Our Product Pick
Posiflex USA (Hayward, CA) has unwrapped its new 3" thermal receipt printer, designated PP7600. In cube-shaped design of 5.1 in. (W) x 5.9 in. (D) x 5.1 in. (H), it features maximum print speed of 7.9 in./200 mm per second at 203 dpi. Additional characteristics include auto-cutter, indicator LEDs (power, error, paper out), USB + Serial, and power supply at 24-V/60-W. It may be deployed on desktop or wall mount. An optional ambient lighting module (LD2000) can be attached to the base of the PP7600, "which can illuminate colorful, fun light patterns." Additional options include LAN or WAN.
Posiflex's PP7600 Receipt Printer
"Expinet-ial" Step for iPayment
One of the payment processors active in our channel, iPayment, Inc. (Westlake Village, CA), has launched its new gateway, entitled "Expinet." "A critical milestone for our company," in the words of O.B. Rawls IV, CEO and President, Expinet seeks to simplify and speed the development process. "An incredible new technology platform, it will drive new partnership opportunities in the integrated space, specifically in the areas of hospitality, healthcare, retail, and education," declared Rawls.
In terms of nuts and bolts, Expinet features seamless integration via single-stack technology and its REST API (Application Programming Interface). It leverages tokenization and encryption, and advanced fraud management tools, including built-in protection for DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service). As expected, it supports any payment type, from magnetic-stripe reader (MSR) to EMV to Contactless NFC (i.e., Android Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay).
"For developers, time is money, which is why our Expinet integration is designed to be as simple as possible," expressed Jennifer Terrill, CIO at iPayment. "We provide a semi-integrated solution that gives developers all the security, features, and functionality they need to complement their technology while still capitalizing on the opportunities in and around payments. And we provide full support throughout the process, from integration to market launch." At present, iPayment serves 140,000 customers in the SMB.
Recurring Billing Screen for iPayment Expinet
At Pinnacle; With Omnivore
Omnivore (Hayward, CA), the cloud-based "Universal" API (Application Programming Interface) between third-party solutions and hospitality POS, has enlisted VAR Pinnacle Hospitality Systems. With offices throughout Florida, Alabama, Ohio, and Northern Pennsylvania--and based in Ft. Lauderdale--Pinnacle Hospitality is one of the leading resellers of POSitouch POS. Founded in 2014, Omnivore also lists major players such as Oracle-Micros, NCR Aloha, Agilysys-InfoGenesis, Heartland-Dinerware, and Brink POS as participating POS ISVs.
"The new partnership with Pinnacle will help provide new insight into operations for POSitouch restaurant operators, and ultimately better value to their customers," reflected Mike Wior, CEO and Co-Founder of Omnivore. "Pinnacle will gain access to third-party technology apps--everything from delivery, reservations, and payment, to loyalty and gifting applications--all through a single integration point with Omnivore. Our partnership opens immense new opportunity to drive customer engagements and to increase revenue potential as a result."
A new Omnivore App Marketplace, opened in February, classifies such third-party opportunities. It includes prominent players such as DoorDash, EZ-Chow, ItsOnMe, MenuPad, PayMyTab, Resy, SeatNinja, TABu, and Zapper. "We're thrilled to partner with Omnivore to continue to advance what's possible in the POS space," enthused Don Potter, CEO of Pinnacle Hospitality. [An interesting footnote: Pinnacle Hospitality installed the first touchscreen POS in Florida].
Omnivore's "Universal" API Dashboard
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NRF's Big Show
ALL IN THE FAMILY
TSC Fires Off MH240
TSC America (Brea, CA) has unveiled its new family of industrial thermal label printers, the MH240 Series. Addressing the mid-market, the MH240 Series has three different levels--and nine models in total--spanning 203, 300, and 600 dpi. With 536-MHz CPU, each reaches print speed of up to 14 in./356 mm per second, with auto-sensing firmware, clean "thermal smart control" technology, and 600-m/2000-ft. ribbon capacity. A foldable cover and side-load design reduces desk space, with "tool-free" printhead and platen roller replacement.
