Week of September 25, 2023
Michael Kachmar, Editor

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Our Product Pick

A hardware module from Star Micronics America (Somerset, NJ) adds versatility to the POS. As complimentary to the company's mUnite Mount 18 Tablet Display, the mUnite VESA Pole Mount Accessory enables secondary tablets to be fastened, for customer-facing use or online order management by staff, as two examples. It works with any tablet enclosure that features Universal VESA (i.e., dimensions of 75 mm/100 mm). It fits stands and pole mounts at the POS, including the Universal mEnclosure and Mini Universal mEnclosure by Star Micronics. Made of durable steel, it comes in black or white finish. "We are excited to see this versatile addition to our mCollection Series assist businesses in maintaining a well-organized, efficient workspace," stated Christophe Naasz, Global Director of Business Development at Star Micronics.

Star's mUnite VESA Pole Mount Accessory


Ingenico's Gift to SMBs

A new partner in gift cards for payments player Ingenico (Alpharetta, GA and Suresnes, France), in the form of Diggecard (Wokingham, Berkshire, UK). As its name suggests, Diggecard furnishes the full range of physical and digital gift card operations at the POS. Specifically, it has joined Ingenico's cloud-based Payments-Platform-as-a-Service (PPaaS).

A self-managed offering, with white label capability, Diggecard has all functionality--including issuing and redemption as well as details of account balances and expirations--along with customer analytics. Eliminating the complexity of integration for acquirers, proposes Ingenico, its PPaaS opens gift card programs to new categories of retailers, such as small-to-midsized business (SMB). Its digital gift cards may be distributed by SMS, E-Mail, or QR Code.

"We share with Diggecard a vision of the market for gift card services and the importance of making these available to a wider range of merchants than at present," enthused Giulio Montemagno, GM of PPaaS at Ingenico. "Our clients want to bring their merchants the services they need to help them compete in today's world, and PPaaS allows them to do that, seamlessly, quickly, and cost-effectively." In December 2021, Ingenico first unveiled its developer-focused PPaaS.

A Gift Card Solution From Diggecard for Ingenico's Payments-Platform-as-a-Service (PPaaS)

He Butters the Toast

A leadership transition at Toast (Boston, MA) will move Aman Narang to CEO, effective on January 1, 2024. A Co-Founder, Narang has served as Toast's Co-President since December 2012 and COO since June 2021. He will take over as CEO from Chris Comparato, who has served as the company's CEO since February 2015. Both Comparato and Narang will remain on the Board of Directors at Toast.

"Aman is the ideal choice to lead Toast into its next era of growth," relayed Comparato. "Aman knows Toast better than anyone, he knows the restaurant community, he is passionate about our customers, and he has the right 'recipe' of experience as well as growth mindset. I have worked side-by-side with Aman since I joined Toast in 2015 and I am delighted to be transitioning the CEO role to him and continuing to support Toast as a Board Member."

"The Board extends its deepest gratitude to Chris for his nine years of leadership and results during a transformational time for Toast," remarked Mark Hawkins, Lead Independent Director and Former President and CFO of Salesforce. During this time, Toast has grown its customer base to approximately 93,000 restaurant locations, gone public, and expanded its workforce from 50 to 4,500. Also effective on January 1, 2024, Hawkins will become Chair of the Toast Board of Directors.

Aman Narang Moves to CEO of Toast in 2024

Worth Your While

Channel Connect
October 16-19
Orlando, FL

20th WSAA
Western States Acquirers Association
October 31-November 2
Carlsbad, CA

November 28-December 1
Las Vegas, NV


NRF Big Show
National Retail Federation
January 14-16
New York, New York

RSPA Inspire
Retail Solutions Providers Association
January 28-31
Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

MHI Materials
March 11-14
Atlanta, GA


Zebra Grazes in Payments

A bundled package for payments has been fashioned by Zebra Technologies Corporation (Lincolnshire, IL). Entitled "Zebra Pay," it addresses the market for so-called SPoC, or Software-based PIN Entry on COTS (Commercial-off-the-Shelf). As hardware, it utilizes the company's mobile computers (Zebra TC5x and TC7x) and tablets (Zebra ET4x). An "enterprise-grade" capability is promoted by Zebra.

