Overall, it measures 13.5 in. (W) x 6.3 in. (H) x 2.3 in. (D). Options include projected-capacitive touchscreen, 2D barcode scanner, speakers, Ethernet, NFC, and 4G LTE. At present, eFAN seeks application developers for Pandora, RRN.Com was told by Nick Lim, CEO.
Pandora by eFAN
An Elevator for Lighthouse
Another move by Shift4 Payments, which has rebranded its payment management platform as "Lighthouse Transaction Manager." As readers may recall, Shift4 Corp., and its payment platform "Dollars On The Net," were purchased by Lighthouse Network early in 2018. Subsequently, the whole enterprise was reformed as Shift4 Payments, with headquarters in Allentown, PA, and offices in Las Vegas, NV.
In addition to the full payment functionality of the former Dollars On The Net, the new Lighthouse Transaction Manager features an interface described as more user-friendly. It complements the new Lighthouse Business Management System introduced in August by Shift4 Payments. As its name reflects, the Lighthouse Business Management System has customer engagement tools, employee scheduling, reporting capacity, and remote system management for POS. A third-party app marketplace and outreach/social media are also addressed.
"Both of these industry-pioneering platforms deliver innovative and state-of-the-art features that help business owners better understand and manage their operations," explained Jared Isaacman, CEO of Shift4 Payments. "Combining the benefits of both tools under a single brand will deliver a better experience for our customers." (Also part of Shift4 Payments: Harbortouch, Future POS, POSitouch, and Restaurant Manager.)
Shift4's Lighthouse Transaction Manager
Cubism at CRS
CRS, Inc. (St. Paul, MN) has joined the cubist movement with the rollout of the 3" BTP-S80 thermal receipt printer from SNBC. In dimensions of 5 in. x 5 in. x 5 in., the BTP-S80 offers the choice of top load or front load for media, with maximum print speed of 9.8 in./250 mm at 203 dpi. As design features, BTP-S80 has auto-cutter with selectable partial or full cut, drop-and-print paper loading, paper-end and paper near-end sensor, and keypad programming. It weighs 5 lbs./2.3 kg.
In black or white cabinet casing, the BTP-S80 furnishes standard triple interface of USB+Serial+Ethernet. As optional connectivity, there's Bluetooth and 802.11 Wi-Fi. In addition to support for Windows (and Linux), software development kits (SDK) are offered for iOS and Android O/S. It ships with starter paper roll, external power adapter, and cables for Serial and USB. As readers may know, CRS, Inc. serves as exclusive distributor of thermal printers from Shandong New Beiyang Information Technology Co., or SNBC (Weihai, China), in North America.
"CRS sees the BTP-S80 as an important extension of the extraordinary value printer line from SNBC," commented Bruce Mann, VP of Marketing for CRS, Inc. "The BTP-S80 is available in CRS's popular bundled price offerings, wherein CRS significantly discounts printers and cash drawers when purchased with terminal. The BTP-S80 will be desirable in quick-service restaurants, kiosk, counter service, or any installation where merchants prefer to place a printer on a cash drawer alongside or partially beneath a terminal to create a fully functional space-saving workstation that doesn't even require the printer to be moved to replenish the paper supply."
CRS Debuts SNBC BTP-S80 Receipt Printer
Worth Your While
ALL IN THE FAMILY
At Star's Core
Star Micronics America (Somerset, NJ) has introduced coreless receipt paper rolls. As traditional cores are petroleum-based, not biodegradable, and not always properly recycled, these new roles support "green" environmental efforts. In addition, they're Bisphenol-Free, or BPA-Free, and compliant with California Proposition 65.
Also, the new rolls eliminate the risk of employees damaging the printer by overlooking an old core and forcing the printer cover closed over the new paper roll. In particular, these new coreless rolls complement the 3" Model mC-Print 3, according to Star Micronics, which features "print flat" technology to reduce paper curling. Other compatible printers from Star Micronics include Models TSP100III, TSP650II, FVP10, TSP700, and HSP7000.
"We're delighted to introduce this new coreless paper," remarked Christophe Naasz, Director of Business Development at Star Micronics America. "We expect Star's coreless rolls to not only benefit the environment, but also save our customers money in both the short and long run." As another benefit, the new rolls contain 290 feet/88.4 meters of paper, versus traditional rolls with 230 feet/70.1 meters.
