A Message From the Editor
We launched to fill the need for timely, focused, non-biased news for resellers of POS & Auto ID (and now, Mobility). If anything, that need grows more pressing in the face of new technologies, go-to-market strategies, business models, and consumer expectations.
We look forward to continuing our mission, and welcome your suggestions and thoughts on improvements. Wishing you and your family health, happiness, and prosperity in 2022!
Michael Kachmar, Editor
From January: 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./5.8 kg, the HS3314 features projected-capacitive, bezel-free 14" touchscreen, detachable 3"/80 mm 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." Earlier, 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 Mercury EK Series.
Posiflex USA Stocks Its HS3314 Kiosk
From February: MicroTouch, Redux
A legendary brand of hardware in our channel, MicroTouch, is set for re-emergence, following the purchase of its assets by TES America (Holland, MI). As the first manufacturer to patent and commercialize capacitive touchscreens, MicroTouch slowly faded into the background following its purchase by 3M in 2001. Now TES America plans to build upon its surface-capacitive and projected-capacitive technologies.
"With our vast industry experience and factory-direct product, I believe TES can bring MicroTouch back to the forefront of capacitive leadership," declared Mark Littlefield, President of TES America. "When backed by TES, MicroTouch customers will not only get a broad product mix of components, monitors, and touch computers, but also greater efficiency and flexibility through our regional engineering, local customer support, and global warehousing capabilities." A subsidiary of TES Touch Embedded Solutions Co. (Xiamen, China), TES America was formed in 2017.
"MicroTouch was a product of the 80's, an industry icon that provided society a glimpse into the future. And, just as Hollywood gave us a vision for touchscreens--thanks to TV hits like Knight Rider and Star Trek--MicroTouch made it a reality," reflected Gene Halsey, VP of Product and Business Development for TES America. "Since then, touch systems not only have become ubiquitous, but they are about to enter a new generation of technological growth with limitless possibilities, and with MicroTouch paving the way." (Since this announcement, MicroTouch has signed with distributors BlueStar and Metropolitan Sales, and debuted its Windows 10 Series.)
TES America to Revive MicroTouch Brand
Worth Your While
NRF Big Show
Bar & Restaurant Expo
NRF Supply Chain 360
From March: Lightspeed - Rendering Vend
Another assimilation by POS ISV Lightspeed (Montreal, QC, Canada), this time, Vend. Based in Auckland, New Zealand, with offices in Durango, CO, Vend posted revenue of $34 million for 2020. Acquisition will cost Lightspeed approximately $350 million split between cash and stock. In November 2020, readers will recall, Lightspeed bought ShopKeep in POS (New York, NY) for $440 million. In December 2020, it bought Upserve in POS (Providence, RI) for $430 million.
With Vend, Lightspeed will double its customer base in Asia-Pacific. It will offer its broader commerce solutions to the customer base of Vend, including Lightspeed Payments, Lightspeed E-Commerce, Lightspeed Loyalty, and access to the Lightspeed Supplier Network. A cloud-based platform, sold via resellers, Vend offers "Lite," "Pro," and "Enterprise."
"We are thrilled to partner with Vend, a team that matches Lightspeed's passion for retail," enthused Dax Dasilva, Founder and CEO of Lightspeed. "That combined drive will position our global retail base of high-performing businesses for success as they emerge from a truly transformational period in the history of modern commerce." With its purchase of ShopKeep, Upserve, and Vend, Lightspeed now reports serving over 135,000 customer locations worldwide.
Lightspeed Purchases Vend in POS
From April: PAR Packs Punchh
"A unified commerce cloud platform for restaurants" being cited as its mission, PAR Technology Corporation (New Hartford, NY) has purchased loyalty and guest engagement leader, Punchh (San Mateo, CA). A cost of approximately $500 million will be paid in cash and shares of common stock of PAR. (A sale of $160 million of stock of PAR to PAR "Act III, LLC" has added two new members to PAR's Board of Directors, Keith Pascal, Act III Partner, and Ron Shaich, Act III Managing Partner and Founder of Panera Bread.) Established in 2010, Punchh has eight of the world's top 20 restaurant chains as users of its technology.
