Our Product Pick
BIO-key International (Wall, NJ) has shipped its biometrically featured mobile payment terminal, designated MobilePOS Pro. With FBI-certified fingerprint reader, and fully integrated Identity Access Management (IAM) Platform, the BIO-key MobilePOS Pro runs on Android 7 with ARM Cortex A53 Quad-Core CPU. As expected, it supports smart cards, NFC, and MSR. It carries 5.5" capacitive full-color touchscreen, 3" thermal printer, 5-MP camera, 1D/2D scanner, Bluetooth, 802.11 Wi-Fi, and 4G WAN. With long-lasting 5800-mAh rechargeable battery, it measures 8.3" (L) x 3.3" (W) x 2" (D) and weighs 17 oz./480 g. "We see the new model of roving engagement for banking, healthcare, social work, and payments as ideal applications for adding the certainty and ease of BIO-key Identity Bound Biometrics and MobilePOS Pro," proclaimed Michael DePasquale, BIO-key Chairman and CEO.
BIO-key MobilePOS Pro
NCR Buys Again
Another longstanding reseller of its Aloha POS has been snapped up by NCR Corporation (Atlanta, GA), in this case, Foremost Business Systems (Minneapolis, MN). It will bring five decades of experience in restaurant and hospitality IT as one of the two dozen regional sales offices for NCR. As readers will recall, in March, May, and October of 2019, respectively, NCR purchased three POS VARs: BEC (Denver, CO), Texas P.O.S. (Houston, TX), and Midwest POS Solutions (Anderson, IN).
According to the official announcement, NCR will retain the management team and staff of Foremost Business Systems. "Our customers will continue to work with the same team they've grown familiar with through the years--and now, we have access to global resources and can deliver even better service," relayed Lori Alwin, President of Foremost Business Systems. Acquisition terms for such deals involving privately-held dealerships and NCR are not disclosed.
"Bringing Foremost Business Systems into the NCR family aligns with our strategy to increase our capabilities to deliver our solutions and serve our customers in thriving local restaurant markets," related Michael Hayford, CEO of NCR. In its Q2 financial statement, NCR showed $809 million in Banking (+6%), $576 million in Retail (+19%), $215 million in Hospitality (+34%), and $77 million in T&T (-1%). It also recently purchased LibertyX (Boston, MA) in crypto-currency and Cardtronix (Houston, TX) in non-bank ATMs. A question: who's next?
NCR Buys Aloha Dealer Foremost Business Systems
A Tally at RSPA
At its recent RetailNow Show in Nashville, TN, the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) announced the winners of its 2021 Vendor of Excellence Awards (as voted by its members). And the winners are:
-Electronic Payments/Financing: Gold, Datacap Systems; Silver, Shift4 Payments; Bronze, EVO Payments
-Technology Distributor: Gold, BlueStar; Silver, M-S Cash Drawer; Bronze, ScanSource
-Reseller Support Services: Gold, Card Market; Silver, Webroot; Bronze, Mastery Partners and eCard Systems (Tie)
-Hardware & Software: Gold, Cash Register Sales, Inc. (CRS, Inc.); Silver, Heartland; Bronze, ParTech
-Hardware Manufacturer: Gold, Touch Dynamic; Silver, Epson America; Bronze, APG Cash Drawer; Honorable Mentions, WTIwireless and Elo
-Software: Gold, National Computer Corporation (NCC); Silver, Vigilix; Bronze, LOC Software; Honorable Mentions, EdgeServ POS, Future POS, and SpotOn
As 2021 Vendor of Excellence Gold Award Winner in Electronic Payments/Financing: Datacap Systems. From Left to Right: Jared Zeigler, Director of Operations; Terry Zeigler, President and CEO; Justin Zeigler, Director of Product; and George Hudock, Director of Business Development
Worth Your While
The NGA Show
NRF Big Show
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Scanning the Stars
A new line of general-purpose barcode scanners has been unwrapped by Star Micronics America (Somerset, NJ). It includes the three necessary form factors: Desktop, Handheld, and Wireless. All feature rapid and reliable capture of high-density, high-volume, and distorted 1D/2D symbologies on paper, or displayed on screen, with CMOS Imager/White LED, and 1 GHz CPU. As connectivity, there's plug-in USB, with the added Bluetooth 5 for the Wireless.