Star Stocks Coreless Receipt Paper Rolls
All Charged Up at Datalogic
Datalogic (Eugene, OR) has implemented wireless battery charging in its popular Gryphon 4500 Series handheld scanners. Weighing 8.3 oz./235 g, the Gryphon 4500 reads symbologies of 1D, 2D, and Digimarc. It features one-megapixel optics, four-dot red laser aimer, and good-read confirmation via vibration and the company's "Green Spot." An inductive-charging wireless technology--increasingly common in consumer electronics--now supports its 3250-mAh Li-Ion battery.
"The first device that benefited from our wireless charging technology was Joya Touch, our device for self-shopping," recounted Giulio Berzuini, GM of Retail Industry for Datalogic (Bologna, Italy). "Our success there was beyond our expectations, confirming the benefits that wireless charging technology can offer to end-users. We have witnessed reduction in the typical amount of reserve terminals required by customers, when dealing with common recharging issues, so we decided to apply this technology to other product families."
As advantages of wireless charging, the company cites disuse of battery contacts and pins, which are frequent points of failure in industrial and retail devices, and which require system maintenance and cleaning. In addition, charging is accelerated, and battery levels can be safely and rapidly "topped off" between shifts. As suitable for light manufacturing, access control, and entertainment industries, in particular, the Gryphon 4500 has an IP-52 rating and 6-ft./1.8-m drop specification. It offers Bluetooth or Datalogic's Star Cordless System.
Datalogic Adds Wireless Charging to Gryphon
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Epson Gets Down With Upserve
Epson America (Long Beach, CA) has extended its relationship with hospitality ISV Upserve (Providence, RI). As recommended hardware for both its iOS and Android POS, Upserve has certified the 3" Epson TM-m30 thermal receipt printer, 3" OmniLink Epson TM-U220-i "intelligent" impact kitchen printer, and Epson Kitchen Display System (KDS) Controller (which supports touchscreens or kitchen monitors). In addition to printing of checks, kitchen tickets, and order management, such an integrated solution benefits from payment EMV by Upserve.
"Epson has long been the preferred choice for our iOS product, and is now offered on both our Android and iOS POS system, giving users more flexibility and choice," indicated Dave Hoffman, EVP of Product for Upserve. "And since switching to the TM-m30, customers have mentioned how easy it is to use the product and how well the form factor fits in a variety of spaces. It's a great solution for the modern restaurant looking for a reliable POS, KDS, and printing system that all work together seamlessly."
"Upserve meets a great need in the market for an all-in-one restaurant management solution that includes payments, POS, and data insights," noted Tom Kettell, Direct of Commercial Channel - North America, for Epson America. "By working together, we can help merchants successfully run their restaurants and boost their profits while saving time." At present, Upserve, formerly Groupon's Breadcrumb, is utilized by 9,000 restaurateurs. It has its Reseller & Partner Program.
Epson's Printers Endorsed for Upserve's iOS and Android POS
Sound Makes Waves
Sound Payments has expanded its line card, entitled "Commerce Solutions," with the Model E500 by PAX Technology. As an integrated "electronic cash register"/payments terminal, the E500 will be offered in conjunction with the retail cloud platform by Sound Payments, called "Quantum Cloud." With 8" merchant-facing touchscreen, 4" customer-facing touchscreen, integrated 3" thermal receipt printer, flexible connectivity (Ethernet, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and WAN), and Android O/S, the E500 accepts MSR, EMV, NFC, and QR Codes. It has certification to Payment Card Industry (PCI) PTS 5.x.
As benefits of handling the E500 for resellers, Sound identifies upsell opportunities and increased "stickiness" compared to traditional stand-alone terminals. It may be white-labeled by resellers. Additionally, resellers may increase cash flow by leasing hardware and software. (As neighbors, Sound and PAX are both located in Jacksonville, FL.)
"VARs and ISOs will benefit from offering an all-in-one solution and connectivity to Quantum Cloud, which will allow the merchant to grow without the need to purchase additional server hardware and eliminate the need to install server software," flourished Bill Pittman, SVP of Sales and Strategy for Sound Payments. "Implementation is fast and merchants are always current with the latest features--all with lower costs." A relative newcomer to the Channel, Sound Payments.
