Mobile POS/Scanner is now Visa Ready

Infinite Peripherals, Inc. (IPC), the leading developer of mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) devices, has been approved by the Visa Ready  Program, which indicates that the company’s popular Linea Pro 5 and Infinea Tab 4 mobile peripherals meet Visa’s requirements for a reliable, convenient and secure mPOS experience.

The Linea Pro 5 and Infinea Tab 4 equip the Apple® iPhone, iPod touch® or iPad with
an encrypted MSR, barcode scanner and Bluetooth® chip for use with custom software for mPOS and other merchant operations. The first mobile Secure Card Read (SCR) iOS solutions to have earned PCI PTS 3.1 SRED approval, the Linea Pro 5 and Infinea Tab 4 can be valuable parts of a merchant’s compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

“Infinite Peripherals is aligned with Visa’s rigorous security requirements, and our mPOS devices are fully tested and approved with PCI PTS 3.1 SRED,” said Jennifer Brown, strategic relationship and program manager at IPC. “Security is a primary focus for IPC, and the Visa Ready Program is an important way to differentiate our hardware solutions.”

Payment security is paramount, and merchants using IPC’s Linea Pro5 and Infinea Tab 4 can be assured that transactions are reliable and compliant with Visa’s security requirements.

Promoting Electronic Payments

Introduced in 2013, the Visa Ready Program enables hardware manufacturers and mobile application software developers to ensure that their devices or applications are compatible with Visa’s requirements to initiate or accept Visa payments. Furthermore, the program is a framework for collaboration with Visa, along with guidance and best practices to access the power of the Visa network.

About Infinite Peripherals

Since 1993, Infinite Peripherals, Inc. (IPC) has been fueling mobility with cutting-edge mobile peripheral devices, receipt printers, mechanisms and receipt printer-related components. Numerous major retailers in the United States are moving to mobile POS with IPC’s Linea Pro and Infinea Tab, helping to transform shopping, drive traffic and increase customer conversion rates. Anticipating trends and pre-empting solutions for a constantly evolving business landscape, IPC enhances operations in retail and other industries, including healthcare, hospitality, transportation, warehouse and logistics, entertainment and security.

LightSpeed Reports 398 Percent year-over-year growth in cloud business and $7.3 billion in transaction volume

LightSpeed Launches Advanced Cloud Analytics for Retailers of Any Size. Company reports 398 percent year-over-year growth in cloud business and $7.3 billion in transaction volume; brings new levels of sales and customer insights to merchants.

MONTREAL, June 18, 2014 – LightSpeed, the commerce platform for serious retailers, today launched Advanced Reporting for LightSpeed Cloud, as well as increased momentum for its cloud business line and transaction volume. As a follow-up to the launch of its brandable iPad POS application, today’s announcement adds big data analytics to LightSpeed’s cloud-based POS system, giving retailers real-time insight into sales, inventory trends and customer preferences so they can make better decisions about their business.

As evidence of the increased demand for cloud-based POS tools that go beyond the transaction, LightSpeed is seeing 70 percent of new customers opting for cloud. In addition, revenue from its cloud line of business has increased 398 percent in the last 12 months. The company is also revealing that its 19,000 stores are processing $7.3 billion in annual transaction volume, up from $6 billion earlier this year.

Brick and Mortar moves to the Cloud

Increasingly, independent brick-and-mortar retailers are turning to cloud-based technologies that can help create the highly personalized customer experience once only possible online or to larger retailers with deeper pockets. According to Accenture, the retail cloud market is expected to reach more than $15.1 billion in 2015. When LightSpeed introduced its cloud POS in 2013, it enabled independent retailers to manage their business, engage customers, and check them out, all from a web browser or an iPad. In addition to the ease, agility and cost savings inherent to the cloud, LightSpeed now provides retailers of any size with actionable data analytics — including insight and predictive visibility into sales, inventory levels, employee performance and customer preferences –to help them grow their business and better serve their customers.

