Our Product Pick
SML RFID (Plano, TX) has offered its new inlay for applications for retail RFID, specified as GB4M700. Intended to increase inventory accuracy and reduce material and shipping costs, while fitting on the majority of tagged products, it measures 42 mm x 16 mm (1.7 in. x 0.6 in.). With sensitivity of -24 dBm, via small antenna, and up to 128 bits of chip memory for use in Electronic Product Code (EPC), it boosts read performance. In addition to supporting clothing tags, this inlay can be used for tagged polybags and boxed items. Also, given the travel limitations caused by COVID-19, SML has rolled out virtual demos of retail RFID. Allowing retailers to have "an immersion in various technologies, directly aiding their digital transformation," in the words of Dean Frew, CTO and SVP of RFID Solutions at SML RFID.
SML RFID Tag for Retail
NAB: An Appetite for Restaurants
An assertive move into hospitality by payment processor North American Bancard (Troy, MI), with its purchase of Salido (New York, NY). NAB will vertically integrate Salido's Restaurant OS on top of its existing payments platform, called EPX. Established in 2012, Salido provides cloud-based point-of-sale; it recently added tableside mobile ordering, contactless payments via NFC, online functionality, and integration with Oracle's Opera Property Management System (PMS).
"We are delighted to announce the addition of the Salido team and their hospitality-focused product to the NAB family," shared Marc Gardner, CEO of North American Bancard. "We will continue investing heavily in expanding Salido's core technology and evolving our Restaurant OS. Our 3,000-plus sales partners are excited to begin Salido distribution on top of NAB's EPX payments platform."
Salido has financial backing from First Data Ventures, 500 Startups, Accelerator Ventures, Third Kind Venture Capital, and Great Oaks Venture Capital. As customers, it lists venues such as Eataly, Restoration Hardware Rooftop, Eleven Madison Park, Laconda Verde, and Jean-George's ABC Kitchen. Its Founder and CEO, Shu Chowdhury, will serve as strategic advisor to North American Bancard. For those keeping score, he will also intensify his efforts on his early-stage investment and incubation firm, the Bowery Engine.
Salido POS Purchased by North American Bancard
BIGPOS in the C-Store
POSBANK USA (Carson, CA and Plainview, NY) has deployed its BIGPOS 2700 kiosks for convenience-store chain, Parker's. With 66 sites in Georgia and South Carolina, Parker's will utilize the kiosks, with 27" projected-capacitive touchscreens, for self-serve customer enrollment, account management, and lost card replacement in support of its loyalty program. As accompanying partner technology, POSBANK USA has drawn upon the Android DevOPs by ISV Esper (Bellevue, WA).
"Customers worldwide now prefer self-service ordering and contactless payment as a result of COVID-19," relayed Shiv Sundar, Co-Founder and COO at Esper. "Retailers like Parker's need to launch self-service kiosks in a matter of weeks, not months or longer. Esper teamed up with POSBANK USA to help retailers and restaurants rapidly transform their self-service customer offerings at an industry-leading price point."
"BIGPOS kiosks are available off-the-shelf with Esper's cloud tools for Android O/S, so retailers like Parker's can remotely manage them," related Elijah Jung, Marketing Team Manager at POSBANK (Seoul, South Korea). "Our mutual customers can ship devices from POSBANK's factory directly to retail stores without any IT support requirements. Retail employees can simply unbox the kiosks on-site and turn them on for secure, zero-touch provisioning."
POSBANK Deploys Its BIGPOS 2700 Kiosks for Southeastern U.S. Convenience-Store Chain, Parker's
Worth Your While
Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Star Shows Good Sensor
Star Micronics America (Somerset, NJ) has introduced its Model TSP654IISK thermal liner-free label printer with taken sensor. In dimensions of 5.6 in. (W) x 8 in. (D) x 5.2 in. (H), the TSP654IISK has print widths of 80 mm/58 mm/40 mm with maximum speed of 7 in./180 mm per second at 203 dpi. Yielding repositionable labels for take-out, delivery, and drive-through services, the TSP654IISK offers anti-jam guillotine cutter, paper end sensor, and splash-proof cover.