Sound Payments Offers E500 by PAX Technology
Opterus (Toronto, Canada), one of the leaders in web-based store communications and task management solutions, has previewed its "Holler." A social media app specifically designed for retail, Holler allows employees to have informal person-to-person and group-level chats, share pictures, comment and/or "like" company news feeds, and make their own posts. It furnishes an easy-to-use search feature for employees, enhanced data security compared with common chat and sharing apps, and context aware threads and discussions directly on employees' mobile devices. Associate data is not shared with third-party vendors, according to Opterus. "This new solution is truly an opportunity for progressive retailers and something that resonates with the younger workforce who grew up on social media," emphasized Janet Hawkins, President and CEO at Opterus. "Most organizations recognize that employees are their single biggest asset. So why not take all the necessary steps to cultivate and expand the cooperative spirit that already exists within your brand."
A Social Media Platform for Store Associates
A Message From the Editor
As we enter another year, our mission stays constant: to fill the need for timely, focused, non-biased news in the channel for POS & Auto ID. If anything, that need grows more pressing in the face of changes in technology, go-to-market strategies, and business models. We look forward to continuing that mission and welcome your suggestions and thoughts on improvements.
Michael Kachmar, Editor
RM Dances With Duet
Restaurant Manager (Silver Spring, MD) has launched its new hybrid cloud software for hospitality POS, dubbed "Duet." It runs Android O/S in support of tablets or the company's 15" POS terminals. A list of features includes full function ordering, menu customization, table tracking, tableside service, online ordering and reservations, and robust reporting and management. "A fast, low-cost solution," in the words of Restaurant Manager.
As Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Restaurant Manager will offer Duet with minimal initial investment and monthly payments. It includes a lifetime hardware warranty for restaurants using the company's hardware for POS. A part of Shift4 Payments--with its Lighthouse Business Management System--Restaurant Manager sells through its network of VARs in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America.
"Duet POS software was developed by a team of seasoned hospitality professionals with over 50 years of combined industry experience to deliver the ideal solution for all types of restaurants and bars," enthused Jay Shavitz, President and GM of Restaurant Manager. "This POS software was designed from the ground up for a streamlined user experience and optimal performance. It not only offers a sleeker, more modern interface, but utilizes more familiar touchscreen gestures for ultimate ease-of-use."
Restaurant Manager Launches Duet POS
A Token of Socket's Affection
Socket Mobile (Newark, CA) has unwrapped its newest contactless reader for payments, the SocketScan S500 Token Exchange. A cryptographically generated payload "token" from RFID/HF/NFC-enabled devices (e.g., phone, smart watch, payment card, or fob) gets passed by the S500 Token Exchange to the end-user's tablet or PC. With this launch, Socket Mobile has called for developers for beta testing in environments such as payments, identification, and ticketing, with general distribution of the S500 Token Exchange expected in Q3.
In antimicrobial plastic casing, S500 Token Exchange measures 2 in. (Diameter) x 1.5 in. (Height), weighs 2.6 oz./74 g, with USB 2.0 Micro and Four Quadrant LEDs. At 13.56-MHz, it supports, specifically, ISO-14443 Type A and B Smart Cards, ISO-15693 Tags, MiFARE, FeliCa, and ISO-18092 NFC. A 700-mAh Li Ion battery furnishes read/write, at range of 0.4 to 2 in./10 to 50 mm, with standby time of 15 hours.
With Bluetooth LE, the S500 Token Exchange has two communication models: HID Keyboard Emulation Mode (for Native App) and App Mode (for Software Development Kit). No software installation will be required if using the S500 in Bluetooth HID Mode. Via Socket's SDK, there's support for applications in iOS, Android, and Windows O/S (and wireless range of 330 ft./100 m by Bluetooth LE). A one-year warranty and MSRP of $249 are cited by Socket Mobile.
Socket Mobile's S500 Token Exchange
Elavon Eyes the Edges
Elavon has snapped up integrated payment software provider CenPOS (Miami, FL). As vertical focus, CenPOS has automotive, equipment rental, insurance, manufacturing and distribution, professional services, and general business-to-business transactions listed on its website. Elavon, of course, is the fourth largest payment processor/gateway in the U.S. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"The CenPOS team is elated to join Elavon," shared Jorge Fernandez, Co-Founder and CEO of CenPOS. "Elavon's suite of payment products, coupled with the stability and array of financial offerings from U.S. Bank [parent of Elavon], gives CenPOS an unparalleled competitive edge in the market. Likewise, CenPOS's technology brings new market expertise to Elavon's current technology solutions."
