Week of March 2, 2020
Michael Kachmar, Editor

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Our Product Pick

Primera Technology (Plymouth, MN) has unwrapped its new color label printer with built-in die cutting, the LX610. Employing inkjet technology, the LX610 features print speed as high as 4.5 in./114 mm per second and resolution as high as 4800 dpi. A die-cut print width measures 0.5 to 4.1 in./13 to 104 mm. After each image is printed, it is cut to desired shape and weight with high precision carbide steel knife blade. In dimensions of 13.6 in. (W) x 9.5 in. (H) x 17 in. (D), and 12.5 lbs./5.7 kg, the LX610 supports Windows 7/8/10. It ships with PTCreate Standard Version Software from Primera Technology. As MSRP: $2,495.

Primera's LX610 Color Label Printer


Oracle Conjures Foodservice

A new suite of point-of-sale has been served up by Oracle Food and Beverage (Columbia, MD): the Oracle-Micros Workstation 6 Series. Aimed at fast-casual, fine-dining, or stadium settings, Workstation 6 features large, non-glare screen for error-free order entry; simplified employee sign-in; tamper detection for greater physical security; reduced power requirements; and enhanced speaker design for self-service environments. "The systems are stylish, yet rugged enough to exceed the typical performance of consumer-grade devices--at the price point small businesses can afford," announced Oracle.

As technical specs, Workstation 625E has Intel Celeron Dual-Core CPU at 1.8-GHz, 4-GB RAM, and 64-GB SSD. A second model, Workstation 625X, has Intel Celeron Dual-Core 4305UE CPU at 2-GHz, 8-GB RAM, and 128-GB SSD, while the third model, Workstation 655X, has Intel Core i5-8365UE CPU at 4-GHz, 8-GB RAM, and 256-GB SSD. A 15.6" widescreen, high-definition display has 300-nit projected-capacitive touchscreen (500-nit in the case of the 625X and 655X).

As further enhancements, the Workstation 6 Series has additional Video and Powered I/O Ports and additional 10/100/1000 Ethernet Port. A power supply is embedded in the Workstation 6 Adjustable Stand. Also, Oracle has updated its Oracle-Micros Simphony POS Software, in order to support the Oracle Linux for Micros O/S (as well as Windows 10 IoT Enterprise). "Our technology is purpose-built for the unpredictable restaurant environment, not just day-to-day complexities--but the challenges associated with growing successful businesses," remarked Simon de Montford Walker, SVP and General Manager of Oracle Food and Beverage.

New Oracle-Micros Workstation 6 Series

Honeywell's Hire: AI

Tact.ai, supplier of the "human friendly customer relationship management" (CRM), has garnered interest from Honeywell (Charlotte, NC). In addition to its financial investment, Honeywell is deploying the technology, in the form of digital assistant, to its thousands of global sellers. A platform of Artificial Intelligence (AI), it collects customer-related data trapped in e-mails, calendars, service tickets, contracts, and CRM. It outlines next steps in the sales pipeline and prompts the seller to act on priority items through their mobile devices.

"We're honored to be joined by Honeywell, who shares our vision of partnering with the customer to help build the future of work in half the time," relayed Chuck Ganapathi, CEO of Tact.ai (Sunnyvale, CA). "Each day we're thankful to have some of the largest organizations in the world as supporters and investors. Tact.ai couldn't be prouder to help our customers' employees plan better, move better, and better connect with their customers."

"We believe that in order for sales teams to better prepare and serve customers for the future, they need to become more productive, data-driven, and connected with their customers," related Kamal Vasagiri, Director of Honeywell Ventures. "Tact.ai shares our view that AI should help employees become a better version of themselves, optimizing how they can help their customers." As investor, Honeywell joins Amazon Alexa Fund, Comcast Ventures, M12 Ventures, and Salesforce Ventures.

