Week of January 25, 2021
Michael Kachmar, Editor

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Our Product Pick

Touch Dynamic (South Plainfield, NJ) has presented its new all-in-one terminal with ultra-thin 15.6" display, and thus: "Razor." With projected-capacitive touch technology (and aspect ratio of 16:9, with resolution of 1920x1080), Razor measures 14.5 in. (W) x 14.5 in. (H) x 7.9 in. (D) and weighs 6.9 lbs./3.1 kg when configured with an accompanying 360-degree Swivel Base. (It also may be mounted on the company's Slim Printer Base for Epson's TM-m30.) As computing, it offers either Windows Intel Whiskey Lake or Android Qualcomm CPUs, 128 GB NVMe SSD, and multiple port options, including USB Type-C. "Our customers asked for a leaner, sexier terminal," stated Craig Paritz, President of Touch Dynamic. "We listened and developed the Razor."

Razor by Touch Dynamic



Arlo Arrives at APG

APG Cash Drawer (Minneapolis, MN) has debuted its new entry-level cash drawer, intended for low-transaction-volume environments, and named Arlo. As readers may know, in order to meet the changing needs of retail, APG has organized its cash drawer products into three tiers: Soma, Genesis, and Legend. Arlo joins "Minota" in the category of Soma, addressing, in particular, the market for tablet/SMB POS.

Available in black or white, Arlo has 13 in. x 13 in. and 16 in. x 16 in. formats. It offers tills of 4-bill/5-coin (in the Model 330 13-in.) and 5-bill/5-coin (in the Model 410 16-in.) for the U.S. and Canada. Additional features include steel construction, ball-bearing roller wheels, two beveled media slots, and three-position key lock. It has MultiPRO 320 Printer Driven Epson Interface (cable included) and Open Drawer Status Switch reporting back to the POS.

"The days of one drawer for all customers are gone," indicated Stephen Bergeron, VP of Sales and Marketing, North America, at APG. "Today's retail verticals require a range of cash drawers that are purposely designed and built to meet the environmental demands of the specific customer. APG tests all its cash drawers in each class/family to emulate the transactional point-of-sale environment requirements for each retail tier. Whether you require a drawer that is tested to last half a million [i.e., Soma], one million [i.e., Genesis] or four million [i.e., Legend] transactions, APG will have the correct cash drawer."

New Entry-Level Arlo Cash Drawer by APG

Posiflex Draws Winning Kiosk

Posiflex USA (Hayward, CA) has unboxed its new all-in-one self-service kiosk, earmarked HS3314. In space-saving form factor of of 14 in. (W) x 18.6 in. (H) x 7.8 in. (D), weighing 12.8 lbs./15.8 kg, the HS3314 features projected-capacitive, bezel-free 14" touchscreen, detachable 3" thermal receipt printer, and Android 9 O/S. As power, it has Rockchip RK3399 Dual-Core Cortex A72 CPU at 1.8 GHz and Quad-Core Cortex A53 CPU at 1.4 GHz, 2 GB/4 GB RAM, and 16 GB/32 GB Flash.

A full range of connectivity includes USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Micro-USB, COM, Cash Drawer, and HDMI. An innovative and screwless modular design allows easy expansion--with optional peripherals such as credit-card reader, fingerprint reader, scanner, secondary customer displays, and 802.11 WLAN--as well as easy serviceability. As suitable markets for the HS3314, Posiflex identifies pop-up stores and restaurants, sidewalk sales, curbside ordering, food trucks--all in all, the SMB.

"We are ecstatic to now be offering the award-winning HS3314 to the market in North America," expressed Doyle Ledford, VP of Sales and Marketing at Posiflex USA. "With its innovative and compact design, the HS3314 is an ideal answer for operators in need of a simple, yet effective, all-in-one point-of-sale solution." In December, Posiflex received the Taiwan Excellence Award 2021 from the Ministry of Economic Affairs for the HS3314. A family of kiosks at Posiflex USA also includes Apex, Paragon, Stellar, and the recent Mercury EK Series.