Basic models MH240, MH340, and MH640 offer 3.5" control panel LCD, 128-MB RAM, and 128-MB Flash. Advanced models MH240T, MH340T, and MH640T, and premium models MH240P, MH340P, and MH640P, offer 4.3" color touch LCD, 256-MB RAM, and 512-MB Flash. Models "T" and "P" feature the company's new Graphical User Interface (GUI) introduced in 2016 with the MX240P. In addition, "P" supports full media roll rewind capability (up to 8-in./203-mm OD).
As input, there's USB 2.0, USB Host x 2, Serial RS-232, and Ethernet. As options, dealers may add Bluetooth, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and GPIO + Parallel. The MH240 Series is bundled with TSPL-EZ firmware, which incorporates three printer languages: TSC, TPLE (Translation Printer Language Eltron), and TPLZ (Translation Printer Language Zebra). All models are backed by the company's two-year limited warranty.
New MH240 Series Thermal Label Printers
A Pair of Boots at Microscan
Microscan (Renton, WA) has presented its new MicroHAWK "Dual Boot" Cameras, which allow seamless switching among identification, machine vision, and verification in each model. Intended for the company's solution kit, they run MicroHAWK ID, using WebLink/ESP (for identification), or AutoVISION/Visionscape (for machine vision and verification). As versions, ID/MV-30 (Part Number SLN0000036) and ID/MV-40 (Part Number SLN0000037) will ship with the following features: SXGA sensor, high-density auto-focus lens, white LEDs, full ID and MV license sets, power supplies, cables, and mount.
"By building maximum capability into one camera, Microscan enables partners to demonstrate the full power of MicroHAWK ID and MV," proposed Microscan. "Solution providers only need one camera in their lab for application evaluations and development. End-users can stock general purpose units on their shelves and deploy them as needed for changing requirements."
Microscan's Dual Boot Cameras are differentiated by their power and connectivity. The ID/MV-30 has USB, and may be plugged directly into the PC. The ID/MV-40 has Ethernet and separate power supply, for fastest upload to the PC. Initially, they are set for maximum flexibility, with subsequent orders having preferred settings for the customer. As list prices, the ID/MV-30 has $3,168, the ID/MV-40 has $3,374.
"Dual Boot" Cameras for ID and MV
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Epson Speaks of AfterWords
Another ISV, AfterWords (Tampa, FL), has embraced OmniLink Merchant Services by Epson America (Long Beach, CA). AfterWords' Guest Survey Software, provided as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), delivers questions based on the customer's transactional history. It will collect its information from the POS data provided by Epson OMS. A logical follow-up for OmniLink technology--which put PC functionality into Epson America's line of popular receipt printers--Epson OMS was formally debuted in 2016. It directly addresses ISVs and VARs in POS.
"We are elated to leverage Epson's OMS to deliver our patent-pending real-time transactional guest surveys," affirmed Drew Peloubet, CEO of AfterWords. "The Epson OMS Cloud has provided AfterWords with a quick way to integrate with retail and restaurant software platforms and allows us to acquire data from legacy systems that do not provide APIs for POS integration. The Epson Cloud makes data gathering simple and our partnership is destined to disrupt the survey industry."
"AfterWords offers a superb business intelligence solution to gauge customer feedback and improve a company's success," indicated Gregg Brunnick, Director of Product Management for POS Printers at Epson America. "Our joint solution enables data integration from multiple POS sources allowing AfterWords to provide actionable insights used to pinpoint areas for improvement and increase customer satisfaction. We are very pleased to join forces with a company that has the expertise needed to make a notable impact on a merchant's revenue stream." Epson America also announced that Food Online Ordering Systems (Denver, CO) has certified its latest product addition, the OmniLink TM-T88VI-i.
Epson's OmniLink Merchant Services Supports Guest Surveys and Customer Engagement From AfterWords
PayPoint in the Headlights
An up-and-coming ISV, DoubleBeam (Pasadena, CA), has certified the PayPoint for Android Terminal from Elo Touch Solutions (Milpitas, CA). A cloud-based solution, encompassing mobile commerce, including customer loyalty, DoubleBeam's point-of-sale software will be used to address foodservice--specifically restaurants, cafeterias, and food trucks--in conjunction with Elo's PayPoint. In addition, DoubleBeam will field EloView, the device management platform by Elo.