An Investment in CRM by Tact.ai at Honeywell

Worth Your While

Material Handling Industry (MHI)
March 9-12
Atlanta, GA

Shoptalk Commerce, LLC
March 22-25
Las Vegas, NV

[Editor's Note: Shoptalk has been rescheduled for September 14-17 in Las Vegas, NV]

Electronic Transactions Association (ETA)
April 28-30
Las Vegas, NV

NRA Show
National Restaurant Association
May 16-19
Chicago, IL

Retail Solutions Providers
Association (RSPA)
August 2-5
Las Vegas, NV

Impact 2020 Conference
Electronic Payments
September 22-25
Fort Lauderdale, FL

National Association
of Convenience Stores
October 11-14
Las Vegas, NV

Pack Expo
Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (PMMI)
November 8-11
Chicago, IL


Star Tills Its Field

Star Micronics America (Somerset, NJ) has enhanced its hybrid cash drawer/printer solution for mobile POS, called mPOP, with so-called flat-bill cash drawer. A top till slides back to expose the bottom till section. A total of four slots for bills, and four or six adjustable spaces for coins, are provided. It allows retailers to store and manage their cash more naturally and effectively compared to the previous vertical-slot cash drawer in the mPOP, according to Star Micronics America.

Available in black or white, Star's mPOP (for "Mobile Point-of-Purchase") measures approximately 12 in. (W) x 12 in. (D) x 4 in. (H)--without tablet--and weighs 7.8 lbs./3.5 kg. Star has included its thermal receipt printer with "drop in and print" paper loading, 2-in./50-mm print width, and 4-in./100-mm per second speed at 203 dpi. As options, there's barcode scanner at 1D, imager at 2D, digital customer-facing display, and mUnite Stand. As connectivity, there's USB, Bluetooth, and compatibility with iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS.

"Star Micronics is proud to have answered the request of many of our partners to introduce a flat-bill solution for the mPOP," indicated Michael Hanson, EVP of Star Micronics. "The new and improved flat-bill solution keeps the small footprint of the mPOP that SMB retailers enjoyed, while integrating a more simple and familiar way to manage cash payments." As part of the mCollection, the mPOP supports Star Micronics Cloud Services, including PromoPRNT and All Receipts.

A Flat-Till Cash Drawer for Star's mPOP

Citizen's Sticky Business

Citizen Systems America (Torrance, CA) has unboxed its new re-stick liner-free thermal receipt/label printer, designated CT-S601IIR. In dimensions of 5.7 in. (W) x 7.6 in. (D) x 4.7 in. (H), weighing 3.5 lbs./1.6 kg, without DC, the CT-S601IIR has 3 in./80-mm print width and maximum speed of 7 in./175 mm per second at 203 dpi. A control panel has feed button and three LEDs. As emulation, ECS/POS.

As features of the CT-S601IIR, the company cites long-life thermal printhead, specialty platen roller, paper-end media sensor, guillotine-style cutter, and paper-saving functionality. A "continuous" roll media volume has 3-in./80-mm in diameter. As connectivity, it has built-in USB, along with Serial, Parallel, Ethernet, Bluetooth, and Wireless LAN.

"Re-stick, liner-free printing has shown immense value in foodservice and specialty retail," observed Glenn Williams, VP of Sales and Marketing for Citizen Systems America. "Demand for this technology has been specifically increasing in custom to-go orders, coffee counter order labeling, and cafeteria delivery slips." The CT-S601IIR has been certified with media by MAXStick and Nakagawa MFG Company.

Citizen Debuts Its CT-S601IIR Re-Stick Liner-Free Receipt/Label Printer


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Focus Calls Up MPOS

One of the longstanding channel players for restaurant POS, Focus POS (San Antonio, TX), has rolled out its new mobile order and payment app, entitled FocusON. If need be, it allows business owners to access the functionalities of POS via use of cellular data--with no need for an established Wi-Fi LAN. With it, servers may pick up or split checks, process the range of payment types, electronically capture signatures, and ensure security with EMV and P2PE (Point-to-Point Encryption).

"Mobile POS is crucial, but only if you have a secure and reliable connection," noted Mike Hamm, COO at Focus POS. "That's why FocusON is so useful. It allows operations like event catering, food trucks, and festival concession booths to operate anywhere they need." As added benefits of FocusON, customers may enter feedback for use by the restaurant and receive their receipts electronically.

