Week of May 11, 2020
Michael Kachmar, Editor

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Our Product Pick

Infinite Peripherals (Elk Grove Village, IL) has unboxed its new barcode scanning sled for iPhone 6s/7/8/SE, called Imperea. Weighing 5.5 oz./155 g, Imperea furnishes one- and two-dimensional camera-based scanning, with left- and right-hand hardware buttons. A hot-swappable 2100-mAh "smart battery" has wireless Qi charging technology. A disinfectant-ready thermoplastic casing meets IP-67 ratings for water and dust. "You can use our codeREADr app with these iOS devices without the Imperea," related Infinite Peripherals. "However, Imperea adds substantial value for those who need 24/7 battery power and rugged protection in any indoor/outdoor environment."

Infinite's Imperea Barcode Sled


Datacap "NETs" Orders

A path for integrated online ordering via the POS has been fashioned by Datacap Systems (Chalfont, PA) and ISV Real Time Ordering (Corona, CA). It employs Datacap's Pay API (Application Programming Interface), along with its processor-agnostic NETePay Hosted Gateway. A subscription-based service, Real Time Ordering addresses hospitality, and this solution will be offered to Datacap's base of POS VARs/ISVs.

Under this system, merchants may accept online orders through Real Time Ordering utilizing the same payment processing platform they use in their store. It means one payment processing relationship, statement, batching procedure, and card token group--greatly simplifying the process of reconciliation for merchants. As another benefit, having that same token used on the POS allows the restaurant to modify an order and add tips to the transaction seamlessly.

"More so than ever, merchants are grasping the importance of engaging with their customers via on-demand online channels," relayed Justin Zeigler, Director of Product at Datacap Systems. "Now that online ordering adoption is skyrocketing, merchants require integrated payment solutions that provide a consistent customer experience across all channels without sacrificing efficiency or processor flexibility." Of note: all its company fees for e-commerce "adders" are waived by Datacap Systems until October 2020 due to COVID-19, RRN was told.

A Path to Integrated Online Ordering

Look Who's Talking - Kiosks

A roll-out of talking kiosks has been started by major supplier Kiosk Information Systems (Louisville, KY). It will employ so-called "conversational" Artificial Intelligence (AI)--which simulates human speech to communicate with customers--by Valyant AI (Denver, CO). A leader in this field, Valyant AI supplies, among other voice-driven applications, drive-thru technology for quick-service restaurants (QSR).

With the kiosk, the customer simply says what they would like to order, or find, and instead of pressing any buttons, the application confirms via conversational voice the customer's request and presents the order or relevant information on the kiosk screen. "By combining conversational AI with digital kiosk technology, users no longer need to touch the screen to trigger actions--the platform takes orders, answers questions, and completes transactions for customers using only voice commands," emphasized Rob Carpenter, CEO and Founder of Valyant AI. Also, the kiosks reduce wait times, augment staff, and increase average upsell.

"We're amid intense change in our economic and social environments, where different ways of doing business are rapidly evolving," expressed Kim Kenney, President of Kiosk Information Systems. "As part of this transformation, we're participating in the development of new applied technology for people to connect with their surrounding environment for everyday services." An early participant in self-service, founded way back in 1993, Kiosk Information Systems has shipped over 200,000 units, with customers in both Top 100 Retailers and the Fortune 500.

Kiosk Information Systems Deploys Conversational Artificial Intelligence by Valyant AI

Worth Your While

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

[Editor's Note: The NRA Show has been cancelled for 2020.]

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

[Editor's Note: RSPA's RetailNOW Show has been cancelled for 2020.]

Shoptalk Commerce, LLC
September 14-17
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

Foodservice Technology/Winsight
October 25-27
Dallas, TX

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


A Cubist Show at Bixolon

Bixolon America (Gardena, CA) has shipped its new cube-shaped direct-thermal receipt printer, designated the SRP-Q200. In approximate dimensions of 4 in. x 4 in. x 4 in., and weight of 1.3 lbs./0.6 kg, the SRP-Q200 offers the choice of top or front paper exit, accommodating paper width of 2 in./58 mm and maximum print speed of 9.8 in./250 mm per second at 203 dpi. As design features, the SRP-Q200 has auto-cutter, drop-in-and-print paper loading, paper-end and cover-open sensor, specialized anti-jam technology, and "seesaw" power switch.

As connectivity, the SRP-Q200 furnishes standard USB 2.0+Serial or USB 2.0+Ethernet, with optional USB 2.0+Ethernet+WLAN or USB 2.0+Ethernet+Bluetooth 4/BLE. It's compatible with market-leading programming languages, including BXL/POS, and supports all major O/S, including Android, iOS, and Windows. A full suite of firmware and software includes the Simple Network Management Protocol (MIB File), SoftAP & Smart Connection (for Wi-Fi), and Bixolon's mPrint App.

