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ADVERTORIAL 33


RETAIL MOBILITY AND CASH TRANSACTIONS


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loud-based software, coupled with the emergence of powerful and feature-rich mobile devices, offers new possibilities for retailers to


better serve and engage their shoppers at the point of purchase, according to Paul St. George, APG Cash Drawer engineering manager. “Typical construction of a PoS [point-of-sale] terminal is centred on a PC workstation,” explained St. George. “These terminals are often positioned in one or more fixed locations in the retail store. They might be served by an array of peripheral devices: a touch display, a customer pole display, a handheld scanner, a receipt printer and a cash drawer. These peripheral devices are typically configured with serial or USB interfaces and connect to a port on the PC workstation dedicated to each device.” In this setting, a shopper queues up at the PoS terminal and stages their goods for itemised sale. But St. George said that, by contrast, software functionality and mobile device technology allow a retailer to bring the PoS transaction to the shopper at their point of purchase. “Imagine the customer coming out of the dressing room all smiles, the perfect outfit in hand, before they see a long line at the PoS and walk out,” he added. “With mobility the dressing room clerk checks them out. In this way, a retailer can increase shopper loyalty by providing a more convenient, more personalised and more interactive transaction experience.” A purpose-built PoS solution can be developed from the ground up for the mobile transaction faster than ever. Hardware manufacturers are creating new solutions to support this trend. By selecting hardware that maximises the benefits of a mobile transaction, a retailer can significantly improve system performance and significantly reduce the total cost of the system. St. George said: “Retailers can augment or even supplant their traditional PoS hardware platform and achieve a truly secure and mobile PoS transaction by deploying cash drawers, printers, cameras and other devices as IP [internet protocol] enabled peer-level devices. Devices with IP-enabled functionality are not peripherals and they do not require a PC workstation to support their configuration and operation. IP enabled and even wireless devices, like the APG Wi-Fi NetPRO cash draw (pictured), can help lower costs beyond the reduction of PoS terminals.


“While a traditional PoS system might still be required in some situations, the number of terminals can be reduced through the use of mobile devices. It is not unreasonable to see the store of the future supporting one or two fixed terminals and five or more handhelds ‘roaming’ with sales clerks. These handheld units do not necessarily need the support of individual printers and cash drawer peripherals. These mobile devices can interface and share one or two strategically placed IP based printers and cash drawers, further reducing the cost of the overall system.”


Though mobility has some challenges, St. George said


security needn’t be one of them: “While cash payment processing in a mobile environment requires planning, security of the transaction need not be a concern. In fact, security can be enhanced in new ways with IP-enabled devices. For instance, an IP-enabled cash drawer offers a simple and effective means to ensure that a cashier can open a cash drawer only when in close proximity.” Additionally, new system-generated actions can occur in response to exceptional events. Imagine a smartphone or tablet that captures an image as the retail transaction occurs through its built-in camera. “Consider a software agent on a remote host that accepts a prompt directly from a cash drawer and sends a SMS text message to the store manager’s mobile device when an unexpected cash access event occurs,” he added. Each of these actions, and many more, are possible today with the integration of IP-enabled PoS hardware. As retailers continually look for new ways to engage and retain shoppers more effectively, deploying systems that bring the retail transaction to the shopper can achieve this goal. Find out more by visiting APG at RBTE 2013, stand #418. www.cashdrawer.com


APG Cash Drawer LLC manufactures a broad range of high-quality cash drawers and other


related products for thousands of customers throughout the world. During its 34-plus years, APG has built a reputation as the supplier of choice for highly durable and dependable cash drawers.”


MARCH/APRIL 2013 RETAIL TECHNOLOGY


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