"Today there is a conflict between restaurants and technology," proposed Savneet Singh, President and CEO of PAR. "The quantity of new software applications is making it difficult for restaurants to navigate complex integration networks and taking away focusing on their guests. Meanwhile, online marketplaces are becoming intermediaries between restaurants and their guests. With the Punchh acquisition, we are building a platform that enables restaurants to scale quickly, own their path to innovation, and take back their guest relationship."
"With its Brink POS, PAR [and its subsidiary, ParTech] has been a Punchh partner for many years," reported Shyam Rao, Co-Founder and President of Punchh. "We've gotten to know them while jointly serving customers and have always been impressed with their focus on the customer's success." Also, this spring, PAR has reached 200 integration partners, spanning 30 business categories, for its Brink POS. An average customer of Brink POS utilizes at least three integration partners.
PAR Acquires Loyalty Leader Punchh
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From May: A Trove of Coin?
It seems inevitable that crypto-currency will significantly impact POS. A latest example: the partnership between POS ISV Ovvi (Stafford, TX) and crypto-currency payment processor CoinPayments (Vancouver, BC, Canada). It allows merchants across retail and hospitality verticals to benefit from low-cost, in-store crypto payments, according to the two parties. Established in 2013, and supporting 2,000 "coins," so far CoinPayments has processed $10 billion in transactions in the U.S.
"A step in the right direction for the payments industry," projected Jason Butcher, CEO at CoinPayments. "[With Ovvi,] we look forward to supporting anyone looking to easily accept crypto-currencies as a form of payment at the POS." As products for the retail environment, CoinPayments offers its shopping cart plug-ins, digital wallets, and APIs (Application Programming Interfaces)--all supporting crypto-currency.
"With the crypto-currency market growing, there is a rising demand for solutions for these payments," confirmed Manan Mehta, CEO of Ovvi, adding "Restaurants and retailers must have solutions to accept crypto-currency. This integration with CoinPayments is a step into the future." Ovvi, the former Possible POS, has also opened its new office in Toronto, Canada. "We are already seeing much success in the Canadian market since entering in January 2021," disclosed Mehta.
A Partnership for Crypto-Currency: Ovvi and CoinPayments
From June: Star "Empowers" Loyalty
Star Micronics America (Somerset, NJ) has established its new Loyalty Program as another element in its existing Empower Partner Program. Addressing VARs and ISVs in the program categories of "Services" and "Technology," the Loyalty Program features four levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. As benefits, it includes marketing support, lead referrals, tradeshow sponsorship, market development funds (MDF), priority access to new products, and channel networking opportunities.
"The Star team is thrilled to be launching the Loyalty Program to ignite our customers' success," relayed Brianna Moriarty, Partner Development Manager at Star Micronics America. "By providing additional marketing support we hope to help our partners increase their sales and grow their channel relationships, which in turn will help them create even more revenue and unlock further benefits. If our partners win, we also win."
Existing members of the Empower Program in "Services" and "Technology" may log into the company's Partner Portal to register for the Loyalty Program. Companies who are interested in the Loyalty Program but are not yet members of the Empower Program must first sign up for the Empower Program by visiting the Partner Portal. Star Micronics America rolled out its Empower Partner Program in 2020.
Brianna Moriarty, Partner Development Manager, Star Micronics America
Questions for End-Users
#1) Is your current POS system outdated, lacking the reporting and inventory management tools you need to compete?
Factors in POS Software Selection
From July: Datacap "NETs" New Integrations
A pair of new integrations for transactions via its NETePay Hosted at Datacap Systems (Chalfont, PA), in the form of DC Direct and Android/iOS. Available in stand-alone and semi-integrated configurations, DC Direct allows Datacap cloud-based POS partners to process EMV credit/debit (contact/contactless), prepaid, Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT), and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) transactions without any additional hardware or software from Datacap Systems. An initial release of DC Direct supports the family of fixed and mobile payment devices, TETRA, from Ingenico, A Worldline Brand (Alpharetta, GA).