It runs on Google Mobile Services (GMS) and Android O/S, with capability for swipe, dip, contactless, and NFC. As security, there's EMV Level 3. Zebra Pay is certified with Worldpay from FIS in North America and Global Payments in the EMEA--with additional acquirers, including Fiserv, coming soon. It's also designated as Visa Ready, thereby meeting the requirements for the credit-card company's Tap-to-Pay POS.

"Zebra Pay continues our legacy of innovating new ways of working with an industry-first mobile payment solution," maintained Julie Johnson, SVP and GM, Enterprise Mobile Computing, at Zebra Technologies. "Developed to elevate the customer experience and increase associate productivity, Zebra Pay delivers a true multi-functional mobile device that can handle mobile payments, reducing the need for dedicated payment terminals and opening new paths to accept payments." A Zebra Pay Merchant Portal furnishes visibility for end-users.

A Bundle for SPoC Payments: Zebra Pay

Another Sighting of NEO

A standalone contactless payment reader from ID Tech (Cypress, CA), stocked as Kiosk V, extends its next-generation NEO 3 Series. In size of 3"/75 mm (H) x 2.4"/60 mm (W) x 0.4"/10 mm (D), weighing 1.8 oz./50 g, it brings EMV L1 and L2 Certification and Payment Card Industry (PCI) PTS 6.x Certification (in the SRED Version). In addition to reading all major contactless cards (via NFC), Kiosk V supports mobile payments including Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

In weatherproof plastic casing, the Kiosk V has an IP-65 environmental rating and an operating temperature range of -22 to +158 Degrees F/-30 to +70 Degrees C. It has the same mounting pattern as its predecessor, the ID Tech Kiosk III. As wide-ranging markets, ID Tech identifies self-service kiosks, vending machines, public transit, parking pay stations, gas stations, charging stations for EV, and ATMs.

"The launch of Kiosk V demonstrates ID Tech's commitment to providing the market with the most advanced contactless technology," proclaimed Justin Ning, VP of Product Management at ID Tech. "With a kernel portfolio of over 15 different global payment terminals (e.g., American Express, Discover, Mastercard, Visa) and growing, the Kiosk V's sleek, compact footprint and robust design makes the Kiosk V the perfect solution for self-service applications." Also in NEO: the VP3350 mobile payment device, the AP6800 Android unattended payment terminal, the VP7200 contactless solution with QR Scanner, and the VP8810/VP8810P countertop payment terminals.

ID Tech's NEO 3 Kiosk V Contactless Payment Reader

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Miura Follows the Sun

A semi-integrated payment solution between Miura Systems (Timonium, MD) and Powertranz (Hamilton, Bermuda) addresses the Caribbean and Central America. It employs the M010 mobile payment terminal by Miura and the payment gateway of Powertranz. It covers 21 countries, including the JETS debit network in Jamaica and LINX in Trinidad and Tobago.

Linking to smartphones and tablets via Bluetooth, the M010 enables swipe, dip, contactless, and NFC. It measures 4"/103 mm (H) x 2.8"/71 mm (W) x 0.7"/18 mm (D), weighs 4 oz./118 g, and furnishes 1.4 x 0.8"/35 x 20 mm display (OLED). Powertranz--sister company to First Atlantic Commerce, one of the leading online payment gateways in the Caribbean and Central America--employs, as data security, Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) by Bluefin Payment Systems (Atlanta, GA).

"Our new semi-integrated solution increases security, significantly reduces PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance requirements, and improves time to market because it's already certified for transaction processing," emphasized Eldred Garcia, SVP of New Business and Partner Development for Powertranz. "We are pleased to partner with Miura to bring the power and flexibility of the M010 device to the Caribbean and Central America." At Miura, Fred Nelson serves as VP of Channel Development..