"Upon the success of our SRP-Q300 3-inch/80-millimeter, Bixolon is securing its dominance within the POS receipting arena with the launch of the 2-inch/58-millimeter SRP-Q200," declared John Kim, Marketing Director at Bixolon, Ltd. (Seoul, South Korea). "The SRP-Q200 delivers a compact printing solution to the market loaded with value-added features for space dependent applications positioned at a competitive price point." In addition to retail and hospitality, as markets for the SRP-Q200, Bixolon cites unified commerce, pop-up stores, and kiosks.

Bixolon's Model SRP-Q200 Cube Receipt Printer

Custom on the Widescreen

Custom America (Boothwyn, PA) has stocked its new widescreen terminal for POS, the 18.5 in./47 cm Model TP6. In splash-resistant, fanless, true-flat design, the TP6 features multi-point projected-capacitive touchscreen with 1920 x 1080 resolution and 350 nit brightness. A base configuration starts with an Intel Core i3 Series CPU, 8 GB RAM, and 500 GB HDD or 60-to-120 GB SSD Storage.

A dual-hinge base allows for efficient shipping and adjustable tilt angles. As ports, the TP6 Widescreen furnishes USB x 6, COM x 3, VGA x 1, and LAN x 1. In weight of 11.6 lb./5.2 kg, the TPG measures 18.1 in. (W) x 11.6 in. (H) x 8 in. (D). It carries three-year warranty. A power adapter, power cord, and serial cable are included "in the box."

"We see a growing demand in the versatility of larger widescreen formats," noted Nicola Ciarlante, CEO of Custom America. "The TP6 Widescreen can be used as a countertop terminal, wall-mounted, or even portrait-mounted to a kiosk stand." As readers will recall, Custom America purchased vendor of hardware POS-X (Bellingham, WA) in October 2018. Karl Schoessler, former CEO of POS-X, serves as Director of Marketing and Channel Management of Custom America.

Custom America's TP6 Widescreen Display


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Star Grows Delivery

Star Micronics America (Somerset, NJ) will provide its direct-thermal portable receipt printers for delivery of cannabis in combination with software from ISV IndicaOnline (Los Angeles, CA). A pair of printers have been supported: the 2 in./58 mm SM-S230i and 3 in./80 mm SM-T300i by Star Micronics America. Both employ Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.

During the crises of COVID-19, both medical and recreational cannabis dispensaries have been deemed essential businesses by many states in the U.S., with printed receipts required. A delivery software suite by IndicaOnline includes end-to-end route mapping, dispatcher mode, and real-time tracking via GPS. In addition to e-mail or printing of receipts, delivery drivers can upload documents, verify age, and accept payment.

"IndicaOnline is pleased to partner with Star to offer cannabis delivery drivers a Bluetooth receipt printer that is portable, reliable, and durable," enthused Steven Lynn, Director of Marketing for IndicaOnline. "We understand how important it is for delivery services to stay compliant while serving customers during this pandemic, and know this solution will be instrumental." Established in 2011, IndicaOnline offers both Dispensary POS and Delivery POS as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Star Micronics Supports Cannabis ISV IndicaOnline

Of IoT, TSC, and SOTI

A significant push into remote device management for its printers by TSC Printronix Auto ID (Brea, CA), which has partnered with SOTI (Mississauga, ON, Canada). As part of this new relationship, which follows months of testing in the field, TSC Printronix Auto ID has become an authorized distributor of SOTI Connect for its VARs/ISVs. Although Printronix has long offered its own Print Net Enterprise (PNE), the move to SOTI represents the first such third-party solution for TSC.

All of the company's printers with the Printronix System Architecture (PSA) work with SOTI Connect. It includes the Printronix T800, T4000, T6000e, and T8000. Models of TSC work with SOTI Connect via Ethernet, including the TX200 Desktop Series and MH240 and MX240P 4 in./102 mm Industrial Printers. In addition, TSC Printronix Auto ID has plans to add Wi-Fi SOTI Connect compatibility for its Mobile Series.

"We are really excited about this announcement and what it offers to our resellers," shared David Lundeen, VP of Sales and Marketing for TSC Printronix Auto ID. "We have listened closely to our end-users' needs and have worked diligently to deliver these much-needed remote printer management capabilities to them." A free 30-day trial is offered to customers who would like to evaluate the solution before purchasing the full license, according to TSC and SOTI.