A high motion tolerance (2.5 m/s) and large field of view (Horizontal 51 Degrees, Vertical 32 Degrees) distinguish the Desktop. A 2200 mAh battery provides 12 hours of continuous use for the Wireless. Also, the Handheld and Wireless offer so-called "smart stand," which activates the automatic scanning function. In terms of ruggedness, the Desktop is IP-52 rated and the Handheld and Wireless are IP-42 rated.
"With a variety of use cases, these scanners are ideal for retail checkout counters, inventory management, ticket management, office automation, and more," noted Jon Levin, Director of Product Management at Star Micronics America. "Better yet, they provide 2D scanning capabilities for the price of 1D scanning." In addition to its popular family of thermal printers, and scanners, Star Micronics also provides cash drawers, scales, enclosures, shields, and safety products.
New Barcode Scanners by Star Micronics, in Desktop, Handheld, and Wireless Formats
LooQ at This POS
A helping of visual recognition will be added to the self-checkout by POS Upgrades, Inc. (Orlando, FL). It puts the "intelligent sight" software from AlwaysAI (San Diego, CA) into the "LooQ" from POS Updates. It will allow vendors to tie all aspects of contactless service--from item recognition to customer identification--into an integrated experience, according to the two parties. As intended markets: airports, hospitals, schools, and sports venues.
"This partnership helps POSU bring cutting-edge technology to market faster," declared Michael Cassidy, CEO of POS Upgrades, Inc. "Our work in computer vision, and especially with AlwaysAI, is a great example of how we use innovation to support our customers' success while extending our leadership position." A prominent VAR, POS Upgrades has relationships with major payment processors and players in POS.
"Our world has experienced huge disruptions to supply chains and labor markets, and companies everywhere are looking for new technologies like contactless checkout systems to fill the gap and drive more business," observed Marty Beard, Co-Founder and CEO of AlwaysAI. "We are thrilled to work with POS Upgrades on their new POS system to bring easy and innovative kiosks to venues everywhere." In anticipation of IoT, AlwaysAI ramped up with funding in 2019.
Visual Recognition Brought to LooQ Self-Checkout
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ParTech Gets Grubbrr-y
A self-ordering solution for restaurants by Grubbrr has been entered into the partner ecosystem of ParTech (New Hartford, NY). As formats, Grubbrr offers kiosks, automated checkout systems, line busters, and menu boards. It will be integrated with ParTech's Brink POS Software--as well as the loyalty functionality of Punchh (San Mateo, CA), which ParTech purchased in April for $500 million.
"We view ParTech and Brink POS as true innovators that have pivoted from being an historical legacy platform to a contemporary platform taking market share," expressed Farshad Tafazzoli, Chief Strategy Officer for Grubbrr. "Grubbrr is in hyper-growth mode and partners with platforms like ParTech that create value for our respective customer bases." As CEO of Grubbrr, there's Sam Zietz, Founder and CEO of payment/POS VAR TouchSuite, which purchased Grubbrr in 2018. The two affiliated companies are located in Boca Raton, FL.
"Grubbrr is a jack-of-all-trades platform," enthused Chad Horn, Director of Strategic Partnerships for ParTech. "Concepts need all the help they can get when it comes to maximizing profit and keeping guest satisfaction high, especially given the current labor shortage. Grubbrr accomplishes both tasks through its front- and back-of-house offerings, and we're excited to have them integrated with Brink POS." (FYI: Grubbrr also partners with Clover, Oracle Micros, and Square in POS.)
