Our Product Pick
Clientron (New Taipei City, Taiwan) has presented its compact All-in-One, the PT3200. With 15” resistive or projected-capacitive touchscreen, the PT3200 has fanless design, bezel-free front panel, and Intel Celeron Quad-Core J1900 CPU at 2 GHz. It runs POS Ready 7, Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry, and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise. It offers the full range of peripherals: from scanners, to fingerprint and smart card readers, to customer-facing displays. It features an easy access 2.5” HDD tray for install and maintenance. It also supports standard VESA for use as self-service terminal, price checker, or digital signage. “Its affordable price makes it suitable for either entry-level or mainstream POS markets,” according to Clientron.
All-in-One PT3200 by Clientron
Harbortouch Stokes VIPs
Harbortouch (Allentown, PA) has launched its new VIP Account Program, designed for large restaurants and retail businesses (with at least $30,000 per month in credit card processing value). It offers numerous enticements for such customers to switch their existing POS to Harbortouch. First and foremost, the company will waive its monthly POS service fees ($39 for Echo and $69 for Elite) for up to the entire initial contract term. Harbortouch, readers will recall, was very early out of the gate with its concept of “free” POS.
In addition to this financial incentive, Harbortouch will extend so-called “white glove service” to merchants designated as VIPs. A special team has been assembled, RRN.Com was told, which will facilitate programming, installation, and ongoing support as part of their package from Harbortouch. Of course, for its VARs and ISOs, the VIP Account Program represents an opportunity to fatten their portfolio with higher payment processing residuals (accompanied by help with such sales).
“In order to convince the merchant to replace their existing POS system, you have to be able to make an offer they can’t refuse,” shared Jared Isaacman, CEO of Harbortouch. “Our new VIP Program does just that by combining our truly free POS system with white-glove service, custom programming, and free 60-day trial. We are making it possible for our sales partners to sign some of the most coveted merchants: established, high-volume accounts that are difficult to attain due to their existing POS system. Plus, the timing couldn’t be better since many businesses with older POS systems are currently facing expensive PCI and EMV upgrades.”
New VIP Account Program Caters to Large Customers in Dining and Retail (Shown here, Elite and Echo POS)
Clear Path to ISVs
Clearent (Clayton, MO) has named Dana Odom as its new VP and Integrated Software Vendor (ISV) Channel Manager. A veteran of strategic relationships and reseller programs in the payments space, with 15 years of experience, Odom will now lead an integrated partner sales team at Clearent. He came from TSYS Merchant Solutions, where he served as Senior Director of Integrated Payments Sales and Strategy.
Odom started his career as Product Specialist for Panasonic POS. He then served as National Sales Manager for Elavon in the Gateway Payments Division. Following that, he led partner acquisitions as Director of Corporate Strategy and Sales Effectiveness at PayPros LLC, which was acquired by Global Payments, and now’s OpenEdge.
“I’ve been amazed by Clearent’s commitment to customer service so far,” declared Odom. “The company is just the right size. Big enough to matter, small enough to care about each partner.” Its “Partner Success Program” extends marketing, sales, training and support benefits. Addition of Odom now signals increased emphasis on VARs and ISVs.
Dana Odom, VP and ISV Channel Manager, Clearent
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Feeling FIIT at Lucova
A relative newcomer, Lucova (Toronto, Canada), has offered its FIIT POS. Addressing the market in higher education, Lucova has white-label products in payment processing, mobile commerce, customer loyalty, and now, POS. As specific benefits of FIIT, which it has purchased from One Fit LLC, it cites customer proximity, meal plans, advanced reporting, and inventory management for foodservice, as well as POS. It’s delivered via the cloud.
“The campus market is in need of disruption and existing solutions are not keeping up with the changing preferences of millennial customers,” emphasized Robert Love, VP of Product Experience for Lucova. “Young consumers expect service that’s customized to them and the POS system is the gateway to creating that experience. We weren’t able to find such POS in the market, so we’ve created one.”
In attempting to mirror the approach of “forward thinkers such as Starbucks,” in its own words, Lucova has incorporated proprietary Bluetooth technology for FIIT. Each transaction begins with the student’s profile, identified by their mobile device. “The FIIT POS, combined with our existing solutions, generates opportunities for unique brand moments where the emphasis is on knowing the person behind the transaction, which in turn drives positive growth and results for organizations,” expounded Amit Jhas, CEO of Lucova. On its website, Lucova solicits partners and third parties in POS.