TSC Printronix Auto ID Embraces Remote Device Management by SOTI

Code Corner

Payroc (Tinley Park, IL) has released its new SDK (Software Development Kit) for integrated payments in mobile apps. It supports all payment types, including EMV, with Android O/S. (An iOS SDK is expected in June 2020.) Allowing merchants to see their entire transaction history, both online and mobile, it also has surcharging capabilities, and will soon be integrating "Reward Pay," Payroc's exclusive discount pricing option that accepts Apple Pay and Android Pay. Already implemented in Payroc's mobile application, this new SDK is available for use on GitHub. "Software companies were increasingly needing and wanting to use their own app for mobile payments rather than simply white-labeling someone else's app," indicated Jared Poulson, Chief Integration Officer at Payroc. "Our mobile SDK allows those software companies to monetize payments directly within their own app allowing for total control of the merchant experience."

Payroc's New Payment SDK


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




More Industry Response to COVID-19 - Part 1

-Sound Payments (Jacksonville, FL) has started its nine-month end-user recovery program, waiving fees for three months for new merchants added in May, June, or July as well as an additional six months of fees reduced by 50% for its Sound POS. An all-in-one solution, Sound POS runs on multiple devices, including mobile, for curbside checkout and home delivery. "This has been a challenging time for so many, and it makes sense to do everything we can to help make businesses successful," stated Walter Allen, National Sales Manager, Sound POS.

-Qu (Bethesda, MD) has launched its quick-start online ordering service for restaurants, dubbed OrderUp. It features the following benefits: deployment in three days, optimized menu building and marketing services, contactless orders and payments, integration with third-party delivery such as Uber Eats and DoorDash, and no fees for three months, through July 31. "No hardware is required, nor any changes to the restaurants' technology stack and POS," stated Amir Hudda, CEO of Qu.

-Celerant Technology (Staten Island, NY) has offered its new Curbside Pick-Up Application to retailers at no cost for three months. It integrates with the company's Cumulus eCommerce for small business and Stratus eCommerce for larger businesses. Accessible for any mobile device, it allows retailers to view their orders and communicate the status of each order to their customers via mobile text messaging. "At Celerant, our goal has always been to help our clients be more competitive through technology, and right now we need to help them easily alter their delivery model and increase their revenues," stated Ian Goldman, President and CEO of Celerant Technology.

Curbside Pick-Up App by Celerant Technology

More Industry Response to COVID-19 - Part 2

-Fiserv (Brookfield, WI) has increased its approval limits from $50 to $100 for eligible transactions via PIN-less on its debit payments network, Accel. "In the current environment, consumers and merchants are looking for ways they can complete transactions safely and quickly," stated Daneen Cady, VP of Accel for Card Services at Fiserv. "Raising approval limits for PIN-less transactions allows people to avoid contact with the PIN device and check out more safely and quickly." (Some categories of merchants with Accel are excluded from the new limits.)

-Park City Group (Salt Lake City, UT) has activated its sourcing platform for addressing food supply imbalances caused by COVID-19, entitled FoodSourceUSA. It facilitates the identification and redistribution of at-risk excess perishable food products. "Existing food donation networks and supply systems that normally serve food banks and pantries are primarily set up for donations of excess shelf-stable products," stated Randy Fields, Chairman and CEO of Park City Group. "In addition to that great work, we urgently need this system to address perishables."

-Net Element (Miami, FL), through its subsidiary for POS, Aptito, has introduced online and mobile ordering and delivery for restaurants. It's offered at no cost, including website design and hosting, until September 2020. Also, the company will help merchants with their loan applications with the U.S. Small Business Administration through its partnership with Power Capital Direct (Coral Gables, FL). "We are committed to supporting restaurant merchants during this pandemic," stated Andrey Krotov, CTO for Net Element.

Online and Mobile Ordering and Delivery by Net Element's Aptito

[And more: be sure to contact your supplier - Editor's Note]

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



A Self-Scan in the Supermarket

A self-scanning solution by Future Proof Retail (New York, NY) has been endorsed by Associated Wholesale Grocers (Kansas City, KS). A cooperative food buyer serving independent supermarkets, Associated Wholesale Grocers reaches 3,000 locations in 28 states, with consolidated sales of $9.7 billion. It will recommend the mobile self-scanning checkout and counter-service product by Future Proof Retail as the "no-touch" technology to its member retailers.

It allows shoppers to use their smartphones to scan and bag items, pay the bill, and skip the lines at checkout. Also, they may pre-order prepared food or deli items at in-store service counters and receive notification when they are ready for pick-up. It offers opportunities for branding, control systems for store staff and headquarters management, integration of CSV for importing products and prices and exporting transaction logs, and customizable communication templates, including e-mail, social media, and in-store signage. As required deployment time, Future Proof Retail cites three working days.

"Future Proof Retail's self-scanning solution helps our members compete favorably in all markets served because it allows independent supermarkets to eliminate wait times at checkout and service counters, and it also enables social distancing in stores," elaborated Stacy Bowen, VP of Sales and Solutions at Associated Wholesale Grocers. "It provides all required features out of the box and is easy to adapt and integrate into the existing store systems and processes." During the crises of COVID-19, Future Proof Retail will donate its solution free of charge.