“We implemented LightSpeed because we absolutely needed a cloud solution that could fit the needs of our growing brand. With our rapid expansion — adding five stores in four years — we knew we would need one holistic view of all of our inventory, sales and employees,” said Wesley Uthus, co-owner of Minnesota-based fashion boutique PRIMP. “Now, with LightSpeed, my partner and I know what’s going on across all our stores at all times down to very specific detail. We can make informed decisions about which store needs our attention most on any day of the week. It helps us determine where we need to focus our resources to keep business running smoothly and profitably.”

Big Data for Small Retail

Most point of sale systems for small and mid-sized retailers offer rudimentary reporting, such as sales totals or number of transactions. LightSpeed’s new Advanced Reporting for Cloud includes more than 40 reports that give detailed information on product sales, profits and margins; customer preferences; employee performance; payment methods; and vendor-by-vendor analytics; across all stores and channels. A highly visual, real-time “Dashboard,” accessible via a web browser or through a mobile app, gives a quick look at performance across all stores, and the new “Stats” panel shows best and worst performers across locations. In addition to giving a complete, real-time perspective of your business, LightSpeed’s new advanced analytics allow retailers to predict sales, inventory needs, and revenue based on historical trends and external factors like weather and holidays. It also captures customer preferences across online and offline channels, indicating purchase history, favorite items, and other customer insights that fuel successful loyalty programs.

“Customer engagement, forecasting and inventory management technologies are only as good as the data that fuels them. This, coupled with more traditional retailers expanding online and bringing retail technologies into their stores, has made demand for cloud-based POS tools and data analytics soar,” said Dax Dasilva, CEO of LightSpeed. “As a result, we’ve seen a 150 percent increase in our cloud customer base in the past twelve months. With Advanced Analytics, we’re delivering to retailers the kind of data analysis normally associated with large-scale ERP or business intelligence solutions, but in an easy-to-use format and at a cloud price.”

Examples of the insights retailers can glean from LightSpeed’s new Advanced Analytics include:

  • A holistic view of your customers: how they engage with your brand online, in-store, and through email

  • Which vendors, products, and stores are the most profitable

  • Who your most loyal customers are, and how you can reward them

  • How to better prepare for seasonal holidays or weather shifts

  • The strengths and weaknesses of your sales team so that you can reward star performers and augment training resources

About LightSpeed

LightSpeed provides serious retailers the simplest way to build, manage and grow their business and create a better shopping experience. More than 19,000 stores processing over $7.3 billion in transactions annually use LightSpeed’s retail commerce platform to unify inventory, customer preferences, sales and analytics, in-store and online. Founded in 2005 with offices in Montreal, New York City, Olympia, WA, Ottawa, Santa Cruz and Sydney, LightSpeed is backed by Accel Partners and iNovia Capital.

A Tablet-Based POS App for Restaurants: Ambur

In 2009, a team of former restaurant owners and workers set out to create a point of sale system for the hospitality industry that would be easier and more cost effective than any other available. Two years later, the Ambur point of sale iPad app was introduced to the market.  It can be used with any Apple touch device, which increases flexibility and availability in a busy restaurant setting. It’s customizable—from creating a menu to meet your unique needs, to customizing receipts and payment options. The following features could make a nice solution for your mobile hospitality needs:

– Set up the customizable point of sale system according to your needs.

– Receive free updates and free support.

– Customize your reports with important details.

– Save and store your sales data on your mobile device, with free backup on Dropbox.

– View, print, email, or export reports.

– Organize your menu to meet your specific requirements.

– Set permissions for individual users.

– Store customer contact information.

– Keep reservation data in one place with the easy reservation system.

– Accept cards on any device with compatible card readers.

The team continues to adapt and update the POS app to meet the growing challenges of an increasingly mobile hospitality industry. Here is their story:

“Before the iPad was released in April 2010, few people realized all the different applications it would serve in just a few short years. iPads are currently being used in hospitals, restaurants, air travel, retail, and various other industries. In 2010, the point of sale (POS) market was still dominated by a handful of large companies, some worth billions of dollars. These companies had a stronghold on the market and yet were unable to solve many pain points for restaurateurs. The systems provided by these companies did not adapt to the needs of specific restaraunts, remained hard to use, and were expensive.