A "paper holding" function of the taken sensor delays printing of the next order if the previous ticket has not been removed, helping to facilitate order management during busy times in the kitchen. A "paper ejection" setting enables the next order to print after some user-specified time, in the event the previous ticket has been overlooked. Also, the taken sensor features an option for "hold paper reminder," which activates the printer's integrated buzzer until the ticket is taken.
Accentuating connectivity, the TSP654IISK includes USB, Serial, Parallel, Ethernet, Bluetooth/MFi, and Star's CloudPRNT/WebPRNT. It supports Windows, iOS, and Android O/S with StarPRNT Software Development Kits (SDKs). "The online ordering market is flourishing, and we expect to see that trend continue as the world adapts to the new normal," noted Michael Hanson, EVP at Star Micronics. "The TSP654IISK meets both business' and customers' demands by enabling streamlined restaurant operations as well as greatly improving order accuracy."
Star's TSP654IISK Liner-Free Label Printer Adds Taken Sensor
CipherLab Gets Handy
CipherLab USA (Plano, TX) has unveiled its new rugged mobile computer, designated as the Model RS35. Running Android 10 O/S, RS35 has 1.8-GHz Octa-Core CPU, 3-GB/4-GB RAM, 32-GB/64-GB Flash, Micro-SD, and SIM/SAM. With 5.5" multitouch display, it measures 6.5 in. (L) x 3 in. (W) x 0.7 in. (D), weighs 10.2 oz./288 g, and carries certification for Google Mobile Services (GMS) and Android Enterprise Recommended (AER). As markets for the RS35, CipherLab identifies retail and light transportation and logistics environments.
As data collection, the RS35 furnishes 1D/2D barcode scanning, 5-MP front-facing and 13-MP rear-facing cameras, NFC, and HF RFID. As communications, there's Bluetooth 4.2/2.1+EDR, full fast-roaming 802.11 WLAN, 4G LTE, and GPS/AGPS. A hot-swappable, removable 4000-mAh Li-ion battery provides a minimum of 12 working hours.
In terms of ruggedness, the RS35 has ratings of IP-65/IP-67, and 1.5-m/5-ft. drop resistance (with rubber boot, 6-ft./1.8-m). A Gorilla Glass screen by Corning protects against chips and scratches. "The RS35 series has all of the features to boost efficiency, save precious time, and help provide a more positive experience for our customers and users," emphasized Steven Liau, Chairman of CipherLab (Taipei, Taiwan). [FYI: Also, CipherLab has released its RK95 for cold storage applications.]
CipherLab's New RS35 Mobile Computer
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Agilysys "ChecOut's" Shift4
Agilysys (Alpharetta, GA), solution provider in hospitality, has extended its partnership with payment processor Shift4 Payments (Allentown, PA). With Shift4, customers may leverage fully integrated payments for necessary functions--from online reservations, on-premise dining, spa services, and check-out, according to Agilysys. In addition, integration by Shift4 with "Ready 7" ChecOut M by Innowi (Santa Clara, CA) allows customers to run Agilysys' InfoGenesis POS on their mobile terminals.
"This agreement covers Agilysys Pay, our secure payment processing solution, and allows us to continue enhancing our customers' access to validated point-to-point encryption (P2PE)/EMV," remarked Don DeMarinis, SVP of Sales and Marketing for Agilysys. In addition to POS, it will support the property management systems (PMS) of Agilysys. A suite of PMS includes Agilysys Stay, Agilysys Lodging Management System (LMS), and Agilysys Visual One.
"Agilysys has been a strong partner in the hospitality industry for many years," recounted Michael Russo, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Shift4 Payments. "We are pleased to be extending our relationship as we continue to enhance our joint capabilities and help our customers better serve their guests' payment needs." [FYI: At Shift4 Payments, Nate Hirshberg has been promoted to VP of Marketing, up from Associate VP of Marketing, following the retirement of Brian Jones.]