Self-Order by Grubbrr Added to ParTech's Brink POS Ecosystem
Miura Ties to TSYS
A certification for the M-Series Payment Terminals by Miura Systems (Timonium, MD) has come from TSYS, part of Global Payments (Columbus, GA). It covers Models M010 and M020 (including the full-featured M021), with Payment Card Industry (PCI) PTS Version 5, and the semi-integrated Miura Secure Payment Application (Miura SPA). Each with 32-bit ARM 9 CPU, 256 MB Flash, and 64 MB RAM, the M010 and M020 support countertop or mobile payment card settings, with USB, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi. Model M010 has 1.4" x 0.8"/35 x 20 mm graphical display (OLED), while Model M020 has diagonally measured 2.3"/58 mm color capacitive touch display (QVGA).
"Our M010 and M020 devices and SPA application have been designed to enable an interactive sales process in any business environment, from retail and restaurant to personal services and transportation," indicated Darren Shaw, Chief Product Officer for Miura Systems. "Certification by TSYS opens the opportunity for us to reach a wide range of ISVs/VARs and to bring a smart and affordable turnkey payment solution to merchants across the U.S. and Canada." As integration, there's an Application Programming Interface (API).
As part of its recent push in North America, Miura Systems, headquartered in the UK, has hired two veteran executives in payments: Jeremy Krahl and Fred Nelson. As VP of Strategic Partnerships at Miura, Jeremy Krahl brings two decades of similar experience from NOVA Information Systems, Elavon, TSYS, and Trucera. As VP of ISV Channel Development, Fred Nelson brings two decades of similar experience from TSYS and Cayan. Lots of TSYS!
Miura M020 Payment Terminal
OneRail (Orlando, FL) has placed its Last Mile Delivery Fulfillment solution on the SAP Store. It now integrates with the SAP Commerce Cloud--as well as POS and ERP. By optimizing package delivery rates among final mile shipping modes--parcel, Less-Than-Load (LTL), courier, etc.--OneRail automates dispatch to over 220 delivery networks, consisting of 7.5 million drivers. Each delivery network is fully integrated with OneRail, providing real-time tracking for all deliveries, with predictive modeling for exceptions, such as late deliveries. "[By being on the SAP Store], we can help large companies streamline their final mile logistics workflow from within the SAP solutions they already use," shared Bill Catania, Founder and CEO at OneRail, which participates in the SAP PartnerEdge Program. "This will help accelerate OneRail's growth as a best-in-class final mile solution for achieving operational excellence amid today's global supply chain challenges."
OneRail's Last Mile Delivery Fulfillment Solution
Thus Speaks Presto
Automated speech recognition for restaurants has been launched by Presto (Redwood City, CA), called, appropriately, Presto Voice. Intended to help restaurants scale their operations as well as streamline the guest experience, it offers benefits such as voice-based ordering, opportunities for upselling, and real-time menu optimization. A range of restaurant settings are suggested for use--including drive-thru, line busters, kiosks, pay-at-the-table systems, and server handhelds.
As technical features, Presto Voice achieves order accuracy of over 95%, employs conversational AI, and integrates with the POS. It reportedly performs well with unique or infrequently ordered menu items and accommodates various guest accents, according to Presto. A "human" backup option is provided for so-called "edge" cases.
"Ordering is a real friction point for both guests and staff, and Presto Voice both speeds this up and makes it more accurate and profitable," expounded Rajat Suri, Founder and CEO of Presto. "With Presto Voice, we're providing a superior solution that works every single time and never forgets to upsell. This is especially important in the face of the ongoing labor shortage when restaurants may be understaffed and staff may be inexperienced." Established in 2008, Presto serves chains such as Applebee's, Aramark, Chili's, Denny's, and Outback Steakhouse.