The iPad was the perfect tool to disrupt the market. Going into the iPad POS market, we knew what we were up against. The incumbents had a twenty-five year head start, strong reseller networks, and recognizable brands. We knew competition would be tough, but we also understood that restaurant owners needed an easy-to-use mobile POS system at an affordable price. That’s exactly what we set out to create!

Having years of experience in the restaurant industry, we realized that a large number of features do not necessarily make a better product. A POS system may be packed with dozens of features, butthey don’t provide much benefit to the user if they are difficult to access. Every feature built into our app serves a specific purpose and is easily accessible. As we grow and add more features, we make great efforts to make sure that we keep Ambur easy to use, so we don’t end up like the systems we want to replace. Another great advantage of an iPad point of sale system is the mobility. Wait staff can carry around iPads, iPad minis, iPods, or iPhones and access the POS system no matter where they are in the restaurant.

From the start, we knew we had a great product and getting it into the hands of restaurateurs would allow us to prove it. We decided to base our sales on a completely transparent model. Restaurateurs can download a limited version for free from the App Store and evaluate it at their own pace. In the evaluation stage, our sales agents can answer any questions the customer may have. We work closely with the customer to make sure that this is a good fit for their business. This model has served us well; since our customers are already familiar with Ambur before they purchase, they know it is the right solution for them. Newer POS companies have similar models, and we think it is a great trend. With the point of sale being the heart of a restaurant, the staff need to be fully comfortable with it.

Apple’s App Store has allowed us to reach customers in thirty countries! Such a big reach does have it’s own challenges. One challenge that we encounter every day is to make sure that we are able to support not only the software but all the corresponding hardware remotely. Extensive documentation, understanding customer’s needs, and great customer service allow us to be one of the most highly rated POS systems in the App Store.

From talking with thousands of restaurateurs, we came to understand that the most important aspect when choosing a POS system is the owner understanding the needs of their business. There are a lot of POS solutions on the market, and not all of them are a good fit for every business. Once a restaurant owner has outlined their needs, they should ask specific questions and make sure that the POS system can perform as needed. Restaurateurs should be wary of companies that don’t offer free trials or a 100 percent money back guarantee on their solution.”

NCR Silver Combines Functionality, Ease of Use, to Simplify Mobile POS Experience

From retail shops to chocolatiers, cafés, restaurants, food trucks and even farms, NCR Silver is proving to be the right fit for a myriad of small businesses looking to use an integrated mobile POS for more than just payments.

In fact, NCR Silver is doing for small businesses what NCR has done for large retailers for more than 100 years – providing the necessary tools and capabilities to manage and grow a successful business. Silver keeps these tools simple, allowing small business owners to focus on servicing customers and growing their businesses rather than managing technology.

This ease of use, combined with solid retail experience is especially important to customers like John Masek, co-founder of Oregon-based Bricks & Minifigs, the largest aftermarket Lego store in the country.

“When I was looking for a point of sale for Bricks & Minifigs, I wanted a name I could trust,” Masek said. “With 130 years of experience behind them, I knew the NCR brand could deliver.”

Accepting many forms of payment including credit cards, checks, cash and mobile payments, NCR Silver is an iPad solution that gives small merchants the ability to track sales and profitability, customize automated email marketing programs and sell anywhere. The mobile POS also includes essential back office reports and dashboards to provide small businesses with a 24/7 view of their locations.

Customers like Masek rely on integrated customer marketing capabilities, like bulk emails and reports, because they are easy to set up and provide valuable insights into how marketing campaigns impact sales. The built-in loyalty program makes it easy for all types of businesses to reward customers at checkout, by eliminating the need for paper punch cards.

In addition, redeeming points is effortless for because the information all shows up on the POS at checkout.