An Extended Partnership Between Agilysys and Shift4 Payments
BlueStar Packs the Dishwasher
A timely new line for BlueStar (Hebron, KY): disinfectant products by Seal Shield (Orlando, FL). Addressing retail environments, in addition to its core focus on healthcare, Seal Shield develops and markets specialized keyboards and mice, ultraviolet (UV)-resistant touchscreen protectors, and advanced ultraviolet (UV-C) disinfectant systems for mobile devices. It bills its family of products as "uniquely submersible and dishwasher safe."
"We are excited to announce our distribution partnership with Seal Shield," expressed Mike Byington, VP of Business Development with BlueStar. "Their innovation and reputation as pioneers in infection prevention aligns well with not only BlueStar's healthcare vertical market programs and solutions, but also with most of the other markets we serve. The challenge of combating the spread of infection has never been more pertinent, and Seal Shield solutions can help our customers address this issue."
"BlueStar brings extensive distribution capabilities for Seal Shield products and will help our organization serve an even greater base of customer needs, while continuing our tremendous growth," enthused Brad Whitchurch, Founder and CEO of Seal Shield. "We're thrilled with the potential that this new partnership represents." As one of the two leading global distributors of point-of-sale, Auto ID, and networking (along with ScanSource), BlueStar works exclusively with VARs and ISVs.
Seal Shield Safety Products on BlueStar's Line Card
Barcoding, Inc. (Baltimore, MD) has launched its IntelliTrack Patient Belongings Tracking Application for hospitals. While such facilities have existing processes to track patient property, at various levels of computerization, IntelliTrack Patient Belongings Tracking will streamline end-user's work by leveraging the mobile devices already installed, notes the VAR. It manages all components of the tracking process, including date of entry, photos of the items, notes, exceptions, and patient sign-offs. A Platinum Partner with Honeywell, Barcoding, Inc. may provide additional solution components, such as labels or healthcare-ready devices such as Honeywell's CT40 HC Mobile Computer. "Healthcare workers are constantly being asked to do more with less," stated Shane Snyder, President of Barcoding, Inc. "Patient Belongings Tracking automates the property collection process to improve the patient experience, to help frontline workers to be more efficient, and to reduce lost property claims."
IntelliTrack Patient Belongings Tracking Application
A Message From the Editor
As we move closer towards the end of 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
EP: Extras in Exatouch
Electronic Payments (Calverton, NY) has added enhancements to its Exatouch POS. In this most recent edition, the payment processor has incorporated specific features based upon account merchant requests and agent feedback in the field. Such features focus on three areas: business operations, user interface, and loyalty program by third-party Factor 4 (Broomall, PA).
In the area of business operations, an offline processing mode checks for access to the internet, and when connected, automatically resumes credit-card transactions; secondly, estimated net cash deposits have been added to several reports for convenience and security; and thirdly, multiple alternative stock keeping units (SKUs) may be defined. In the case of user interface, any unnecessary scale interface is hidden by default (for non-attached scales); secondly, in preference settings, the look and feel of work areas may be customized; and thirdly, its tab order feature has been updated for efficient data entry, and now includes an e-mail field. In loyalty, customer details now sync, along with added time-stamp, between Exatouch POS and Factor 4.
"We're constantly developing and enhancing Exatouch to include customizable features and applications that make running a business more affordable and less time-consuming," reported Michael Nardy, Founder and CEO of Electronic Payments. "Particularly at a time like this, when small businesses are under pressure from decreased traffic, having intuitive and robust tools that save money, provide actionable insight, and assist with compliance requirements is critical. Electronic Payments is committed to continuously implementing tools that support entrepreneurs' needs."
Exatouch POS by Electronic Payments
A Chipper on the Block at NMI
NMI (Schaumburg, IL) has endorsed the Chipper 2X BT payment reader from BBPOS (Atlanta, GA), with certifications achieved for major financial service providers TSYS, First Data, Worldpay, and Elavon. Additional processor certifications with BBPOS devices are scheduled for Q4 2020. In addition to third-party solutions in POS, NMI provides partners with an application for mobile POS in iOS and Android O/S, dubbed iProcess.