Powertranz Brings Miura M010 to Caribbean and Central American Markets


A Flock of Seagulls at Microsoft

An integration has been completed between Seagull Scientific's BarTender Labeling Software and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Offered as the BarTender Print Connector, it ties to the BarTender Cloud. It thus eliminates the need for complex manual programming and its associated costs, according to the two parties.

As benefits of BarTender, now easily extended for all end-users of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, they cite: comprehensive label design templates, optimized printing processes, setting of permissions and roles, monitoring of print history, and regulatory compliance. A free 30-day trial has been offered for the BarTender Print Connector for Dynamics 365 Business Central, which appears in the Microsoft AppSource Online Store. It follows an earlier pre-built connector for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management.

"Integrating with BarTender will unlock an effective path towards centralizing and standardizing labeling operations for all Microsoft Dynamics 365 users, throughout their entire organization," observed Harold Boe, CEO of Seagull Scientific (Bellevue, WA). "This could include hundreds of portable devices, across multiple company locations, or in the field--while also providing heightened accessibility for suppliers and partners." As such, BarTender Print Connector for Business Central follows new products such as BarTender Mobile App, BarTender Cloud, and the BarTender REST API (Application Programming Interface).

BarTender by Seagull Scientific Integrates With Entire Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP

Code Corner

A full launch of POSaBIT 2.0, the next-generation dedicated cashless payment software for cannabis dispensaries, has been kicked off by POSaBIT Systems Corporation (Seattle, WA). As new features, it includes: simplified and more intuitive user interface, enhanced data analytics, and expanded integrations with popular e-commerce platforms. "After meticulously studying the feedback from our loyal customer base, we have integrated several high-impact features that will significantly enhance the user experience," reflected Ryan Hamlin, CEO of POSaBIT. "It not only meets but surpasses industry standards." Also, after an extensive trial across two dozen merchants, POSaBIT has decided not to move forward with its crypto-based payments solution.

POSaBIT 2.0 for Cannabis


A new partner for Sound Payments (Jacksonville, FL), in the form of ISV mKonnekt (Irving, TX), brings tobacco rebates/redemption to its Sound POS. It tracks tobacco manufacturers' loyalty and coupon programs that are offered to retailers, most often used in convenience stores. As such, it creates reports of the daily tobacco sales combined with coupons and loyalty discounts applied to them. Once submitted, merchants are compensated for those funds. "I am excited to roll out another enhancement this year and look forward to closely working with all our resellers," contributed Cesar Carrasco, National Sales Manager for Sound POS. "This feature is another option that will help drive sales for Sound POS and help increase revenue for our resellers and merchants."

Sound POS Adds Tobacco Rebates


Partner Tech Plants ALFA

An advanced industrial computer for retail and hospitality, dubbed ALFA, has been unwrapped by Partner Tech USA (Anaheim, CA). A trio of models feature compact form factor, durable aluminum casing, and noise-free fanless design. Available with Windows 10/11 and Linux Ubuntu 22, ALFA carries the newest Intel Tiger Lake or Elkhart Lake CPU. A selection of memory and storage sizes are offered up to 1 TB M.2 PCIe SSD and 32 GB DDR4 DRAM.

A large selection of ports supports peripherals in POS, Kiosks, Digital Signage, and Kitchen Display Systems. As models, it comes in ALFA, ALFA Pro (adding 4 x Powered USB), and ALFA Mini (with ultra-slim profile at 1.8"/45 mm). A VESA mounting bracket facilitates installation. As wireless capabilities, there's optional 802.11 Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2.

"The digital transformation of the retail and hospitality industries continues to drive the development of more powerful computers that are designed to handle more demanding applications," detailed Sandra Hsia, President at Partner Tech USA. "The ALFA Series provides the power and flexibility that our customers are looking for, supported by a five-year warranty. With its multiple ports, ALFA is an excellent choice for retail applications with many peripherals at the checkout counter, but it also can be used as print server, office computer, or server."