For many family-owned businesses, a user-friendly, cloud-based POS also ensures they don’t have to spend extra hours in their stores reviewing and analyzing sales reports.

For example, the owners of Aly’s Applesin Texas wanted to start a business that centered on traditions, quality products and a flexible, family-centric lifestyle.

Taking a homemade caramel recipe and combining it with apples and chocolate turned out to be a great place to start for the Deason family, which started its business following the birth of their daughter, Aly, in 2009.

Fast forward to 2014, and now Aly’s Apples has four retail locations throughout Texas, all using NCR Silver POS with multi-store capabilities.

“We’re one of the largest resellers in Houston and are building our own customer and email database,” Shane Deason, owner of Aly’s Apples, said. “Silver was able to put everything together, from raw data to marketing magic. We would like to franchise in the future and would certainly recommend NCR for its functionality, but equally important is its ease of use.”

Multi-store capabilities give the Deasons flexibility to manage sales across their four locations by viewing a consolidated report or drill down to the individual store for details.

Additionally, NCR Silver lets small businesses like Aly’s Apples take advantage of the move to digital receipts – a trend that is growing in popularity among consumers.

Email receipts protect us at tax time,” says Deason, adding that email receipts also provide a level of convenience for his customers. “Today email receipts are as much a way to connect and nurture customer relationships as they are proof of purchase,” he adds. “NCR Silver makes it easy to leverage integrated tools like loyalty and email marketing that are built into its system.”

Patten Seed Company in Georgia dates back to 1893 when a former school teacher opened a general store that sold seed, fertilizer and everything a small town needed from a farming supply store.

“We started with NCR Silver just a few months ago, but saw an immediate and positive change in our business across all of our 14 locations,” said Chris Burns, controller at Patten Seed. “As a landscape company, we’re seasonal, and when spring hits, we get blasted. NCR Silver POS is superior to any of the systems we have used. It’s so user-friendly. I can spend only a few minutes on the phone with one of my retailers and they will have it installed and ready to go.”

And at Roba Family Farms, with seven terminals, NCR Silver is used to ring up tickets for seasonal (harvest and Christmas tree) sales, They also have NCR Silver set up in the café to sell cafeteria items for guests who are visiting the farm for festivals and events. The business makes most of its revenue in the seven weeks between the Halloween and Christmas seasons. During that time they run daily reports, and have used NCR Silver to see what items they should grow, based on volume. They started using NCR Silver about a year ago, and Sue Roba says the introduction of NCR has been great. “We hope to expand our reach, and NCR Silver will help us.”

Creating Point of Sale Magic – How this POS company does it

There’s no doubt that walking into an Apple store is a magical experience.  And part of that magic is the pleasure of the speedy checkout.   In a conversation with Dax Dasilva, the Founder and CEO of LightSpeed, bringing the Apple magic to small business owners has been his mission for 9 years.

Headquartered in Canada, LightSpeed has offices in New York City, Olympia, WA, Ottawa, Santa Cruz and Sydney.  According to Dasilva, at the present time the company has over 150 employees.
There are two products – one is LightSpeed Pro, which is “Apple-based, on-premise and non-hosted”, and the LightSpeed cloud product, which is hosted. Both versions have an iPad app which puts real-time product and inventory information at the fingertips of employees on the showroom floor.

LightSpeed has installations in thirty countries, is processing over 6 billion dollars a year in transactions, and has been growing exponentially. The business was founded in 2005 when Dasilva, was working at a Apple Mac dealership in Montreal.

Their clients and prospects:
LightSpeed now has about 17,000 clients, up from 7,000 a year ago and some of their larger clients have 40 to 50 stores running on it. About 1,000 of the clients are running on the cloud version.  That’s an outstanding growth rate for a company that’s going on nine years old.  I asked about who the average client was.  Dasilva advised me that typically they upgrade clients from an older system like a Retail Pro or a Quickbooks, although some 40% of their clients are brand new stores.  The average LightSpeed retailer does about $400,000 to $500,000 in annual revenue.  The goal is to double the number of clients again this year. Clients also typically are brick-and-mortar first.