"More and more, businesses are choosing their payment provider based on the software solutions they use to manage other parts of their operations," expounded Jamie Walker, CEO of Elavon. In January, Elavon announced enlargement of its corporate campus in Atlanta, GA. It said it plans to hire 500 extra employees over the next three years.
Elavon Adds CenPOS Software
Key Advertiser Links
Honeywell: Many Happy Returns
A new emphasis in retail for Honeywell: returns optimization. At the recent National Retail Federation (NRF) Show, the vendor revealed it will resell such software by ISV Optoro (Washington, DC). It helps retailers "decide, process, and manage next steps for returned and excess inventory," when used in conjunction with mobile computers and the platform "Mobility Edge" by Honeywell. A new dedicated device--combining scanner, printer, and tablet--and designated Model PC43K--will be upcoming.
Optoro's solution uses proprietary algorithms to determine the best returns disposition. Its decision logic can be applied to any part of the reverse supply chain, including the back of the store, warehouse, or customer self-service tool, according to Optoro. So, theoretically, merchandise may be put back into the supply chain with maximum efficiency. In addition, an easy-to-follow returns process increasingly serves as one ingredient of providing a good customer experience, according to Honeywell.
"Reverse logistics is becoming a complex challenge for retailers as they need to move returned goods within the supply chain as quickly as possible to reduce bottom line impact," counseled Peter Howes, President of Honeywell Productivity Products (Fort Mill, SC). "We're able to combine all the hardware and software needs in one place to help retailers automate and optimize processes to make them profitable." (The number of consumer returns continues to grow each year. In 2018, for example, retailers estimate that more than 10% of their total annual sales will have been returned, according to the National Retail Federation.)
Honeywell Resells Returns Optimization Software by Optoro
Pre-Boarding the POS
Hudson Group, the leading travel retailer in North America, has selected the Vision Commerce Suite for POS from PCMS (Cincinnati, OH). Based in East Rutherford, NJ, Hudson Group has 1,050 stores in 87 airport and transportation terminals in the U.S. and Canada. An enterprise platform, encompassing POS, Mobile, and E-Commerce, the PCMS Vision Commerce Suite has been adopted by approximately 140 retailers worldwide. (PCMS is headquartered in the U.K.)
"We pride ourselves on the scalability of our solutions," declared Andy Winans, CEO of PCMS. "Hudson Group serves more than 300,000 daily passengers, meaning over 100 million transactions will be processed annually on the Vision Commerce Suite." Added David Stubbs, SVP and CIO of Hudson Group, "We selected PCMS for its ability to deliver a more versatile and responsive customer experience."
In January, PCMS enabled cloud infrastructure for its Vision Commerce Suite with Microsoft Azure. "With complementary technology from these two industry leaders working in tandem [Microsoft and PCMS], retailers can design, control, and revolutionize customer experiences across different verticals, geography, or channels," suggested Tony Houldsworth, Global CEO at PCMS. "Other benefits to the retailer include swifter implementation and heightened security," he added.
Hudson Group Deploys Vision Commerce Suite by PCMS
Channel FactoidAt the C-Suite: AI & Cloud
-Retail executives in the C-Suite see the cloud having more than 2x the impact on business agility than any other technology.
-As an integral part of IT, 78% of retailers already use the cloud, and 92% will use the cloud by 2020.
-Identified as the three top benefits of the cloud by the C-Suite: adaptability (64%), faster time to market (57%), and reduced total cost of ownership (53%).
-In store systems and supply chain, there's room for growth in the use of the cloud: in store systems, 7% use exclusively, 12% extensively, 15% half of the time, 32% some of the time, 33% none; in supply chain, 4% use exclusively, 14% extensively, 16% half of the time, 31% some of the time, 36% none.
-At present, use of the cloud is greater in areas of e-commerce (57% use exclusively or extensively), marketing (45% use exclusively or extensively), and merchandising (27% use exclusively or extensively).
-Also, retail executives in the C-Suite are planning a 5x increase in adoption of Artificial Intelligence over the next two years.
-Use cases where the C-Suite sees impact of Artificial Intelligence: to personalize product recommendations (36%), to sharpen inventory levels (50%), to boost promotional performance (50%), and to enhance labor scheduling (39%).
-As for current state of adoption of emerging technologies: Artificial Intelligence (12%), Connected Devices (17%), and Voice Recognition (4%).