Of EloView, James Kwon, CEO of DoubleBeam, cites "a simple step, automatically loading payment security, eliminating the traditional imaging process, and streamlining initial set-up, deployment and long-term maintenance." Added Craig Witsoe, CEO of Elo, "Retailer demand for modern Android-based POS is quickly growing due to its ease of use, flexibility, and delivering the touch experience consumers expect." In testimony, small business owner Simone Arpaio, of Almare Gelato (Berkeley, CA), testified, "The PayPoint device looks fantastic, is sturdy, and provides the stable connection we need."
Introduced in 2014, Elo's PayPoint integrates 13" projected-capacitive touchscreen, receipt printer, cash drawer, barcode scanner, card swipe, and customer-facing display--all in one sleek footprint with maximum dimensions of 13.6 in. (W) x 11.3 in. (H) x 8.4 in. (D), weight of 21.4 lbs., and "single cable" design. With "flip-to-sign" functionality, its touchscreen facilitates applications such as customer signature capture, self-service/kiosks, and participation in loyalty programs. As an "ECR for the Cloud," capable of running iOS and Windows, as well as Android 5 Lollipop, Elo's PayPoint competes directly with offerings from Clover, ShopKeep, Square, NCR Silver, etc.
DoubleBeam Certifies Elo's PayPoint
POS ISV Revention (Houston, TX) has added functionality to accept third party online orders in its own online HungerRush Platform. Unlike many similar integrations, which charge monthly or by transaction, Revention is providing its third party online ordering "connector" at no charge for customers who subscribe to HungerRush. Along with its integration with the Revention POS, the third party online ordering connector communicates directly to kitchen display systems and kitchen printers. It also supports alternative order types and payment methods used by third parties (such as GrubHub and DoorDash). "Developing this integration was the easiest business decision we ever made," reported Laura Gaudin, Director of Product Management for Revention. "Revention does not feel it is in the best interest of our customers to charge more money for the same orders."
Just Browsing at MagTek
With its eye on our channel, MagTek, Inc. (Seal Beach, CA) has opened its new web browser for developers, dubbed "MagneFlex." Addressing iOS, Android, and Windows, it provides immediate access to the company's MagTek and Magensa SDKs (Software Development Kits) and APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). Offered at no cost, it was specifically designed to address the "declining use of Applets and Java Scripts needed for browsers to interact with externally connected hardware" [in the case of MagTek, of course, for payment processing].
"The reseller market is clamoring for business-specific POS and banking web applications which is putting pressure on integrators' and developers' resources. MagTek's MagneFlex was designed to make their jobs easier," proclaimed John Arato, VP and GM for Retail Solutions at MagTek. "By using MagneFlex to seamlessly integrate MagTek hardware and Magensa Services into their web application, the challenging development task is simplified."
Significantly, MagneFlex can be white-labeled to pair with the solution of ISVs and VARs. An application for payment processing, written in HTML 5 Code, will work across O/S. A longtime leader in payment technology, MagTek offers card readers (e.g., Dynamo), PIN Pads (e.g., DynaPro), and check scanners (e.g., MICRSafe)--as well as its MagneSafe Security Architecture. It distributes widely through the "big four": BlueStar (Hebron, KY), Ingram Micro (Irvine, CA), ScanSource (Greenville, SC), and Synnex (Fremont, CA).
New MagneFlex Developer Portal at MagTek
MasterCard Bids Hub Hello
MasterCard (Purchase, NY) has established the MasterCard B2B Hub. Delivered through card issuers, MasterCard B2B Hub is an automated end-to-end solution for business-to-business payments in the SMB. It employs digital tools and resources to maximize electronic payments across cards and data-enriched ACH. It seeks to eliminate manual payment processes and paper checks common to the SMB.