Established in 1990, Focus POS has approximately 15,000 installations worldwide, including brands such as DQ, Denny's, Bojanges, Cold Stone Creamery, El Pollo Loco, Carrabba's, and Great Steak. In keeping with industry trends, it has offered its cloud-based Focus-as-a-Subscription (FaaS). On April 25 to 29, it will hold its Focus Tech Conference in Chicago, IL.

A New Mobile Order and Payment App: FocusON

Sowing Security at RSPA

A new Security Training Program has been launched by the Retail Solutions Providers Association (Charlotte, NC). A benefit offered to members of the organization, which consists of VARs, ISVs, Distributors, and OEMs in retail IT, it will replace an existing "PCI Wise." It was previewed at the recent Inspire 2020 Conference in the Bahamas.

"Employees play a critical role in protecting companies from cyber-attacks," counseled Nathan Sweaney, Security Advisor at the Retail Solutions Providers Association. "Every team member needs to understand their role and responsibility in identifying suspicious activity to prevent the next breach." Also currently serving as Senior Security Consultant at Secure Ideas, Sweaney previously worked as Chief Security and Technology Officer for Tulsa Cash Register (2005 to 2013).

Also customizable, each course is made up of five to ten minute training videos, followed by short quiz. Course topics include: Everyone is At Risk, Social Engineering, Passwords and Browsing, You've Been Hacked, Physical Security and Insider Threats, and Data Protection, Destruction, and Handling. After successful completion of each course, employees will receive certificates. A report on training status is available, too.

Nathan Sweaney, Security Advisor, Retail Solutions Providers Association

Code Corner

An integration of Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) for WIC (eWIC) for Auto-Star Compusystems (Medicine Hat, AB, Canada), before the looming deadline of October 1, 2020. It ties the Star-Plus POS to eWIC (the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children). Replacing checks, eWIC allows benefits to be processed similar to debt card. As advantages, it offers: faster throughput at the checkout, fewer errors, increased privacy and security, an ability to purchase items over multiple visits, minimal cashier training, and seamless inventory management. Addressing pharmacy, grocery, and health retailers, Auto-Star Compusystems has Star-Light, Star-Plus, and Star-Link. "We are excited to offer the eWIC integration to supermarkets across the country as part of our commitment to helping independent grocers better manage and grow their business," declared Josh Wintoniak, Sales Manager of Auto-Star Compusystems.

Auto-Star Adds eWIC to Its POS




A Keg Party at Omni-ID

An ISV in the beverage industry, Keg Hounds (Nashville, TN), has called upon manufacturer Omni-ID (East Rochester, NY) for RFID-based RTI (Returnable Transit Items). A specially tuned Flex 1200 tag from Omni-ID, copyrighted by Keg Hounds, now helps track metal beer kegs. An EPC Class 1 Gen 2 tag at 902-928 MHz in the U.S., Flex 1200 measures approximately 3 in. (L) x 1 in. (W). It features an IP-68 rating for water and dust, with estimated lifetime exceeding 10 years. It has range of 20 ft./6 m for handheld readers and 40 ft./12 m for fixed readers of RFID.

"Omni-ID's ability to scale production, combined with their cutting-edge technology, has greatly improved the performance of our tag," reported Earl Hewlette, CEO of Keg Hounds. "On top of that, they also have the production capabilities to allow us to keep up with demand. We recently passed 100,000 tags on kegs, and at the rate our sales are increasing, one of our biggest concerns has been having enough tags to meet demand--an issue that, thanks to Omni-ID, we no longer face."

"A customer challenge like this really gets our adrenaline flowing," contributed Tony Kington, CEO of Omni-ID. "We needed to create a carrier for the tag that snaps onto the edge of the keg securely and easily without welding, as well as making the whole unit waterproof, robust, and long lasting. A simple yet high performing solution, this tag will go a long way to help the team at Keg Hounds eradicate waste and loss in the beer keg industry."

Omni-ID Supplies Custom RFID Tags for Keg Hounds

Socket Drops the Puck

Socket Mobile (Newark, CA) has presented its new contactless card reader/writer, the SocketScan S550. Intended for non-payment use in loyalty, gift card, event ticketing, and membership efforts, with "tap-and-go," the SocketScan S550 combines the latest 13.56-MHz NFC with Bluetooth 5. It has two integration modes: HID Keyboard Emulation (for Native App) and App Mode (via Capture Software Development Kit).