In the case of Datacap Android/iOS, VARs and ISVs partnering with Datacap Systems can forward transactions to NETePay Hosted via turn-key, semi-integrated devices (for in-person payments) or via app-based payments (for online payments). It generates omni-channel data-security tokens for use in-person and online. An initial release of Datacap Android/iOS supports multiple tablets, kiosks, fixed or mobile readers, and PIN Pads from leading OEMs.
"Enabling an omnichannel payments ecosystem means providing turn-key solutions for all channels where the merchant can interact and transact with their customers, including fixed in-store, mobile, kiosks, and e-commerce," expressed Justin Zeigler, Director of Product at Datacap Systems. "Addition of DC Direct and Android/iOS integrations provides our partners with simple-to-deploy fixed and mobile payments solutions that integrate seamlessly into above-store payments and reporting." A longtime channel-focused player, Datacap launched NETePay Hosted, its processor-agnostic payments gateway, in 2019.
Datacap Adds DC Direct and Android/iOS to Its NETePay Hosted Gateway
From August: EPI Expands Exatouch
Electronic Payments (Calverton, NY) has enhanced its proprietary point-of-sale system, Exatouch. As hardware, the payment processor has added stands for its full-color, touchscreen-based, customer-facing display (CFD). A custom designed stand provides merchants flexibility in positioning the CFD. Added earlier, in March, the Exatouch CFD enables customers to review their purchases, see any applied discounts, pay via electronic signature capture, and choose their receipt preference--and also displays marketing messages. In addition, Exatouch now supports the Datalogic Magellan 9400i In-Counter Scale.
In software, reporting capabilities have been bolstered in Exatouch. A new functionality in sales reports makes it easier to see promotions and discounts by category. A new payroll report in the Staff Module shows Hours Worked, Total Sales, Non-Declared Tips, and Declared Tips. Also, capability for "Force Clock-Out" has been added. A new date range for reports includes options for last seven days and the last 14 days.
"Electronic Payments is committed to continuously developing our technological solutions to give merchants the tools they need to expand and grow," reflected Michael Nardy, Founder and CEO of Electronic Payments. "We provide advanced, cutting-edge solutions that evolve with the speed of business. In fact, the new CFD stand and in-counter scale were added to our Exatouch offering in response to our partners' feedback, as they were looking for ways to better serve their customers."
Enhancements in Areas of Software and Hardware for Exatouch POS by Electronic Payments
Key Advertiser Links
Stands, Mounts, Cradles
Touchscreens & Monitors
From September: Aldelo Swings Open DoorDash
Aldelo L.P. (Pleasanton, CA) has launched its DoorDash Sync for restaurant take-out, delivery, and pick-up services via Aldelo Express Cloud POS. With this feature, both scheduled and on-demand menu changes made in Aldelo Express Cloud POS automatically synchronize to the DoorDash online platform. Customers may view current specials and menus, select orders, and complete online payments, which are seamlessly reported in Aldelo Express Cloud POS, along with the daily sales via DoorDash reported in Aldelo Express Cloud POS Back-Office.
As another benefit cited by the ISV, DoorDash Sync by Aldelo allows restaurants to eliminate additional devices for managing orders via DoorDash. Also, Aldelo Express Cloud POS users can communicate anticipated delivery times to customers by sending pre-configured auto-responses based on the part of the day or day of the week. If the restaurant is particularly busy, users can immediately inform customers of an intended delivery time, eliminating the need for phone calls.
As expected, Aldelo Express Cloud POS sends all DoorDash orders directly to the restaurant's kitchen printers and/or kitchen display systems (KDS). Aldelo offers its DoorDash Sync at no cost to users of Aldelo Express Cloud POS. "Today's market climate presents a host of unpredictable business challenges for merchants and Aldelo is committed to establishing strategic business partnerships that offer our users immediate and useful solutions and services for meeting today's changing operational and customer needs," observed Jeff Moore, VP of Operations with Aldelo L.P.
Aldelo Express Cloud POS --"DoorDash Sync" Order Prep Screen
From October: Epson's Kiosk Kick-Off
Epson America (Los Alamitos, CA) has introduced its new compact thermal receipt printer for self-service, the EU-m30. In cube-shaped dimensions of approximately 5 in. x 5 in. x 5 in., weighing 2.9 lbs./1.3 kg, EU-m30 has maximum print width of 3"/80 mm, maximum print speed of 9.8"/250 mm per second, and resolution of 203 dpi. As connectivity, it features USB and Serial. A print-head life of 150 km and auto-cutter life of 1.5 million cuts extend reliability, and paper-saving functionality reduces usage by as much as 30%, according to Epson America.