"Midmarket and small businesses are growth engines of our economy. The MasterCard B2B Hub is the latest way we are working to meet the broader payment needs of this segment," contributed Colleen Taylor, EVP of New Payments Business for MasterCard. "We see this solution as helping organizations maximize every minute and every dollar that they invest in their business. An automated payment experience will help improve supplier relationships and accelerate the conversion of B2B payments from paper checks to electronic payments."
The MasterCard B2B Hub will first launch in the U.S. later this year with AvidXchange (Charlotte, NC) as its execution partner. AvidXchange is an industry leader in automating invoice and payment processes with integrations into approximately 130 accounting and other back-office systems in 5,500 customers in North America. As part of this arrangement, MasterCard will assume minority ownership in AvidXchange. Michael Praeger, CEO of AvidXchange, which solicits VARs, puts the potential market for this solution at 350,000 businesses.
Debut of the MasterCard B2B Hub for the SMB
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Here's Some Skinny on Ingenico
A pair of players in payments--one well-known, hardware vendor Ingenico (Atlanta), and one not-so-well-known, processor SLIM CD (Coral Springs, FL)--have partnered to upgrade checkout at secondary market retailer, Channel Control Merchants (Hattiesburg, MS). With approximately 80 locations for its brands Dirt Cheap and Treasure Hunt, Channel Control Merchants will roll out the "smart" iSC Touch 250 terminals from Ingenico in conjunction with the semi-integrated solution from SLIM CD. Its stores are sited in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Georgia, and California.
"Becoming EMV compliant and ensuring best-in-class payment security can be a lengthy and costly process for many mid-sized merchants," observed Bernie Frey, SVP of U.S. Indirect Sales at Ingenico Group. "By upgrading to SLIM CD's semi-integrated payment solution, Channel Control Merchants is well-positioned to offer safe and secure payments to its customers across Dirt Cheap and Treasure Hunt." Both EMV Chip & Sign and Chip & PIN are supported in this bundle, notably, as well as magnetic-stripe reading (MSR).
"SLIM CD's semi-integrated toolkit with Ingenico Group's smart terminals provide developers with the simplest and most efficient path to compliance with EMV," suggested Frank Haggar, Director of Product Development at SLIM CD. "In addition to the security offered through full EMV, the terminal and toolkit combination supports signature capture and other advanced checkout functions." A wholly-owned subsidiary of Online Commerce Corporation, SLIM CD has been in business for 20 years. [Who knew?]
Ingenico's iSC Touch 250 Terminal Adopted by Payment Processor SLIM CD
NCR Races With Yoshi!
NCR Corporation (Duluth, GA) has brought Mobile POS to venerable sushi and jazz venue, Yoshi's (Oakland, CA). To serve its 17,000-square-foot facility, and 310 seats, Yoshi's has deployed NCR Aloha Mobile, an extension of NCR Aloha POS. As devices, it has adopted 26 NCR Orderman7's. Introduced to North America in 2015, NCR Orderman7 measures 6.5 in. (L) x 3.3 in. (W) x 1 in. (D), with MSR, and furnishes 5" touchscreen display, Bluetooth, NFC, and 433-MHz Orderman Secure Radio.
"This handheld technology more than doubles the amount of tables that our servers can handle, making their jobs easier and more efficient than ever before," asserted Hal Campos, GM of Yoshi's. "The speed and reliability of NCR's technology creates a unique and smooth customer experience, allowing servers to be more attentive to each table." Volunteered Don Zimmerman, GM of NCR Hospitality, "NCR's handheld devices are built for purpose, and improve operational performance."
Elsewhere, in specialty retail, NCR has partnered with omnichannel specialist, Red Rook (Atlanta, GA). A trio of components--middleware by Red Rook, e-commerce by Magento, and NCR Counterpoint POS--will be combined into this retail management package. "Red Rook has established themselves as omnichannel experts by bringing together best practices of brick-and-mortar retailers and online-only merchants," noted Ken Richard, Global Channel and Distribution Leader at NCR. Red Rook calls its solution, "Commerce5."