The optimal prospective retailer generally has high value inventory – a niche that contains about 1 million stores, according to their research.    I asked about competitors such as NCR Silver, Shopkeep and Revel and other cloud based companies;  he replied that their typical customers have very different needs and as each of these providers has different capabilities, their customers vary. They do not see them or directly compete with them all that often.

“Typically we have very little churn” said Dasilva,  “people rely on these tools day in and day out to manage and grow their businesses.”  “One of the things we’ve realized is that more is expected of the POS system than ever before.”  “Stores today have to be a destination unto themselves

As to the future,and the need for omni-channel capability; “The younger generation of business owners, the sons and daughters that are taking over, want ecommerce to be a part of their system by default – and they know they need to “Wow” the customer.”

Their regional resellers:
LightSpeed has 300+ trained and certified resellers.   These resellers offer a variety of services including workflow analysis, training, configuration, networking, support, upgrades, web customization and POS hardware.

Investors:
LightSpeed has received over $30 million dollars in funding, most notably in June 2012 from Accel Partners ($30 million)  and later received additional funding from  from local venture capital firm iNovia Capital.

The Apple platform – benefits

The Mac platform offers a number of advantages to retailers including a classy design and interface, something that Lightspeed has invested heavily in.  Many businesses are purchasing Macs because there are security advantages.     Virus written for the Windows PC out number viruses written for the Mac by an enormous factor and the recent hackings at Target and other retailers are raising awareness of the need for more security at the point of sale.

Other notable features of LightSpeed POS

Ecommerce:

Today’s retailers have the need to sell not only with a physical retail location, but also a web presence:    “Even the smaller retailers  have e-commerce on their minds.  They want to open their store AND their website on day one.”  said Dasilva.   To that end LS has built a strong e-commerce platform that makes it very easy to get products up and onto the website – the retailer only has to add photos.   “All sales, whether online or in-store, come back to the same system and inventory is being deducted in real-time, so business owners can do purchasing with confidence.”

Integration with other products:

The product integrates with Perkville  – a customer loyalty program that integrates with LightSpeed Cloud.  Perkville motivates customers to come back as well as tell their friends about your business. It automates retention, referrals and social media.

DirectMailManager.com –  this integration provides the ability to easily produce highly effective, targeted direct mail postcards, that are directly linked to LightSpeed Cloud customer data. Businesses can send 1 or 1000s of thank you and promotional postcards with a click of the mouse.  The add-on increases customer relationships with high quality, tangible postcards and tracks the results.

Pricing:
Both products are sold on a subscription basis, the entry level price is $79 for either product for one station, $134 for 2 stations and $229 for 4 stations.   E-commerce is an additional $49 per month.

How LightSpeed sees the future of point of sale:   
* A store where the front cash register is optional, where all the employees are empowered with mobile devices that allow them to easily manage selling, inventory lookups, and ringing up sales).
• Information on items, consumers, and other analytics are at hand.
• A fully informed consumer has a seamless online to in store transition.
• And a powerful cloud system for business intelligence and management help optimize the business.

According to Dasilva, LightSpeed will continue to evolve with the needs of retailers, but its mission remains the same: to provide the easiest way for serious retailers to build, manage and grow their business.

Hospitals Integrate iPad Kiosks for Streamlined Operations

Hospitals are increasingly looking for ways to reduce labor costs, improve staff efficiency, and provide personal attention to patients without the distractions of data entry and paperwork. A solution embraced by many hospitals across the country is the iPad, loaded with system-specific apps and able to produce information at the touch of a finger.

The most appropriate “accessory” for this great tool is the iPad kiosk, a versatile frame that securely and conveniently holds the iPad in the most appropriate location for hospital staff use. In many instances, it is attached directly to a hospital’s diagnostic computer, where patient data can be integrated into an existing database for a more comprehensive picture of patient status. A floor-mounted stand might hold the iPad for quick patient check-in, while a counter-mounted stand might offer best access for hospital personnel.