Partner Tech's ALFA Industrial Computers

An In-Flexion Point at MagTek

A new Payment Card Industry (PCI) PTS 6.x PED Certification for its DynaFlex II PIN Entry Device has been achieved by MagTek (Seal Beach, CA). In dimensions of 3.7"/95 mm (H) x 4.1"/103 mm (W) x 1.9"/48 mm (D), the DynaFlex II PED supports swipe, dip, contactless, and NFC. A 2.3 x 1.7"/58 x 43 mm touchscreen allows for display of graphics, signature capture, and manual entry of card data. A Model BCR handles QR Codes.

An interface with USB-HID protocol and optional 802.11 WLAN with TLS Secure WebSocket boosts connectivity in DynaFlex II PED--spanning Windows, Android, and iOS. A MagneSafe Security Architecture (MagTek V5) encompasses Encryption, Tokenization, Authentication, and Dynamic Data. It may process via Magensa, the gateway by MagTek.

"Supporting both wired and wireless connectivity extends the value of DynaFlex II PED, enabling its users to transact wherever their business takes them," declared Andy Deignan, CEO of MagTek. "ISVs have the flexibility to integrate to a single device and configure to almost any scenario in the store or branch, delivering countertop, kiosk, and mobile line-busting solutions across Windows, Android, and now iOS and iPadOS. A single device that caters to multiple use cases backed by a flexible SDK (Software Development Kit) makes for easier integration."

A Certification to PCI PTS 6.x PED for MagTek's DynaFlex II

Key Advertiser Links

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

POS & Peripherals
Bixolon America
Electronic Payments
Epson America
Pioneer Solution
POS Nation
Sam4s/Shin Heung Precision
Star Micronics

Barcode Printers
Bixolon America
Brother Mobile
GoDEX Americas
Woosim Systems

Cash Drawers/Cash Handling
apg/APG Cash Drawer

Data Collection
Janam Technologies
Star Micronics
Unitech America

Integrated Payment Solutions
Datacap Systems
Electronic Payments
Miura Systems
North American Bancard
Payment Logistics
Sound Payments

Receipt Printers
Bixolon America
Brother Mobile
Epson America
Star Micronics
Woosim Systems

Stands, Mounts, Cradles
Star Micronics



Square: Smoke Signals

A partnership with Jane Technologies has brought Square into the cannabis market in Canada. Jane allows cannabis dispensaries processing with Square to supplement their brick-and-mortar business with an online store where customers can select items from an up-to-date menu. As part of this offering, Square has announced an "Early Access Program" for licensed dispensaries in Ontario Province.

"We know cannabis dispensaries have limited options when it comes to reliable and integrated commerce tools," noted Roshan Jhunja, Head of Retail for Square (San Francisco, CA). "Sellers are looking for an easy-to-use, fully integrated omnichannel solution to help them run their businesses in person and online. We've been fortunate to partner with Jane to develop a robust online offering and encourage cannabis dispensaries to test our software, hardware, and payment solution through our Early Access Program."

"Square's reputation as a leading global commerce platform speaks for itself, and given our shared ethos of empowering brick-and-mortar retailers with best-in-class digital tools, the partnership with Jane developed naturally," reported Socrates Rosenfeld, CEO of Jane Technologies (Santa Cruz, CA). "We are excited to integrate the robust infrastructure of Square's Point-of-Sale and APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) with the powerful Jane e-commerce platform to unlock a best-in-class omnichannel experience for cannabis retailers in Canada." The recreational cannabis market became legal across Canada in 2018. It's estimated to be worth more than $4.5B.

Square Enters Canadian Cannabis Market

Marty the Smarty

An early large-scale roll-out of in-store robotics--specifically, Marty the Robot from Badger Technologies (Nicholasville, KY)--has been upgraded at 300 sites of Stop & Shop (Quincy, MA). First deployed by Stop & Shop in January 2019, throughout the Northeastern U.S., these autonomous mobile units now "shelf-scan"--monitoring product status via computer-vision technology, business intelligence, and cloud-based analytics. Another task of spotting potential floor hazards has been maintained.