In dimensions of approximately 3 in. (D) x 2 in. (H), weighing 2.6 oz./74 g, the SocketScan S550 has power button, trigger button, and USB 2.0. It supports iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS, with read range for RFID at 0.4 to 2 in./10 to 50 mm. A 1,000-mAh Lithium-Ion battery has standby time of 15 hours and active operation of 2,400 reads. A light ring and sound board, under app control, further enhance operation.

"If your application requires security, the key can be imported into the integrated Secure Element and/or mounted in the SAM Slot to provide safe standalone operation without relying on any network connected web service," elaborated Vincent Coli, Product Manager at Socket Mobile. "And keeping the S550 current with new technology is automated, using the S550 Maintenance App. Additionally, there is no transaction fee [charged by third-parties such as payment processors]: you own the business model and your data."

SocketScan S55 Contactless Card Reader/Writer

Key Advertiser Links

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

POS & Peripherals
CRS, Inc.
Electronic Payments
Pioneer Solution

Barcode & Transaction Printers
Bixolon America
Brother Mobile
Godex Americas

Cash Drawers
APG Cash Drawer

Data Collection
Code Corporation
Janam Technologies

Integrated Payment Solutions
Datacap Systems
Electronic Payments
International Bancard
North American Bancard
Sound Payments

Receipt Printers
Bixolon America
Epson America
Star Micronics

Stands, Mounts, Cradles


Lightspeed's Social Club

A new selling channel for brick-and-mortar boutique retailers has been fashioned by CommentSold (Hunstville, AL) and Lightspeed (Montreal, Canada). It brings "comment selling" on social media such as Facebook and Instagram, via CommentSold, to Lightspeed's POS. In "comment selling," as many readers will recognize, retailers post on Facebook and Instagram and shoppers simply comment "sold" to purchase items.

"This integration is in response to the need we've heard from our retail users," shared Peter Dougherty, Senior Director of Partnerships with Lightspeed. "We are excited to offer our customers easy access to sell on social because it makes something that might have felt intimidating suddenly become attainable." A complete back-end for product sourcing, inventory management, and shipping/fulfillment is provided by CommentSold. (It currently supports approximately 11,000 retailers, primarily in women's fashion.)

Also, this winter, Lightspeed released its Lightspeed Payments. It adds elements of payment processing, in their entirety, into Lightspeed POS. "On top of saving you time, both at customer checkout and with technical support, it also means you only have one account to open and manage," suggests Lightspeed. It bills 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction (2.6% + $0.30 card not present). Always news from Lightspeed.

An Integration for POS by Lightspeed and Social Commerce Platform by CommentSold

Grocer Practices Magic

Superior Grocers will seek to optimize its inventory with help from ISV Itasca Retail (West Des Moines, IA). As such, it will implement Itasca's software, dubbed "Magic," for computer-generated ordering, receiving, and stock management. With 46 stores in the Los Angeles Area, Superior Grocers will also license Itasca's DSD (Direct Store Delivery).

Itasca's Retail Magic uses historical sales data and current shelf and selling conditions to calculate the exact order amounts for tens of thousands of items at any time of the day. It combines sophisticated algorithms, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Machine Learning (ML). With "impressive gains in sales and productivity," it simultaneously reduces inventory, shrink, product handling, and vendor credits, states Itasca.

"Grocers today can't compete by trying to complete manual tasks accurately, much less on time," maintained Richard Wardwell, President of Superior Grocers. "My experience has taught me that leveraging this type of technology will allow Superior to be more strategic as pressures on our operating costs continue to rise. We want to have tools that ensure we are 'in business' on the products our customers want, and Itasca does just that."