One interesting use of the kiosk can be found in the Changi General Hospital in Singapore. The touch-screen kiosk there helps visitors and patients (and possibly new hospital staff) find their way through the facility.

Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston gathers basic patient information via computer prior to a visit to the physician. The doctor can then access the patient’s most current information with an iPad before and during the patient’s visit. This saves time for the doctor, but also for the patient, thus increasing customer satisfaction for the facility and its attending physicians.

New York Methodist Hospital has iPads mounted on kiosks next to EKG and other diagnostic machines. The new system has been embraced by nurses and technicians as a great time-saver; and has proven a convenient tool for doctors, as an access point to all patient data for analysis and diagnosis.

Hospitals across the country, and in many instances, the world, are using the iPad and kiosk to reduce labor costs, improve staff productivity, and allow staff to provide more personal service. Studies, including one produced by Summit Research Associates, have also found that this method would “reduce paperwork and eliminate many human input errors.”

As noted by Medtronic, the iPad offers three primary benefits for use in hospitals: economic, with greater sales productivity, overall cost savings and reduction in waste; clinical outcomes, to help patients better manage their health; and societal impact, to help patients better understand their health conditions and seek the therapies they need. By partnering the iPadwith a secure, convenient and attractive mounting kiosk, the tool becomes an integrated component of a hospital’s operational direction.

iPad POS a Major Boon for Businesses?

The economy has been in the tank for quite some time. It’s no surprise that those hit hardest by the economic slump are often small businesses and their owners. However, we recently came across some interesting numbers indicating that businesses implementing certain iPad POS solutions may be able to beat the sinking national economic numbers.

According to the Intuit Small Business Index, small businesses faced a small slump in overall revenue during the period from May 2012 through May 2013.   Over this period, small businesses nationwide saw a 0.6% drop in overall revenue. Interestingly, in a recent report from ShopKeep, a POS provider, same store sales for merchants using the ShopKeep iPad POS platform not only beat the national average – they pummeled it. ShopKeep reports that same store sales increased by more than 17% over the same period. According to ShopKeep CEO Jason Richelson, these numbers are indicative of “a broader trend [in which] early adopters of iPad POS systems are generally more successful in today’s marketplace.”

Now, considering that these numbers are coming from a company with a vested interest in the numbers working well for its product, it’s safe to say that this is a big jump to make. Where we see great logic to the high numbers is in the power of analytics and retail data that can come from smart iPad POS systems. But, we must remember that this info can also be made available on larger, legacy systems. POS systems that allow businesses to harness the power of cloud computing and mobile technology can, however, make a big difference for smart owners looking to maximize profits.

We recently covered a small business, Artisan Cheese Company, running ShopKeep iPad POS and analyzed how they used innovative social media strategies to boost revenue and bring new customers into the store. Business owner Louise Kennedy Converse told us that she selected ShopKeep after coming up with a list of necessary components for her company’s POS system: “I knew that I wanted to utilize a low profile tech platform as a register. I didn’t want to go old school and use a cash register from Staples, as the reporting would have been a nightmare…It had to be simple to use, robust in the back end, and I didn’t want to be locked into a contract with equipment that [would be obsolete] the minute I drove it off the lot, so to speak.” Artisan Cheese Company found the right solution in ShopKeep, and business is definitely booming at this unique artisanal cheese store. But is the credit due to their POS solution, or is something larger and more complex behind their success?

So we ask: why the huge difference in numbers? Is it really the power of iPad POS that accounts for the massive disparity between the fate of the national small business index and ShopKeep’s report of 17.4% growth in same store sales? iPad POS can definitely arm a business with real time data and powerful analytics; is it making a difference for your company? Have you seen an increase in revenue since implementing a more compact POS solution? These are some of the questions we should consider.

Jack Dorsey unveils Square Stand, new iPad point-of-sale system

Jack Dorsey, co-founder of San Francisco payments startup Square, is making another big push to expand into larger restaurants and retailers with a sleek new point-of-sale device.