Posiflex USA Stocks Its HS3314 Kiosk

Worth Your While

Modern Materials Handling (MHI)
April 12-15
Chicago, IL

NRA Show
National Restaurant Association
May 22-25
Chicago, IL

NRF Show
National Retail Federation
June 6-8
New York, NY

Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA)
July 25-28
Nashville, TN

Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo
Clarion Events
August 22-24
Anaheim, CA

Money 20/20
October 24-27
Las Vegas, NV


Bixolon Rolls With XM7

Bixolon America (Gardena, CA) has unwrapped its new, rugged, portable direct-thermal receipt/label printer, designated XM7. A Model XM7-20 has 2 in./58 mm maximum print width and speed of 6 in./152 mm per second at 203 dpi. A Model XM7-40 has 4 in./112 mm maximum print width and speed of 5 in./127 mm per second at 203 dpi. As features, the XM7 has color TFT LCD (resolution of 240x320), easy-to-open peeler, smart battery technology (rechargeable Li-ion), USB Type-C, and 128 MB/256 MB RAM and 256 MB/512 MB Flash.

In dimensions of 3.7 in. (W) x 6.6 in. (L) x 2.7 in. (H), the XM7-20 weighs 1.3 lbs./0.6 kg. In dimensions of 6.2 in. (W) x 7.3 in. (L) x 3.2 in. (H), the XM7-40 weighs 2.4 lbs./1.1 kg. As media roll outer diameter (OD): 2.2 in./57 mm for the XM7-20 and 2.6 in./66 mm for the XM7-40. As connectivity, there's combinations of USB 2.0, Serial, Bluetooth V5, and 802.11 WLAN. As emulations, there's SLCS, BPL-Z, BPL-C, and BXL/POS. As expected, all major O/S are supported by the XM7 Series.

In terms of ruggedness, there's an IP-54 rating for water and dust and drop resistance of 7 ft./2.1 m (for the XM7-20) and 6 ft./1.8 m (for the XM7-40). It includes Bixolon's Label Artist and Seagull Scientific's BarTender. "There is growing demand for label operations across all industries, especially within logistics thanks to the increased popularity of e-commerce," noted Paul Kim, GM of Bixolon America. "Our investment in a premium line of mobile label printers will provide optimized mobility solutions for those working in tough environments."

Bixolon's XM7 Series Mobile Printers

Datalogic Uncages Skorpio X5

Datalogic USA (Eugene, OR) has uncaged its new industrial key-based mobile computer, tagged Skorpio X5. A number of benefits are specified, including Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 Octa-Core CPU at 2.2 GHz, 4.3" projected-capacitive touchscreen (resolution of 800x480), 2 GB/4 GB RAM, 32 GB/64 GB Flash, and Android 10 O/S with GMS. A choice of scan engines includes Linear, Standard 2D, Mid-Range, and (soon to come) Auto Extra-Long Range. As connectivity, there's USB Type-C, LAN, Bluetooth V5, and 802.11 WLAN.

As with its predecessor Skorpio X4, the X5 offers three different keyboards: 47-key alphanumeric, 38-key "function" numeric, and 28-key numeric. Without pistol grip, it measures 3.1 in. (W) x 8.6 in. (L) x 1.4 in. (H), and with standard battery (rechargeable Li-ion), weighs 17.2 oz./0.5 kg. It has an IP-65 rating for water and dust and drop resistance of 6 ft./1.8 m, along with expanded operating temperature range of -4 to +122 Degrees F/-20 to +50 Degrees C. As typical with the company, it includes "Green Spot" good-read feedback.

"The Skorpio X5 is the most advanced key-based mobile computer on the market, and features wireless charging capabilities," declared Andrew Duncan, SVP of Product Marketing at Datalogic USA. "It brings the highest computational CPU power, the largest and brightest screen display, and the latest generation of scan engines, including its unique Mid-Range Imager. With the Skorpio X5, businesses will be able to reach new productivity levels."

Datalogic's Skorpio X5 Mobile Computer

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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, business models, and consumer concerns. We look forward to continuing that mission and welcome your suggestions and thoughts on improvement.

Michael Kachmar, Editor



An "Apt" Meeting of ISVs

An interesting consolidation in software: Aptos (Atlanta, GA) has snapped up LS Retail (Atlanta, GA and Reykjavik, Iceland). Offered as SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) in the Microsoft Cloud, LS Retail has 80,000 customer sites in 140 countries. It serves specialty retail, hospitality, pharmacy, and convenience stores/gas. Emerging from Epicor in 2015, Aptos serves over 1,000 major brands in retail.

"LS Retail is an exceptionally well-run organization with world-class products, a growing and diverse customer base, and a strong network of nearly 400 local partners," related Pete Sinisgalli, CEO of Aptos (which is owned by Goldman Sachs & Co.'s Merchant Banking Division). "[Addition of LS Retail] broadens our knowledge base and resources, extends our vertical capabilities, and expands our geographic coverage. Upon the acquisition's close, we look forward to providing Aptos' full support, scale, and capital to the leadership team of LS Retail."