Superior Grocers Deploys Itasca Retail Magic Software for Inventory Optimization


Channel Factoid

Race to the Last Mile

Fulfillment Deployment Plans by Retailers:

-Ship to Store for Pick-Up: 30% Today; 18% Within 12 Months; 8% Within 24 Months

-Buy Online/Return in Store: 30% Today; 12% Within 12 Months; 9% Within 24 Months

-Buy in Store/Ship from Warehouse: 29% Today; 15% Within 12 Months; 7% Within 24 Months

-Ship from Store: 28% Today; 17% Within 12 Months; 12% Within 24 Months

-Local Delivery from Store: 25% Today; 21% Within 12 Months; 12% Within 24 Months

-Click and Collect: 24% Today; 19% Within 12 Months; 14% Within 24 Months

-Curbside Pick-Up: 22% Today; 21% Within 12 Months; 11% Within 24 Months

Source: "Rise of the Digital Store - How Digital Orders Are Transforming Store Operations," by the IHL Group (Franklin, TN).

A Major Area of Transformation for Retailers



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




CardFree Says "Wen"

CardFree (San Francisco, CA), which supplies its mobile commerce platform for quick-service and fast-casual restaurants, has welcomed Sen Wen back as its Chief Technology Officer. As part of the firm's founding team, Wen helped launch CardFree in 2012 as Head of Technology. Significantly, before joining CardFree, Wen was Principal Software Architect of Starbucks Coffee Company (2008 to 2012).

"Sen was an amazing technology leader at Starbucks when we were vendors to him on the original Starbucks mobile solution," commented Jon Squire, CEO and Founder of CardFree. "When we founded CardFree, we sought out the best team in the industry, with the highest pedigree, and we were lucky to have brought on board technology, product, and business analytics leads from Starbucks. Our team set out to raise the bar in mobile commerce deployments. Sen is part of that history and now key in continuing that mission in our future."

"I'm thrilled to be back at CardFree at such an exciting time for the company and in the industry," exclaimed Wen. "There are so many changes happening in the restaurant space as well as in retail that our platform can help drive. Our mission from day one has been to deliver the best consumer experiences in the industry." Among its credentials, CardFree has been recognized in the "Fierce 15" by Fierce Wireless, as having the Best Mobile Merchant Platform by Frost & Sullivan, and as the Best Mobile Start-Up of the Special Meritorious Awards for Engineering Innovation (MEA).

Sen Wen, Chief Technology Officer, CardFree

A Rose Is a Rose at Beyond

Beyond (Princeton, NJ) has promoted Brent Rose to the role of Chief Sales Officer. He came to the payment processor as one of its initial Division Directors when it was started in 2017. In his earlier resume, he served as President of Retail Technology Advisors (2009 to 2017), Director of B2B/eCommerce at EPSG (2014 to 2017), and President of Merchant Services (1992 to 2014).

"I've known Brent a long time," reflected Robert Carr, CEO and Founder of Beyond. "There are very few people in the payments industry who are more credible than him." A pre-eminent figure in his own right, Carr founded Heartland Payment Systems, one of the pre-consolidation leaders in payments for hospitality, now part of Global Payments/TSYS.

"Over the past six to eight weeks I have been working closely with our development team--we are just around the corner from truly having our own technology stack," enthused Rose. "This stack enables our teams to position one touchpoint for all of our varied products and services for our clients." At Beyond, he will oversee 300 sales representatives and four Divisions: Payments, Point-of-Sale, Employee Management, and Business Tools.

Brent Rose, Chief Sales Officer, Beyond

Earning Their Stripes

An elevation to Premier ISV for Portable Technology Solutions (PTS) in the PartnerConnect Program at Zebra Technologies Corporation (Lincolnshire, IL). A reseller of Zebra since 2000, PTS now has 8,000 customers. In addition to its new status in the PartnerConnect Program, it has had its mobile barcode and RFID solution, TracerPlus, and its fixed RFID solution, ClearStream, validated on all hardware by Zebra.

"A Premier ISV Partner designation is a reflection of our dedication to the automatic identification and data collection market, our dedication to working with best-in-class devices, and our wide array of customers and applications," proclaimed Brad Horn, CEO and Co-Founder of PTS (Calverton, NY). "We understand that our success is greatly influenced by the success of our partners at Zebra and are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with them." (FYI: Scott Reyes serves as ISV Manager for Manufacturing, Transportation, and Logistics at Zebra.)

Brad Horn, CEO, Portable Technology Solutions


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