As its name indicates, Chipper 2X BT adds Bluetooth 4.0 to MSR, EMV, and contactless NFC. Attachable to smartphone or tablet, it measures 2.6 in. (L) x 2.4 in. (W) x 0.7 in. (D) and weighs 2.4 oz./67 g. A 650-mAh rechargeable Lithium-polymer battery furnishes 1,000 EMV or 5,000 MSR transactions per charge. It supports Android 2.1 or above, iOS 6.0 or above, Windows Phone 8 or above, and MS Windows, with key management of DUKPT, MK/SK and encryption algorithm of TDES.
"NMI welcomes the opportunity to extend our partnership with BBPOS, who shares our passion for industry-leading technology, innovation, and security," heralded Nick Starai, Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at NMI. "Our partnership addresses the omnichannel complexities Value-Added Resellers (VARs), Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), and merchants face on a daily basis by giving them cost-effective access to cutting-edge technology." According to Chris Dismukes, Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at BBPOS, "NMI's Chipper 2X BT certification efforts open up new, underserved markets."
NMI Endorses BBPOS Chipper 2X BT
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Stands, Mounts, Cradles
It's Strategy for ItsaCheckmate
A leading operator of chain restaurants, Inspire Brands (Atlanta, GA), has entered into so-called preferred customer relationship--along with extending Series B funding--for ItsaCheckmate (New York, New York). Started in 2016, ItsaCheckmate serves as middleware between online ordering platforms and major names in POS. Inspire Brands, formerly known as the Arby's Restaurant Group, serves as owner and franchisor of Arby's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic Drive-In, Jimmy John's, and Rusty Taco. Financial details of the relationship were not disclosed.
To date, ItsaCheckmate has been integrated into the POS systems for more than 1,100 company and franchise Arby's locations. Inspire is also developing the solution at Buffalo Wild Wings and Sonic Drive-In, with plans for pilot in Q4 2020. As benefits, Inspire cites improved order accuracy and delivery time and reduced complexity for team members.
"Inspire has built a portfolio of iconic brands and is a fantastic strategic partner to help rapidly expand our platform to their locations worldwide," reflected Vishal Agarwal, ItsaCheckmate's Founder and CEO. "ItsaCheckmate prides itself in providing a solution that blends both service and technology. This is an exhilarating moment for our company, and we are proud to partner with Inspire to meet guest demand for digital online ordering." An observation by Paul Brown, Co-Founder and CEO of Inspire Brands, confirms: "We see consumer demand for online ordering only continuing to grow."
An Investment and Deployment for ItsaCheckmate by Restaurant Powerhouse, Inspire Brands
For the "Fans, Friends, and Family" of QuickChek
Paytronix (Newton, MA) has provided its loyalty and rewards platform for convenience-store chain, QuickChek. It will be run as QuickChek Rewards in the QC Mobile App at the chain's 160 sites in New Jersey and New York State. It employs scanning of barcodes, and depending on frequency of visits and purchases, allows customers to progress in categories from "Fans" to "Friends" to "Family." Also, QuickChek has launched an Ambassador Program for its 5,000 employees.
"We are learning a tremendous amount about our own customers, including things we weren't even aware that we didn't know," volunteered Eric Rush, Digital Marketing and Advertising Manager for QuickChek. "QuickChek Rewards is helping with our goal to understand what is meaningful in their daily lives. With the information we're learning, we can provide members with tailored rewards that make for a better shopping experience." In its first week with Paytronix, reported QuickChek, more than 1,000 members visited at least five times, reaching the category of "Friends."
"The combination of the QC Mobile App with QuickChek Rewards provides something truly useful and engaging to QuickChek's customer base," proposed Andrew Robbins, CEO of Paytronix. "The intriguing use of a tiered base program that resets monthly is sure to drive incremental store visits. When you add in the employee engagement program, you have the kind of creative thinking that helps propel the convenience store industry forward." [FYI: Elsewhere, Paytronix Order & Delivery has been integrated with Oracle's Simphony POS.]