Added Magnus Norddahl, CEO at LS Retail, "The pandemic has amplified or accelerated existing realities. Businesses always have been, and always will be, dealing with change: they need solutions that provide visibility, knowledge, and predictable outcomes. Digitalization has become even more urgent than before, and the need for unified commerce solutions is more compelling than ever. This puts LS Retail and Aptos in a prime position to increase market share and help more customers around the world." Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Aptos Acquires LS Retail

A Pineapple Grows in Pittsburgh

A vertical market move for processor Pineapple Payments (Pittsburgh, PA), with its purchase of 1st Payment Systems (Roswell, GA). In particular, 1st Payment has focused on so-called power sports (e.g., motorcycles, snowmobiles, personal water craft). The two companies will now work together to leverage Pineapple's proprietary platform, entitled Transax, including its out-of-the-box features and suite of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) for partners such as ISVs.

"Today marks a major milestone for 1st Payment," enthused Brandon Kaylor, President of 1st Payment. "We have specialized expertise in serving fragmented industries, but we've never had in-house technology. That's what Pineapple brings to the table. Coupled with their dedicated marketing and support, that's what's going to help us deepen our industry partner relationships and expand our offering."

"1st Payment can help us to better understand the needs of integrated and association partners in the often-overlooked markets like power sports," relayed Jon Halpern, President of Pineapple Payments. "The 1st Payment team has a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience, and we're excited to work with them to add more value to these markets with our technology and solutions." As one of its series of acquisitions, Pineapple purchased Transax, and its full-service payments gateway, in 2018.

Pineapple Payments, Led by President Jon Halpern (Shown Here), Purchases 1st Payment Systems

Code Corner

KOAMTAC (Princeton, NJ) has fashioned its KDC8 software decoder application "to bridge the gap between free barcode scanner apps and more expensive hardware barcode scanner devices." It employs Honeywell's SwiftDecoder software with an iOS or Android smart device's built-in camera to deliver more accuracy and reliability than free barcode scanner apps, according to KOAMTAC. A one-month free trial has been extended, followed by three plan options: Monthly ($5.99/month per activation code), Yearly ($49/year per activation code), and Unlimited ($79 per activation code). An integration path provides upgrade to the family of barcode scanners by KOAMTAC. "We understand that many business owners need a barcode scanning solution that is a step above the free apps currently available but are not yet ready to purchase dedicated hardware," explained Dr. Hanjin Lee, President and CEO of KOAMTAC. "That's where the KDC8 comes in, allowing data collection to scale alongside of the business."

KOAMTAC's Software Decoder App





A Tale From the Crypto

A provider of contactless payment solutions, as well as well as AI (Artificial Intelligence), Loop Insights has showcased its prowess in cryptocurrency. Initial integration of cryptocurrency into its payment platform was prepared in 2018, with supporting patents filed in 2019. At the heart of its system, and ready for the expected "parabolic growth" in cryptocurrency over the next decade: Loop's "Fobi."

A small, modem-like device, installed between the receipt printer and the POS, the Fobi creates QR Codes for popular cryptocurrencies. Upon approval by the retailer, accessing the customer's mobile wallet, the sum will be deposited in either the choice of cryptocurrency or local currency. With Fobi, customers are free to use whichever cryptocurrency they prefer, in addition to using the mobile wallet of their choice. In addition, the retailer may decide to receive the sum in local currency or hold the cryptocurrency in payment for future use.

"Whereas many companies try to use cryptocurrencies as a buzz word, Loop has been way ahead of this global paradigm shift," emphasized Rob Anson, CEO of Loop Insights (Vancouver, BC, Canada). "Our Fobi device is already configured to accept leading cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, providing retailers with new long-term opportunities for growth and enterprise partners with an even stronger value proposition that already includes our world-leading artificial-intelligence-driven, real-time transaction technology." Next up for Loop Insights in cryptocurrency: Kraken, BitFinex, Binance.

Loop Insights Showcases Its Fobi Device

Editor's Note: Warming up to cryptocurrency of late: AT&T, Microsoft, Visa, PayPal, Venmo, and Square.]