Lucova Offers Its New POS, Entitled “FIIT”
Opticon’s Little Engine
Opticon (Renton, WA) has unwrapped its newest scan engine, designated the MDI-4100. Measuring 1 in. (W) x 0.4 in. (H) x 0.8 in. (D), weighing 0.2 oz., the MDI-4100 reads one- and two-dimensional barcodes, as well as OCR-B font. It employs an area imager (CMOS), with aiming green LED and warm white illumination LED. Scan rate is 100 frames per second.
As benefits, the MDI-4100 has an 800-MHz CPU, RS-232 and USB, and adjustable, low power consumption of 300 mA. As field of view, there’s 38 degrees horizontal and 29 degrees vertical. As depth of field for QR Code: 2.5 to 4.2 inches at 6.7 mil and 1.2 to 9.2 inches at 15 mil. As depth of field for Code 39: 2 to 5 inches at 5 mil, 1.8 to 9.7 inches at 10 mil, and 2.4 to 18.4 inches at 20 mil. Operating temperature range is -22 to +140 degrees F.
A high-speed decoder accommodates poorly printed or damaged codes, and reading of codes off smartphone and computer screens. In addition, the data editing program captures up to 16 codes on multiple images in one pass. An output editing process, such as GS1 format, can also be easily configured. As applications, the company cites ticket readers, companion scanners, handheld terminals, self-service kiosks, and POS.
Opticon’s Debuts MDI-4100 Scan Engine
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Merchant Link Hooks Bluefin’s P2PE
Merchant Link (Silver Spring, MD) has embraced Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) from Bluefin Payment Systems (Atlanta, GA). With Bluefin’s “Decryptx,” described as Decryption as a Service (DaaS), Merchant Link now provides PCI-validated P2PE, as well as EMV, through their current platform, TransactionLink. An early installation has taken place at the University of California at San Diego. It employs iSC 250 payment terminals from Ingenico.
“Prior to Bluefin’s Decryptx product, the only way for a merchant to get PCI-validated P2PE was to switch their payment processing to the handful of gateways that offered it,” related Scott Carcillo, CIO of Merchant Link. “You could not decouple payment processing and PCI-validated P2PE before Decryptx. Now our TransactionLink clients can get Bluefin’s solution with absolutely no change to how they process transactions through Merchant Link. It’s a huge value-add.”
“A survey released by KPMG on August 23 found that 20% of consumers would not continue shopping at a retailer that suffered a data breach, no matter what they do to remediate the situation,” cautioned Greg Cornwell, SVP of Security Solutions at Bluefin. “Merchant Link counts some of the largest retailers, hospitality providers, and restaurants as clients. While P2PE cannot prevent a hacker from breaking into a network or point-of-sale system, it can ensure that clear-text cardholder data is not available for the hacker to steal.” Data decryption is performed offsite in the hardware security module (HSM) at Bluefin.
Secure Payments for the University of California at San Diego
A Recording Session at Teamwork
ISV Teamwork Retail (Clearwater, FL) has adopted the remote support capacity of Bomgar (Atlanta, GA). Integration with Teamwork Retail’s iOS POS was achieved via Bomgar’s Software Development Kit (SDK). With approximately 100 customers, Teamwork Retail fields an average of 150 support sessions per week; it previously used GoToAssist. For its part, Bomgar has 10,000 customers across verticals in 80 countries.
“With Bomgar, we were able to see the circumstances which caused issues, though rare, to pop up and achieve an even higher degree of quality,” reported Michael Maurer, CEO of Teamwork Retail. “Not only that, Bomgar’s capability to act as an interface for observing trainees in training environments is second to none. We’re able to see precisely how they’re using the application in their environment and recommend best practices for them in utilizing the software.”
“As a software company that is constantly implementing new features, it’s very useful to have visibility into our application when clients have an issue,” added Joshua Roberts, Infrastructure and Technical Support Manager at Teamwork Retail. “Our support team has made use of Bomgar’s ‘session recording’ feature, which allows them to provide all needed details to the QA and Development teams to quickly reproduce and resolve issues. We also needed to continue supporting clients that are still operating on our legacy software, so multi-platform capability was another huge plus. We have some of our support representatives running Mac OS, but most running Windows.”
ISV Implements Remote Support by Bomgar
KDC 200 Scanner by KoamTac
Vantiv Peels the Apple
Vantiv (Cincinnati, OH) has turned its sights on Apple. As one step, it now supports web-based Apple Pay, which allows e-commerce sites to offer one-touch checkout for the growing masses of customers shopping in Safari on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. (As early users, it cites companies such as YapStone.) In its second step, of particular interest to VARs and ISVs, the payment processor has emphasized three specific programs related to Apple Pay: Vantiv Mobile Accelerator, the Vantiv O.N.E. Apple Developer Community, and Vantiv eProtect.