A Fresh Example of Mobile POS
With more than one-third of retailers (35%) still in the planning stages of deploying "intelligent order" technology, the industry is not moving quickly enough, according to "Strategies for Agile, Profitable, and Secure Omnichannel Execution" from Radial. In this study, retailers reported that the average cost for their company to fulfill an order is fully 70% of the average order value. Further 67% of CEOs stated that costs to fulfill orders have increased over the past several years, with 37% conceding that inventory and supply chain operations are not properly aligned. Despite new shipping schemes such as "buy online, pick up in store" and "buy online, ship from store," such inefficiencies persist. Three in ten of retailers (31%) are challenged with split orders, in which multiple products comprising one order must be shipped from different locations. Almost six in ten of retailers (56%) stated their order management systems need to be able to process at higher volumes and velocity, as well as source from multiple channels. Overall, four in ten of retailers (40%) have trouble with such basic functions as automating order capture and processing, integrating inventory, and standardizing order management across channels. "The post-click ecosystem is difficult for even the most successful omnichannel retailers to navigate," observed Stefan Weitz, EVP of Technology Services at Radial, adding. "Customers expect limitless selection, next-day delivery, frictionless payments, and easy returns."
APG "Banks" on SMARTtill
APG Cash Drawer (Minneapolis, MN) has engaged Robert Banker as its Director of SMARTtill Technology Sales. As readers may recall, APG purchased Cash Bases, developer of SMARTtill in Europe, in 2015. In order to automate cash management, each time the SMARTtill Drawer is closed, the cash value (by denomination and total) plus transaction details (transaction number, cashier, date, and time) are electronically reported to the SMARTtill Manager. At the heart of this system: its weighable coin and note tray.
"I am very excited to be joining APG to help lead the sales efforts around their innovative SMARTtill technology," remarked Banker. "Key factors for me are the strong and positive culture of the company and the collaborative approach that they take within the organization. The value proposition for the solution is very strong and the current European customers are extremely happy. I am looking forward to helping bring this solution to the U.S. marketplace to help retailers improve operational performance and reduce shrink."
"We are delighted to have Robert on board as we continuously drive the integration of our newest product innovation into the marketplace," commented Mark Olson, President and CEO. "The sales process for the SMARTtill solution requires a multifaceted approach, and Robert's experience and expertise in the sale of technology solutions for the retail industry will ultimately yield more positive results for APG's partners." Prior to joining APG, Banker served as Solutions Sales Specialist, Eastern Region, for Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions/IBM Retail Store Solutions (2011 to 2017), preceded by Senior Account Manager for Tyco Retail Solutions (2003 to 2011). He will be based in Boston, MA.
Robert Banker, Director of SMARTtill Technology Sales, APG Cash Drawer
At the Speed of Laith
Lightspeed (Montreal, QC, Canada) has named Laith Murad as its Chief Marketing Officer. With two decades of relevant experience, Murad most recently served as CMO for retailer Pirch (2015 to 2016). During his time, Pirch won several honors, including Retailer of the Year and the Davey Award for Best Branding. Earlier, he was VP of Marketing at Yahoo (2012 to 2015) and Board Member of the Direct Marketing Association (2014 to 2015).
"We are very pleased to welcome Laith to the Lightspeed team as a leader for our marketing and communications divisions, and a champion of our customer-centric approach," relayed Dax Dasilva, Founder and CEO. "Laith's vast marketing experience in the retail and technology sectors makes him an exceptional asset to the team as we expand our current marketing strategy and continue to engage thousands of new customers, on a global scale."
"I am honored to join Lightspeed at this pivotal time in the company's global growth," shared Murad. "Lightspeed is a true innovator in the retail tech industry, empowering entrepreneurs, store owners, and restaurateurs with the tools they need to grow, scale, and manage a business." Founded in 2005, Lightspeed serves more than 45,000 retail sites and restaurants processing over $15 billion yearly. Along with its cloud- and iPad-based POS, it has premiered an omnichannel product and data analytics solution for the SMB.
Laith Murad, Chief Marketing Officer, Lightspeed
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