Winning the Lottery at GK

A pathway to integration has been cleared by ISV GK Software (Raleigh, NC and Schoneck, Germany). It enables the participation of third-party developers with two new elements: an Omnibasket Developers Portal and an Innovator Partners Program. It seeks to enlarge the ecosystem of GK's commerce platform, dubbed "cloud4retail," which includes point-of-sale, customer engagement, mobility, and back-office systems.

With this new effort, third-party developers can use the platform's web services through APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to utilize basket capabilities, promotions, transactions, etc. Developers can also use simple JavaScript to plug-in web apps such as clienteling, time and attendance, and rich item content (for example, an augmented reality "try me on" cosmetics app)--delivered via mobile device, kiosk, or POS. An accompanying Innovator Partners Program speeds discovery to commercial availability, according to GK Software.

"This could help solution providers to offer retailers significant benefits with very little effort and time to market, integrating into their existing platform," proposed Simon Butler, CEO of Abacus Lottery Everywhere (Hampshire, UK). "It's an exciting and innovative opportunity for us, allowing retailers to sell lottery games through their existing POS platforms without having to install dedicated lottery terminals." With its "OmniPOS" solution, GK Software serves 10 of the Top 50 retailers.

GK Software Embraces Third-Party Developers

Key Advertiser Links

Be sure to visit these vendors for the latest in channel products and offers for resellers.

POS & Peripherals
Electronic Payments
Epson America
Pioneer Solution
Revel Systems

Barcode & Transaction Printers
Bixolon America
Brother Mobile
Godex Americas

Cash Drawers
APG Cash Drawer

Data Collection
Code Corporation
Janam Technologies
Unitech America

Integrated Payment Solutions
Datacap Systems
Electronic Payments
International Bancard
North American Bancard
PAX Technology

Receipt Printers
Bixolon America
Citizen Systems America
Star Micronics

Stands, Mounts, Cradles


Channel Chatter

A note from Citizen Systems America (Torrance, CA) that its printers have been certified for cleaning and sanitizing. A number of specific chemical and cleaning agents are approved following the company's internal testing of its printers for point-of-sale (Models CT-S310II, CT-E351, CT-E651, CT-S751, CT-S4500, CT-S601II, CT-S601IIR, CT-S651II, CT-S801II, and CT-S851II) and barcode/labeling (Models CL-E300, CL-E303, CL-E321, and CL-E331). "Installing products that are able to be properly cleaned in an effort to help reduce the transmission of contaminants and germs is a very valuable dynamic during these times of distancing and cautionary measures," shared Norimitsu Kato, President and CEO of Citizen Systems America. "We are glad to confirm this ability at no additional cost and ask the user base to follow the proper cleaning instructions that we have posted on our website."

Citizen Systems Offers Cleaning Guidelines


Lightspeed Cinches the Supply Chain

Lightspeed, energetic supplier of retail management software, including iOS-based POS, has launched its Lightspeed Supplier Network. A fully integrated stock-ordering solution, in the description by Lightspeed, it has been designed to transform the supply chain for SMBs. As such, it enables inventory functions--access to updated supplier catalogs, easy order management tools, and automated shipment handling and tracking--directly within the cloud-based platform of Lightspeed.

A harmonized marketplace will level the playing field between big box stores and the SMB, suggested Lightspeed. In addition, it allows merchants to import product details, including photos, into their POS. Also, it provides the suppliers with aggregated, yet anonymized (i.e., without customer personal details), sell-through data in real-time. Initially, the Lightspeed Supplier Network will address merchants in the bicycle, outdoor sports, jewelry, and pet owner vertical markets.

"Connecting SMB retailers directly to their suppliers through the Lightspeed Supplier Network is nothing short of revolutionary," proclaimed Dax Dasilva, Founder and CEO of Lightspeed (Montreal, QC, Canada). "This new tool enables independent businesses to discover new products, more easily sell online, and make better use of their capital to strategically increase order frequency. The disruption of 2020 cemented the need for SMBs to use technology to remain agile and the Supplier Network is deeply in line with Lightspeed's mission to strengthen their operational resilience."

A Lightspeed Supplier Network for the SMB

Seeding the Cloud

A trio of partners, two in payments, NMI (Schaumburg, NY) and Global Payments Inc. (Atlanta, GA), and one in IT, the Computer Engineering Group (Napa, CA), have come together to pilot Mastercard's "Cloud Tap on Phone." In support of smartphones and tablets running Android, delivering contactless POS, Cloud Tap on Phone is hosted on Microsoft Azure. By moving key parts of the software to the cloud, the solution offers greater security, reduces development and maintenance costs, and creates scalable distribution channels, according to Mastercard.