Associated Wholesale Grocers Endorses Self-Scanning Solution for Shoppers by Future Proof Retail

Ascendancy of DaaS

A new acronym, DaaS, for Delivery-as-a-Service, has moved front and center during the time of COVID-19. Among its many manifestations, restaurants are expanding their services, with some moving beyond providing take-out meals even further to the selling of groceries. As an early proponent, purportedly the first: Frisch's Big Boy, with 118 stores in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. As its supporting technology, Frisch's Big Boy runs mobile commerce software from NovaDine (Raleigh, NC).

With its dining rooms closed, Frisch's Big Boy has established the Big Boy's Market to sell milk, produce, and other essentials. All may be ordered, along with its popular take-out menu items, from the company's website. In support of "to-go" and delivery operations for restaurants, NovaDine has established no-transaction-fee DaaS integration with delivery services such as Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Postmates.

Integration with NovaDine's marketplace is fully automated and bidirectional, according to the two parties. On all marketplaces, menus are kept up to date in real-time, including discontinued items, and orders flow directly to the POS. As partners, NovaDine has many of the major providers of payment processing, loyalty/promotion, and POS.

An Expansion of Possibilities for Restaurants

Channel Factoid

Here Comes Contactless

-A majority of consumers (79%) now use contactless card payments worldwide, according to payment data collected by Mastercard.

-In Q1 2020, contactless transactions grew by 40%. Also, 80% of contactless transactions are under $25 (an area typically dominated by cash).

-Almost half of consumers (46%) have swapped out their top-of-wallet card for one that offers contactless payment. This proportion climbs to 52% among those consumers under 35 years old.

-A majority of consumers (82%) view contactless as the cleaner and faster way to pay. On average, contactless payments are up to 10 times faster than other in-person payment methods.

-Between February and March 2020, contactless transactions grew twice as fast as non-contactless transactions in the grocery and drug store categories.

-Approximately three-quarters of consumers (74%) state they will continue to use contactless payments post COVID-19.

-"Social distancing does not just concern people's interactions with each other; it includes contact with publicly shared devices like point-of-sale terminals and checkout counters," observed Blake Rosenthal, EVP and Head of Mastercard Acceptance Solutions. "Contactless offers consumers more control over physical proximity at this critical time."

Source: Q1 2020 Payments Study by Mastercard (Purchase, NY)

Acceptance Surges in Q1 2020


A Band of Brothers

Brother Mobile Solutions (Westminster, CO) has named Dan Lydigsen as its Director of Retail and Hospitality Sales, North America. Most recently, he served as National Sales Director for Brother's Gearmotor Division (2018 to 2020). Earlier roles at Brother include Director of Sales for DMR Channel (2013 to 2017), Senior Key Account Manager for CDW and Insight (2011 to 2013), and Key Account Manager for OfficeMax (2005 to 2011). "I love being on the front line," said Lydigsen.

"Dan's history of success in creating new business, strong channel and product development skills, and true custom solutions approach make him a tremendous asset to the team at BMS," commented Greg O'Connell, VP of Sales for Brother Mobile Solutions. "We're also looking forward to his expertise as we roll out our new Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) offering into the hard-hit retail market." In April, Brother debuted its HaaS for its family of mobile and desktop thermal printers, as reported in RRN.

Dan Lydigsen, Director of Retail and Hospitality Sales, North America, Brother Mobile Solutions

After Mimi at MagTek

A change at the top for MagTek (Seal Beach, CA), with Roger Applewhite appointed as President and CEO by the Board of Directors. He succeeds Annmarie "Mimi" Hart, who will continue to serve MagTek as Chairman of the Board. Hart has been President and CEO since 2003. Applewhite previously served as SVP of MagTek (2011 to 2020) and COO of its subsidiary, Magensa LLC (2013 to 2020).

"I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead an organization with MagTek's history and reputation," reflected Applewhite. "I've known MagTek since my early days in the payments industry and have worked hand-in-hand with Mimi and many exceptional people at MagTek. I am excited to build on this team to make MagTek an even stronger and more successful company."

"It brings me great pleasure and confidence knowing that Roger is at the helm. His intelligence, tenacity, vision, and energy will certainly bring MagTek to its next level of success," contributed Mimi Hart. As part of this transition process, MagTek has promoted two additional executives: Steve Harvey to SVP of MagTek and Rod Vesling to SVP of Magensa.

Roger Applewhite, President and CEO, MagTek

[Editor's Note: Also, Rezku (Sacramento, CA), restaurant ISV, has announced support of the Magensa Payment Protection Gateway and MagneSafe Card Readers of MagTek. "With MagTek, we are able to provide the latest mobile EMV to our customers," remarked Paul Katsch, CEO of Rezku. "A most important feature is MagTek's QwickChip."]

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