A number of features have been incorporated specifically for the self-service marketplace. A new bezel option improves paper path alignment in order to prevent paper jams. Illuminated attention and error status LEDs allow for fast troubleshooting in the field. Also, restricted front cover design and button cover options prevent unauthorized printer access. It comes with black or white casing.
"The world has changed in the last 18 months, and self-service is a growing trend that isn't going anywhere. As businesses adjust operations in order to best serve customers, we provide the optimal POS solutions to maximize profitability," related Mauricio Chacon, Group Product Manager, Business Systems, at Epson America. "The new EU-m30 offers kiosk-friendly features for both new and existing kiosk designs, and delivers durability, ease-of-use, remote management, and easy troubleshooting that retail and hospitality environments require."
Epson America's New EU-m30 Kiosk Printer
The Big 10 in 2022
#1) Brands Finally Master Omnichannel Experiences
#7) Livestream Shopping Hits the U.S.
Source: Vend Retail Blog by Francesca Nicasio, December 13, 2021
From November: Are You Ready for Robot-as-a-Service?
Zebra Technologies Corporation (Lincolnshire, IL) has rolled out its new system for automated material transport, drawing upon technology by Fetch Robotics, which it bought in August 2021. A bundle includes three new autonomous mobile robots (AMRs)--FlexShelf, FlexShelf Guide, and RollerTop Guide--as well as fulfillment picking software, FetchCore. All of these new AMRs may be purchased under Robot-as-a-Service (RaaS).
Utilizing the facility's existing Wi-Fi network, the system integrates with leading warehouse management systems (WMS) and warehouse execution systems (WES). As such, it supports order, batch, case, and pallet picking workflows. With SaaS, FetchCore includes warehouse annotation, wave management, pick heat-map, advanced fulfillment analytics, and forklift detection. "A dynamic orchestration of labor and robots" allows companies to quickly modify workflows on-demand.
On the hardware platform, Fetch Freight100, the FlexShelf and FlexShelf Guide provide flexible configurations for bin sizing and spacing, which expands the types of items that can be picked via AMRs. Accuracy is increased by the addition of put-to-light and pick-side lighting--particularly important during busy seasonal pick periods, cites Zebra. Companies choosing to deploy the RollerTop Guide AMR can integrate each picking workflow with their existing fixed conveyance, sortation, and automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS).
Zebra's "Fetch FlexShelf Guide" Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) for Warehouse
From December: It Comes to PPaaS at Worldline/Ingenico
Worldline/Ingenico has commercially launched its new architecture: Payments Platform-as-a-Service (PPaaS). A cloud-based technology stack for PPaaS, developed by Worldline/Ingenico, it allows the choice, combination, and management of today's range of payment and commerce services. As device agnostic, Worldline/Ingenico's PPaaS enables partners--including banks, acquirers/gateways, and ISVs--to activate features via Open APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).
It emphasizes acceptance of alternative payment methods, loyalty and omnichannel commerce, and "smart," cost-effective routing. As examples cited by Worldline/Ingenico, with PPaaS, the customer may pay using the combination of gift card and local wallet; earn loyalty points on the transaction without showing their loyalty card; and be prompted at the terminal to purchase product insurance. As an "as-a-Service," offering, the PPaaS will continuously evolve with new features and partners, according to Worldline/Ingenico.
"Much of the recent innovation in payments has been focused on online payments, and the in-store experience hasn't changed much over the years," expounded Giulio Montemagno, SVP and Managing Director of PPaaS at Worldline. "With PPaaS, our clients can finally enable their merchants to make payments a real point of interaction with their customers, and the ecosystem of third-party service partners can easily bring their services to a wider audience." In North America, this PPaaS will be delivered through Ingenico, A Worldline Brand (Alpharetta, GA).
Worldline/Ingenico Develops "Payments Platform-as-a-Service" (PPaaS) for the Payments Ecosystem
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