Speech Recognition for Restaurants From Presto
A Box for "Vaccination"
A new feature has been implemented in the restaurant reservation functionality of SpotOn Reserve by SpotOn (San Francisco, CA): indication of vaccination status for COVID-19. It's intended to help restaurants communicate vaccination requirements to their guests and avoid confusion and delays at the door, according to the supplier of payment processing and restaurant management IT. Once the "Party is Vaccinated" box is checked and the reservation is submitted, the reservation will be marked with a "Vaccination" tag in SpotOn Reserve.
Just recently, New York and San Francisco announced new regulations requiring proof of vaccination for COVID-19 for indoor activities, including dining at restaurants. In its survey of restaurant owners in San Francisco, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association found that 63% of respondents said they were supportive of such mandates. Accordingly, restaurants need to define operating procedures, train their teams, and communicate changes to their customers, advised SpotOn.
"Our goal is to help restaurants continue to operate as safely and efficiently as possible as new guidelines are implemented," remarked Doran Friedman, Chief Product Officer at SpotOn. "With this new SpotOn Reserve feature, restaurants can clearly communicate their vaccination requirements, ensuring guests are in compliance, eliminating additional steps of service, and assuring the safety of guests and staff." Other features of SpotOn Reserve include QR Code ordering, online ordering with pacing, data-driven reporting, and marketing tools.
Vaccination Confirmation for COVID-19 Added to SpotOn Reserve for Restaurants
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Customer Journey and Engagement Management System
Stands, Mounts, Cradles
Touchscreens & Monitors
Scan & Go at the Big Y
Big Y, the grocery chain in New England, has partnered with FutureProof Retail (New York, NY) to roll out new functionality entitled MyExpress Checkout Scan & Go. As its name describes, it allows customers to check out on their mobile phones. At present, MyExpress Checkout Scan & Go is running in 19 stores of Big Y, with 10 more added shortly. Overall, Big Y has 80 stores in CT and MA.
With MyExpress, customers of Big Y scan and bag their items and pay in the App. They may also view special offers and redeem digital coupons from Big Y. Among specific benefits of its mobile shopping, FutureProof Retail cites touch-free transactions and order-ahead capabilities.
"FPR provided full real-time integration with Big Y's NCR POS and Loyalty systems. We are happy Big Y's customers love the MyExpress Checkout App," commented Di Di Chan, President at FutureProof Retail. "We have seen a 4.9 rating in the App Store and strong adoption from day one." (FYI: In case you were wondering, Big Y was named after an intersection in Chicopee, MA, the site of its first location in 1936, and where two roads converged to form the letter "Y.")
New England Grocery Chain Deploys MyExpress Checkout Scan & Go From FutureProof Retail
FlexEngage: Couch Potato
A leader in so-called "smart receipts," FlexEngage (Orlando, FL), now supports the popular home furnishings retail software by Storis (Mount Arlington, NJ). With three decades of experience, Storis supplies an entire suite of applications, from point-of-sale and inventory management to customer relationship management and business intelligence, for both chains and independents. As the former FlexReceipts, FlexEngage has evolved to supply digital receipts, printed offers, personalized content, e-comm notifications, and tracking
"Storis is pleased to offer our retailers the ability to create dynamic post-transactional messaging with FlexEngage," contributed Caitlin Jascewsky, Marketing Supervisor for Storis. "Customer retention is critical in retail. Given the high engagement with these anticipated communications, clients that utilize this real-estate to provide targeted, value-adding messaging stand to increase their customer loyalty."
"Simply e-mailing receipts wasn't enough," added Tony Mitchell, Director of Omni-Channel at American Furniture Warehouse (with 14 locations, based in Englewood, CO). "We wanted to engage our customers with rich content and provide helpful service links in a format consistent with our branding guide. Together, the FlexEngage and Storis teams have helped us achieve this. Both teams have been great to work with and implementation was virtually seamless."
A Partnership Between FlexEngage and Storis
It's Not in the Mail
-A majority of surveyed businesses have already sent and received some type of payments faster than traditional formats in the past 12 months, primarily via digital wallets, same day ACH, and "push to card" services that employ debit card networks.
-Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed (and more than three of four large/very large businesses surveyed) indicate that access to faster payments would factor into any decision to switch banks in the future.
-Nearly 75% of micro businesses and 60% or more of all other businesses surveyed cite managing cash flow and working capital among their top concerns in the current business climate. Coming out of the pandemic of COVID-19, many are focused on offering additional digital/online payment options, ensuring payment timeliness and growing sales and revenue.
-The faster payments capabilities most demanded by businesses support use cases that will help them improve cash flow management, payment operations efficiency, ease of access, and security. And certain high-demand use cases, including electronic invoicing and bill pay with remittance details, are best supported by instant payments, the survey found.
-"Businesses' appetite for faster payments has clearly accelerated due to growing acceptance of digital commerce during the pandemic of COVID-19," emphasized Shonda Clay, Chief of Customer and Industry Engagement at the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Source: Survey by the U.S. Federal Reserve (Chicago, IL)
Businesses Look to Digital Wallets, Same Day ACH, and "Push to Card" Services
Under Crypto Skies
One of the leading players in cryptocurrency payment processing, CoinPayments (Vancouver, BC, Canada), has strengthened its executive team. As Global Partnership Development Manager, Sara Dube brings previous experience as Relationship Manager at CardConnect and Senior Relationship Manager at Heartland Payment Systems. As Business Development and Sales Manager for Canada, Marc Bourgeois brings previous experience as Business Development Specialist at InCharge Technologies, Managing Partner at the Coral Financial Group, and Business Development Director at Merchant Treasury Services.
"I believe cryptocurrency fundamentally solves many of the problems associated with the traditional payment process," stated Dube. "I wanted to be a part of that solution, and found CoinPayments to be a leader in the space with the best options, support, and lowest fee for merchants. At CoinPayments, my goal is to educate merchants about the benefits of offering crypto as a payment option, in a relatable and understandable way."
"I look forward to leveraging my experience in the traditional payments industry to enhance the process with cryptocurrencies," stated Bourgeois. "The opportunity to join a growing global company like CoinPayments is exciting, as they are ideally positioned to take advantage of the growing adoption of digital currencies." An interest in POS VARs on the part of CoinPayments, with recent certifications for Quid POS (Aspen, CO) and Ovvi, the former Possible POS (Stafford, TX).
At CoinPayments: Sara Dube, Global Partnership Development Manager, and Marc Bourgeois, Business Development and Sales Manager for Canada
Fueling the F1
A brace of new hires at F1 Payments (Austin, TX): Joel Gambiana as CRO, Tedd Huff as Head of Corporate Strategy, and William Popok as CFO. A long resume in payments for each, with Gambiana having served in roles of VP of Revenue and Business Development at MerchantE; VP of Direct, ERP, and ISV Channels at Paya; VP of Business Development-Global Integrated Solutions Group at First Data; and VP of Sales at Bank of America Merchant Services.
As background, Huff previously served as Consultant for Payment-Platform-as-a-Service for RS2 Software; Chief Experience Officer for BlytzPay; and VP of Product for Nuvei. He also serves as Payment and CX Consultant for the Gerson Lehman Group. For his part, Popok has served as CFO for Total Merchant Services; VP of Finance for Sada Systems; and Finance Director for Intuit and Agilent Technologies.
"We've made key additions to our leadership team to scale and drive strategic growth rapidly," reflected Chad Anselmo, CEO of F1 Payments. "Joel, Tedd, and William are well respected and accomplished executives who will have a significant impact on expanding and broadening our business, capitalizing on market opportunities, and delivering greater value to our customers." Already addressing Merchant Sales Agents, F1 Payments is looking at ISVs/VARs in POS.
At F1 Payments: Joel Gambiana, CRO; Todd Huff, Head of Corporate Strategy; and William Popok, CFO
Copyright 2021 -- All Rights Reserved
Retail Reseller News -- Mendham, NJ USA
Michael Kachmar -- Publisher & Editor