As its name suggests, the Vantiv Mobile Accelerator Program for Apple Pay fast tracks merchants, and their respective ISVs, already processing with Vantiv. A part of TechTribe, the Vantiv O.N.E. (for “One Network Experience”) Apple Developer Community gathers resources and development tools, including Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Software Development Kits (SDKs), for VARs and ISVs. Addressing security, Vantiv eProtect employs tokenization to simplify integrations, help merchants reduce PCI scope, and address omnichannel solutions.
“For merchants, Apple Pay on the web is a game changer,” indicated Sayid Shabeer, VP of Merchant Product at Vantiv. “By making it easier for customers to provide payment and shipping information to websites, e-commerce merchants have the opportunity to significantly reduce abandoned shopping carts and appeal to a larger customer base, which boosts top line sales.” On the ground, Vantiv announced it has been chosen by Papa John’s International, the world’s third largest pizza delivery company, to provide payment processing for its 3,300 retail locations as well as its e-commerce website.
Apple Pay on the Web, Vantiv Style
Equinox Sees Crimson
A new bundle of software from Crimson Transaction Technologies (Toronto, Canada) and hardware from Equinox Payments (Scottsdale, AZ) hopes to tackle EMV/NFC. It runs on the Equinox L5000 payment terminal and has achieved end-to-end certification with First Data Rapid Connect. As part and parcel, it supports First Data’s TransArmor Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE).
“Scoria,” the retail suite of applications by Crimson Transaction Technologies, features an independent “credit switch” for credit/debit, checks, and gift cards. As expected, integration of the Equinox L5000 took place via Application Programming Interface (API). This eliminates the need for software vendors to go through the complex and time-consuming process of obtaining EMV Level 3 certification as well as out-of-scope PCI, according to the two parties. “EMV has introduced complexities into software development and release cycles,” corroborated Rob Hayhow, VP of Equinox.
“Our fully-integrated EMV solution reduces the costs and complexities typically associated with semi-integrated gateway and middleware solutions,” asserted Dave Mears, Director of Crimson. “Retailers and developers are extended more control over the Equinox terminals to display advertising and promotions, show line-item purchase details, and even initiate customer feedback surveys via the large touchscreen display.” Formerly known as Millenium Retail Solutions, Crimson Transaction Technologies focuses on HP in POS. Revived in 2014, Equinox is now owned by NBS Payment Solutions.
Equinox L5000 Series Gets EMV and Crimson’s POS Software
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Ticket to Ride at Star
A novel solution for ticketing has been developed around the mPOP (for “Mobile Point of Purchase”) system from Star Micronics America (Somerset, NJ). Developed for HMS Ferries, and deployed for the Pierce County Ferry at Bainbridge Island, WA, this allows travelers to buy their QR Code tickets on their smartphones, online, or at the terminal’s ticket booth. Star introduced its mPOP, which combines tablet, receipt printer, and cash drawer, in October 2015, readers will recall. It has since attracted much interest from ISVs.
As partner for the ticketing system, Star engaged Americaneagle.com, an interesting web design, development, and hosting company in Des Plaines, IL (and not to be confused with American Eagle Outfitters). An executive of that firm, SVP Chung Chung Tam, is regarded as one of the leading experts in transit fare payment technology, not coincidentally. Now that the system is up and operating successfully, the team plans to add smart card capability, with help from Infineon Technologies (Neubiberg, Germany).
“Other ticketing systems we evaluated were static, while Americaneagle.com provided a system that grows and adjusts as the market changes,” observed Matthew Miller, VP of HMS Ferries. “In summary, Pierce County Ferry is now operating the most sophisticated ticketing system in the maritime industry.” Next, the three partners plan to combine their respective skills for development of an innovative solution for the entertainment industry and amusement park world.
HMS Ferries Deploys Star’s mPOP for Ticket Sales
PAR: Eat This, iPad!
ParTech (New Hartford, NY), a subsidiary of PAR, will deploy its POS across the 21 sites of the restaurant group, Aurify Brands. This solution encompasses its PAR Brink POS software, PAR EverServ 7700 terminals, and PAR Brink Kitchen Display System (KDS). It replaces the previous iPad-based POS, which “experienced frequent system crashes,” according to Aurify. Based in New York City, Aurify Brands has Melt Shop, The Little Beet, Fields Good Chicken, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and the new “Make Sandwich.”