Equipped with multiple sensors, Marty the Robot navigates store aisles without disrupting shoppers, according to Badger Technologies (which is part of Jabil). Inventory tracking in real-time by this smarter version of Marty the Robot enables Stop & Shop to expedite restocking and price corrections. In addition to flagging out-of-stocks, this smarter version of Marty the Robot also detects misplaced items.

"Marty has delivered tremendous value for us already in terms of creating a safer in-store environment, and we're pleased to announce these new automated shelf-scanning capabilities, which will deliver even more value for customers and associates," indicated Gordon Reid, President of Stop & Shop. "With Marty's new ability to find and fix on-shelf product availability and to confirm pricing information, associates can spend even more time with shoppers." In August, Badger sent its Marty the Robots to McCoy's Building Supply (85 stores) in TX, NM, OK.

An Upgrade for Marty the Robot at Stop & Shop

Channel Factoid

AI Gets an "A"

Nearly 6 in 10 Retailers Plan
Adoption of AI, ML, CV
Within the Next Year

Status of Deployment

38%: Selective Use Cases
35%: Larger Scale Use
24%: Pilot Phase/Discussions
3%: Not Using at All

Goals of Deployment

59%: Customer Experience
49%: Greater Productivity
44%: Return on Investment

Primary Barriers

39%: Budget Restrictions
29%: Showing Business Value
21%: Lack of Expertise

Source: Survey of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Computer Vision in Retail, Conducted by Honeywell

Widespread Adoption of AI in Retail

A Message From the Editor

As we progress through another year--our 18th!--our mission remains constant: to fill the need for timely, focused, non-biased news in the channel for 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.

Michael Kachmar, Editor


PCI SSC Unlocks VP

A new Regional VP for North America, Wenlock "Wen" Free, has been recruited by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (Wakefield, MA). As such, he will serve as the primary liaison with payment stakeholders of the PCI SSC in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. He brings two decades of experience in payments security as VP of Business Development and SVP of Strategic Partnerships at Security Metrics.

"I am excited to work for an organization that continues to be at the forefront of payment security," expressed Free. "My background in the industry and my passion for risk management helps organizations better understand the importance of what the PCI SSC does and why it matters. There has never been a more important time for the payments industry to come together than now. I look forward to tackling this important challenge."

"Wen brings a wealth of industry relationships and knowledge to the PCI SSC, and we are delighted to have him join the PCI SSC family," commented Lance Johnson, Executive Director of the PCI SSC. "Wen will play a key role in our continued focus on engaging payment industry professionals under our new and expanded governance structure." (In May, the PCI SSC expanded its Board of Advisors from 31 to 52.)

Wen Free, Regional VP for North America, PCI Security Standards Council

A Lynx for POS

A channel program has been charged up with the hiring of Igor Byczkowski as Director of POS at Merchant Lynx Services (Palm Beach Gardens, FL). He joins the firm from the ISV SoftTouch POS & Payments, where he served as Technical Support Manager. Earlier, he served as Service Manager at the VAR ESI.

"We've made a significant investment in the development of our new POS system, and we are thrilled to bring on the most talented POS programmer and expert in the industry to lead this team as we bring this exciting technology to market," related John Kucyk, President and CEO of Merchant Lynx Services. A family owned and privately held company, Merchant Lynx Services processes close to $4B in transactions annually. It has 90 employees. Mike Zavala is Agent/ISO Director.

"Merchant Lynx Services is well-known and respected in the payment industry," testified Byczkowski. "The POS product they developed is by far one of the most intuitive, versatile, and visually appealing systems I've seen in my over 25 years. I jumped at the opportunity to run the new POS Solutions team and help bring it to market."

Igor Byczkowski, Director of POS Solutions Team, Merchant Lynx

Copyright 2023 -- All Rights Reserved
Retail Reseller News -- Mendham, NJ USA
Michael Kachmar -- Publisher & Editor
ISSN 2769-6561