As part of this effort, Mastercard will release its pre-certified Cloud POS SDKs (Software Development Kits), in multiple environments, for the financial community of solution providers, acquirers, and processors. A new channel for its partners to bring added value was cited. As benefits for merchants, there's the opportunity for accelerated curbside pickup, payment on delivery, and faster line-busting at the checkout counter.

"We continue to see an accelerating shift to digital payments, with businesses of all sizes wanting to provide swift, secure, and compelling point-of-sale experiences. Cloud POS enables us to make these experiences available to our partners with greater speed and efficiency," asserted Milan Gauder, Global Head of Mastercard's Acceptance Solutions Group. The pilot, fielded by the Computer Engineering Group, follows product testing at Mastercard's campus in Purchase, NY, with further pilots and deployment planned for 2021.

Mastercard Pilots Cloud Tap on Phone

Channel Factoid

POS Software: The Global Pie

-NCR: 16%
-Toshiba: 12%
-Oracle: 12%
-Diebold Nixdorf: 3%
-Heading (China): 3%
-GK Software: 3%
-Aptos: 2%
-Proprietary: 14%
-Others: 35%

Source: "Global POS Software 2020" by RBR (London, UK). Note: Study covers projects with 1,000 or more POS devices, ending in June 2020.

A Market More Competitive and Diverse

A New Post for Nancy

A familiar face, Nancy Szczudlik, has joined solution provider Acrelec America (Pittsburgh, PA) in the role of Retail Channel Partner Executive. A long resume in the POS Channel for Szczudlik includes roles as Business Development Manager for Partner Tech USA (2018 to 2021), Director of Sales - East for Pioneer POS (2013 to 2018), National OEM Account Executive for Seneca (2011 to 2012), and Distribution Channel Manager, then VP of North American Sales, for Logic Controls (2006 to 2011). Addressing self-service kiosks, digital signage, and drive-thru, for quick-service restaurants in particular, Acrelec received an investment of $223 million from cash automation maker Glory Global Solutions.

Nancy Szczudlik, Retail Channel Partner Executive, Acrelec America



A Star Is Born

Star Micronics America (Somerset, NJ) has engaged Christin Dorner as its new Director of Marketing. She joins the company from technology vendor PayLock IPT, where she served as Director of Account Management (2005 to 2021). A graduate of the Savannah College of Design, where she majored in Interactive Design, she has extensive experience in advertising, branding, social media, and trade shows.

"The market has changed exponentially over the last year," observed Dorner. "To increase visibility for Star Micronics, we will focus on plans to increase brand awareness through different and creative campaigns." With the addition of Dorner, Brianna Moriarty will focus highly on her role as Partner Development Manager for VARs and ISVs.

Christin Dorner, Marketing Director, Star Micronics America

Paya: Our Man for M&A

Paya (Atlanta, GA), an integrated payments and commerce solution provider, has enlisted Dustin Renn as its Head of Corporate Development/M&A. He most recently served as SVP and Head of Corporate Development with Cardlytics (2019 to 2020). Previous roles include VP of Corporate Development/M&A at both Equifax (2016 to 2018) and Global Payments (2012 to 2016). He also brings investment banking experience from Goldman Sachs & Co. (2006 to 2012), Booz Allen Hamilton (2004 to 2005), and Capital One (2001 to 2004).

"Dustin has a wealth of experience establishing and leading accretive M&A strategies and execution, in addition to deep knowledge of integrated payments and software," commented Jeff Hack, CEO at Paya. "Dustin's ability to target additive technologies--as well as businesses where Paya's differentiated capabilities can accelerate the growth of acquired companies--will serve as a tremendous asset to us. With his leadership, we will continue to execute on our acquisition strategy and demonstrate the benefits and long-term value of integrated payments to our partners and customers."

"I am delighted to join Paya as we continue to enhance our platform and expand into new markets through disciplined M&A execution and integration," contributed Renn. "Paya's unique market position and modern technology platform, Paya Connect, create an incredible opportunity to enhance our scale, add product capabilities, and expand into new verticals through inorganic growth." A buying surge at Paya has included processors such as The Payment Group (for government, in Dallas, TX), Stewardship Technology (for non-profits, in Mount Vernon, OH), and First Billing Services (for utilities, in Miamisburg, OH).

Dustin Renn, Head of Corporate Development/M&A, Paya

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