“After a long process of vetting dozens of different POS solutions on the market, based on PAR’s reputation as a leading solution provider, we decided to do a beta test at our Fields Good Chicken locations,” recounted Josh Morgan, Operating Partner at Aurify Brands. “We ran a nine-month pilot to confirm that the PAR solution could meet our needs company-wide. They have exceeded our expectations.” It runs Windows, noted Aurify Brands, and eliminates “the leading point of failure: inconsistencies of Wi-Fi.”
“We are pleased to have been selected as a technology partner by Aurify Brands,” remarked Karen Sammon, President and CEO of PAR Technology Company. “The flexibility and ease of deployment that the cloud-based design of Brink POS can provide is a great match for their unique business plan to continue to invest and grow original concepts that create memorable customer experiences. Whether an owner/operator has two locations or thousands of locations, Brink is the cloud solution specifically designed to efficiently manage restaurant operations, including point-of-sale, loyalty, multi-unit management, and enterprise reporting.”
PAR EverServ 7700 With 15” Capacitive Screen
According to “The 2016 Smart Decision Guide to Restaurant Management and POS Systems,” sponsored by Agilysys, today’s operators are seeing the biggest technology shift since the 1980s. Mobility, flexibility, and customization are hallmarks of this new POS. Almost one-quarter (24%) of restaurant operators who have not purchased a new restaurant management and POS system within the past three years indicate that they plan to do so in the next 12 months. In terms of expectations, 93% of respondents indicate that improving guest satisfaction, loyalty, and positive word of mouth is one of the biggest benefits one can expect from the right POS. Next, 88% of restaurateurs rank accommodating guests’ ordering and payment preferences are “important” or “very important.” In addition, 81% of restaurant operators rank the need to gain access to POS data and business insights as an “important” or “very important” success factor. Also, 78% of restaurant operators cite the benefits of POS mobility as the top reason to upgrade their technology capabilities. Finally, 73% of full-service restaurants and 57% of fast casual restaurants achieved “significant” or “dramatic” improvements in operations and revenue performance after deploying their next-generation POS system. “In the highly competitive restaurant industry, increasing revenue and margins by even a few percentage points can make a huge difference in profitability,” advised Jim Walker, SVP of Global Revenue at Agilysys.
Sommers Time at ShopKeep
ShopKeep (New York, NY) has enlisted Mike Sommers as its SVP of Product Management. Significantly, Sommers has more than two decades of experience working within the online software space, including time as VP of Product Development for AOL. Most recently, he served as SVP of Product Development at music streamer, Beatport. One of the more solid providers of iPad-based POS, ShopKeep now reports 23,000 installs in retail and hospitality SMB.
“ShopKeep has been on the leading edge of payments technology since day one with a simple but powerful solution that is easy to get started with, and helps merchants quickly understand what’s working and what’s not with their business,” volunteered Sommers. “Our customers entrust us with the most vital part of their business, and as they grow, our intuitive and nimble product is behind them. We are dedicated to continually sharpening and broadening our features to meet the diverse demands of our expanding SMB network.”
“Technology is taking huge strides in changing how independent companies operate and grow their business,” postulated Michael DeSimone, President and CEO at ShopKeep. “The collective ShopKeep team all has experience working in the businesses we serve, and Mike’s established background furthers ShopKeep’s mission to build a smarter, adaptable POS.” Just this week, ShopKeep announced it will move to larger space, 24,000 square feet, for its 140 employees in NYC.
Mike Sommers, SVP of Product Management, ShopKeep
A Channel to IoT?
RF Code (Austin, TX) has drafted Copie Davis as Director of Channel Development. For the past decade, Davis has served as Partner Development Manager for Data Center Infrastructure Management at Schneider Electric. Eagerly eyeing the Internet of Things (IoT), RF Code addresses asset lifecycle management and environmental monitoring in data centers and healthcare.
“I’m excited to build on RF Code’s existing channel growth as well as increase the program’s scope throughout North America,” commented Davis. “RF Code has an impressive reputation within the asset management and environmental monitoring industries. I look forward to helping in its latest expansion toward the data-driven IoT-based solutions that data center owners and operators are increasingly seeking.”
“RF Code has experienced a great deal of momentum in our channel program and we’re delighted that an experienced channel manager like Copie will help us to continue its growth,” contributed Ed Healy, CEO at RF Code. “Copie has an extensive background in creating new channel relationships and increasing the capacity of existing partners. As RF Code continues to expand its solutions to integrate the cloud and IoT, his experience will be a tremendous asset.”
Copie Davis, Director of Channel Development, RF Code
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