The Square Stand is made out of molded white plastic and swivels either to the merchant or to the customer. It bolts to a checkout counter or a cash register box and runs Square’s point-of-sale application called Square Register. It comes equipped with a credit card reader and USB ports as well as a bar code scanner, receipt printer and a cash register box.

The new product is a shift for Square, which will now be taking on traditional point-of-sale system makers as well as companies that make a new wave of registers built around the iPad.

In a news conference held at Blue Bottle Coffee in San Francisco, Dorsey said the new product is aimed at high-volume brick-and-mortar stores.

Square has become popular with small merchants who use its credit card swiper that plugs into smartphones and iPads. But the company has come up against resistance from larger retailers.

Now it’s going after that much bigger piece of the transactional pie by bringing together hardware and software into one device.

“Fundamentally, we do believe that hardware makes software better,” Dorsey said.

It’s unclear if Square –- even with its celebrity founder and hundreds of millions in funding –- can chip away at merchants who still use traditional registers and checkout stands.

The Square Stand goes on sale in July for $300 on the Square website and in Best Buy stores. Thirteen merchants in more than 30 locations will begin testing the stand this week, including Blue Bottle Coffee outlets.

Asked if Starbucks will begin using Square Stand, Dorsey said Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who sits on Square’s board, is “excited” about it. Starbucks invested $25 million in Square last year, and Square processes Starbucks’ credit card transactions in the U.S.

iPads Put Retail POS in the Palm of Your Hand

Successful retailers and restaurant owners understand the importance of creating a strong and positive experience from the moment a customer enters the establishment. While it may seem ironic, many are turning to technology to create a personal bond.

iPads are one way to maximize the one-on-one environment, by creating a point of sale (POS) relationship from the time the customer enters the shop or restaurant. Three companies that offer this solution are ShopKeep, Kronos and Revel Systems.

iPad POS vendor ShopKeep offers a new iPad mini register to help retailers reduce waiting times and enhance efficiency. Utilizing the MagTek uDynamo credit card reader, ShopKeep’s system allows merchants to take orders from customers as they enter the store, shop the aisles and then push receipts to the printer or to email directly to the customer.

One company using ShopKeep’s system is Laughing Man Coffee & Tea in New York. Some of the benefits noted by the store’s CEO, David Steingard, include the personal service customers feel throughout their dining experience. Customers are greeted warmly, without feeling rushed, and orders can be taken throughout the line inside or outside the store. Said Steingard, “The iPad POS system helps move the line, but more importantly it sends a great message to our customers that we are continually working to make their coffee experience better.”

Kronos offers an iPad solution that gives what they term “meaningful business intelligence” to retailers. The company touts its Workforce Task Management™ as the only solution built on an existing, proven workforce management platform. Retailers can keep stores accountable through real-time access to sales data, and increase sales and customer satisfaction by ensuring tasks are completed on time and consistently across locations, either through their on-site data centers or through the Kronos cloud. The company’s Workforce Tablet Analytics gives retailers a single view into forecasting, scheduling, time and attendance, POS, traffic counters, warehouse management systems, and more.  Paul de Freitas, systems and business development director at The Container Store, said Kronos is able to handle a great deal of complexity, and “being on the iPad helps to make it an easy and familiar experience.”

Revel Systems is an iPad POS provider that offers EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa, a global standard for inter-operation of integrated circuit cards) for security and card processing. The technology incorporates “chip and pin” cards which have been widely adopted in Europe and are now being introduced to the US.

Revel’s mobile POS software provides real-time reporting to track the sales at small to large scale retail and food-service operations. The San Francisco-based company requires no mandatory contracts, hidden fees or charges.  Features include secure logins for employees, monitoring check-in and check-out as well as activities within the system; simple order taking; order details, such as item voids, deletions, special requests, discounts and holds; payment processing through major credit cards and gift cards; and printed or emailed receipts.

Outstanding customer service has always been the hallmark of successful retail and hospitality companies. Through creative application of the iPad and mobile POS, technology can enhance the shopping experience.