-Identified as top two challenges by retail executives in the C-Suite: balancing short-term financial goals against long-term transformation goals (48%) and resistance to change in the organization (41%).
-"Retailers must know their shoppers better than they know themselves, and the powerful technologies coming to the forefront for digital transformation, particularly Artificial Intelligence and Cloud, are the way to get there," summarized Greg Jones, Director of Business Strategy, Retail, for Microsoft.
Source: 2019 Retail C-Suite Viewpoint Survey by JDA Software (Scottsdale, AZ) and Microsoft (Redmond, WA)
Greg Jones, Director of Business Strategy, Retail, Microsoft
A New Partner: Nancy S.
Partner Tech USA (Irvine, CA) has engaged Nancy Szczudlik as its new Business Development Manager. A familiar face in our industry, Szczudlik most recently served as Director of Eastern Sales at Pioneer Solution (2013 to 2018). Her resume includes roles as National OEM Account Executive at Seneca (2011 to 2012), Distribution Channel Manager/VP of North American Sales at Logic Controls (2006 to 2011), and POS Sales Representative at Great Lakes Electronics (2005 to 2006).
"Nancy has more than 25 years in POS," reflected Sandra Hsia, CEO of Partner Tech USA. "Her knowledge base and connections in the industry are precious. As BDM, her job is to further develop our relationship with our strategic partners--the community of resellers, ISVs, and distributors. As we continue to grow our brand and reach throughout the U.S., Nancy will make us shine."
"It's the perfect time to be joining this company, which is amazingly innovative and focuses on the reseller/customer experience," expressed Szczudlik. "With the latest technology, Partner Tech has listened to its resellers, and can now provide total solutions encompassing all-in-one terminals, tablets, handhelds, kiosks, an interactive smart-shelf display, and both LCD and LED digital signage solutions. I'm proud to be working with this team, which is moving to the forefront by striving for nothing less than excellence."
Nancy Szczudlik, Business Development Manager, Partner Tech
A Tweet at ETA
A tweet has announced Jason Oxman will leave his position of CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association. At the end of this month, he will begin his reign as President and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council. He joined ETA, the global trade association of the payments technology industry, as CEO in 2012. "As I move to ITI to lead an organization that is the voice of the tech sector, I look forward to staying connected to this great industry [i.e., payments]," stated Oxman. (As expected, both ETA and ITI are located in Washington, DC.)
"We are grateful to Jason for his service as ETA's CEO at a pivotal time in the evolution of our industry," relayed Kevin Jones, President and Chairman of the ETA, and CEO of Celero Commerce (Nashville, TN). "In his seven years as ETA's CEO, Jason has doubled the size of the organization, helping transform ETA into the global voice of the payments technology industry. We wish him all the best as he takes his passion for technology to the President and CEO role at ITI."
"ETA is lucky to have a dedicated and talented staff of professionals who provide world-class service to ETA's 500 member companies," continued Jones. "As ETA's President and Chairman, I will work closely with the ETA team and with Jason as he transitions to his new organization in late February. We will begin the search for a new CEO that shares our vision for growing the value that we bring our members through education, advocacy, and events in late February."
CEO Jason Oxman Departs Electronic Transactions Association
Swimming With Bluefin
Payment security developer Bluefin (Atlanta, GA) has enlisted Philip Dolan as its new Chief Marketing Officer. Before Bluefin, he was SVP of Marketing for "revenue cycle management" provider Waystar (2007 to 2018). Established in 2007, Bluefin has more than 100 partners enabled for its products in point-to-point encryption (P2PE) for data security.
"Enterprises and SMB's alike have come to realize that payment and data security is strategic to protecting brand reputation, legal liability, and consumer trust," observed Dolan. "Even with advances such as EMV, there is no substitute for point-to-point data encryption to address payment security threats. One breach can kill a business. I joined Bluefin to assist in taking the company to the next level and raise awareness of the industry's best solutions to protect businesses and consumers."
"We're thrilled to have Phil aboard at Bluefin. He brings strong commercial leadership including recent experience in healthcare where protection of both personal and financial data is essential," referenced John Perry, CEO of Bluefin. "Our reputation as the leader in payment security has grown along with our ranks of new employees, partners, and clients, yet we still are in the early innings. We have some exciting years ahead."
Philip Dolan, CMO, Bluefin
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