Paytronix Powers QuickChek Rewards Program
Channel FactoidA Wavy WLAN
-A combined consumer and enterprise worldwide market for WLAN technology rose 7.1% year-over-year in Q2 2020.
-However, due to business disruptions caused by COVID-19, the enterprise segment declined 9.5% year-over-year in Q2 2020, at $1.4 billion in revenue.
-Year-over-year, revenues for the enterprise class of WLAN technology have now declined 6.1% in the first half of 2020.
-An important driver for the enterprise WLAN market is the Wi-Fi 6 standard, also known as 802.11ax.
-Across the enterprise market, Wi-Fi 6-enabled access points (APs) made up 28.9% of revenues in Q2 2020, up from 21.8% in Q1 2020.
-Also, in the enterprise market, Wi-Fi 6 units accounted for 16.8% of shipments, up from 11.8% in Q1 2020.
-By comparison, in the enterprise market, the Wi-Fi 5 standard, also known as 802.11ac, still makes up the majority of AP shipments, at 75.6% and revenues at 69.4%.
-In view of COVID-19, the consumer WLAN market grew 20.3% year-over-year in Q2 2020, with 60.2% of shipments for 802.11ac, 3.6% of shipments for 802.11ax, and 36.2% of shipments for 802.11n.
Source: "IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wireless LAN Tracker," by International Data Corporation (Framingham, MA).
A Moderate Decline in Enterprise WLAN Sales
A Match of Promotions at M-S
M-S Cash Drawer (Pasadena, CA) has elevated two longtime executives: Somesh Uniyal to President and Nash Kumar to CEO. As part of this succession plan, Paul Masson, former CEO, will continue to be involved in the company on a day-to-day basis as Chairman of the Board of Directors. A supplier to the channel, founded in 1974, M-S Cash Drawer manufactures cash management solutions, as its name describes, and also distributes point-of-sale, barcode, and mobility products.
As President, Uniyal will be responsible for internal operations, which includes customer service in addition to warehouse and logistics. He joined M-S in 2001, and most recently served as Business Development Manager.
As CEO, Kumar will be responsible for sales and marketing activities and external relationships with vendor partners, VARs, and ISVs. He joined M-S in 2003, and most recently served as Director of Sales and Marketing.
"The efforts of Somesh and Nash have significantly impacted the growth and direction of M-S Cash Drawer for more than a decade," commented Masson. "We are excited about our long-term future and are looking forward to continuing a path of innovation, service, and growth under their leadership. These promotions are a recognition of the great work these two men have done and will continue to do in the future."
Somesh Uniyal to President, and Nash Kumar to CEO, at M-S Cash Drawer
TouchSuite Books Brooks
TouchSuite, supplier of merchant services and payment processing, including Poynt and Clover POS, has engaged Jeremy Brooks as its Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). He brings two decades of marketing and brand building experience for consumer products and business services. Most recently, he served as Founding Partner and CMO of the Bonne Sante Group (2019 to 2020), Co-Founder and CEO of Strayboots (2016 to 2020), and Co-Founder of Public Reputation (2013 to 2018).
"We are extremely delighted to have Jeremy join our team. His expertise and experience are unparalleled," declared Sam Zietz, CEO of TouchSuite. "Jeremy will boost awareness of our technology and strengthen our partner relationships. We look forward to working with him as he leverages his prior success to bolster our brand outreach initiatives."
"TouchSuite is a tremendous brand with strong, revolutionary products," expounded Brooks. "The possibilities for innovation are endless and I am looking forward to tapping into my previous experiences to create opportunities for growth and success for TouchSuite and its subsidiaries, including kiosk purveyor, Grubbrr." [FYI: In 2018, TouchSuite was named the second largest ISO for Elavon.]
Jeremy Brooks, CMO, TouchSuite
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