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The Challenge of mPOS in Today’s Industry Trends

Mobile point of sale technology has become ubiquitous in today’s society, however the last impression of indicating customer satisfaction are often still at the checkout counter. Hence the challenges of mPOS in today’s industry are critical to the positive effect of customer experience.

“mPOS has been particularly successful in small business environments due to large feature set available at a low price point. In 2015, the mPOS adoption rate will accelerate as small to mid-sized merchants leverage mobile solutions to enhance customer experience and improve sales. The challenges of mPOS change drastically when moving from a small merchant with a single checkout setting to a multi-store, multi-check out, enterprise environment. For large enterprise retailers, there are new products and services in security, connectivity, design, functionality, and hardware to make your mobile strategy a success”

Michael Hanson, Executive Vice President, Star Micronics America, Inc.

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Enhance Customer Experience with a Clean, Organized Store

Adopting Star Micronics peripheral suite of mobile printers with Star Micronics cash drawers unlocks the power of our software developer kit to leverage new mobile solutions. Technology such as ProxiPRNT, which uses Bluetooth Smart (BLE) connection helps locate the nearest peripherals and securely open remote cash drawers. Star’s ProxiPRNT technology is ideal for any enterprise establishment implementing the ultimate mobile POS application to reduce queues in larger stores and have customers efficiently checked out with the purchase completed immediately. This will result in fewer lines and more space for new customers to shop in the store.

Saving Space in Customers’ Wallets

With the release of AllReceipts™, Star Micronics’ Digital Receipt Solution, customers can now save their receipts digitally during those busy holiday seasons. Complementing the paper receipts, shoppers can now scan the QR code and save a digital version of the receipt without having to provide any personal information such as e-mail address that could result in spam, such as an issue with e-receipts.

A digital receipt solution in the mPOS world would allow customers the option to have their receipts securely saved on their mobile device at all times.  AllReceipts™ not only enhances the shopping experience for the customers, but provides retailers real-time printer status, operational notifications, and customer survey results through a comprehensive dashboard.  This technology will help increase customer engagement between the store clerks and provide retailers a mPOS solution that eliminates cluttered wallets.

‘Always Leading-Always Innovating’

The face of retail will continue to change rapidly with new and advance mPOS technology. Leading the transition to the mobile world, Star Micronics’ hardware and software solutions help solve the challenges presented by the implementation of mPOS at a large scale.

 

The True Value in Printed and Digital Receipts

Have you ever lost a needed receipt to a purchase? With the release our AllReceipts™ App, it is important to understand the value and differences between printed receipts and digital receipts. Our new eBook will help you manage your receipts easier by guiding you into the transition of digital receipt management. Printed paper receipts complement their digital counterparts and this blog post will preview our eBook and explore why.

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Think about the many times a bank statement or credit card statement has verified a payment that you were unfamiliar with. Certainly, you want to reference the purchase on your printed receipt; but if the printed receipt was faded or was lost over time, it is always a safe solution to have a digital copy on your preferred mobile device.

Receipts are critical for many scenarios such as:

  • Refunds- proof to merchants to issue an amount back to your account
  • Reimbursements- business travel costs, work-related purchases
  • Tax deductions- deductible expenditures on IRS returns
  • Warranties- proof of item purchased for coverage

Always keep in mind; rather it is ‘short term’ or ‘long term’ reasoning for keeping your receipts, receipts play a major role in your life! There is no escaping the need for receipts, both printed and digital. We all know it can be difficult to remember your receipt, that’s why Star Micronics is here to help!

Click here to read the full eBook ‘The Value of Receipts: Printed and Digital”.

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Star Micronics, AllReceipts™ Digital Receipt Solution

To find more information on AllReceipts™, Star Micronics FREE digital receipt solution, visit http://www.allreceipts.com/.

Processing Shipment with Enhanced Label Printing

With the mobile POS industry rapidly growing with new technology and continuous innovation on the horizon, manufacturing and warehouse facilities, along with the retail industry are discovering new ways to improve productivity and profitability.

It is essential for the shipping and receiving industry to properly print labels on-the-go as their employees are moving quickly within a warehouse environment. By printing labels on-the-go, employees will have an increase in efficiency and better control of production. As for retailers, in order to track items accurately to the stockroom from point of sale transactions, inventory associates will need a portable printer that allows flexibility in printing and applying barcodes instantaneously for inventory management.

 

Enhanced Label Printing Star Micronics SM-T400i

Mobile printers can be an asset in eliminating the distance that workers travel from a single station just to acquire their labels. As a result, Star Micronics has label options for their SM-T400i, rugged four inch (112mm) portable Bluetooth printer. Supporting iOS, Android and Windows operating systems, the portable receipt and label printer is also Apple MFi certified, which can be use with the iPod Touch®, iPhone® and iPad®. With a rugged design and a wide 104mm printable area, the SM-T400i is perfect for outdoor applications, field service, and warehouse operations.

To learn more about Star Micronics SM-T400i portable Bluetooth printer, please click HERE.

Bluetooth and mPOS, A Perfect Pairing

Have you ever made a hands-free call in your car or listened to music on a wireless headphone? If so, then you probably used a device running on Bluetooth technology. These days, almost any personal electronic device comes with Bluetooth – from your laptop to your mobile phone. Named after 10th-century King Harald Bluetooth, who was temporarily able to unite several warring Scandinavian tribes, Bluetooth is a protocol for short-range wireless communications.

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When two Bluetooth enabled devices connect to each other, this is called pairing. The structure and the global acceptance of Bluetooth technology means any Bluetooth enabled device, almost everywhere in the world, can connect to other Bluetooth enabled devices located in proximity to one another.

The key features of Bluetooth technology are its ubiquitous use in consumer electronics, low power consumption and low cost. The Bluetooth Specification defines a uniform structure for a wide range of devices to connect and communicate with each other.

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Bluetooth technology offers an easy way for businesses to set up a wireless point of sale solution operating in an mPOS ecosystem. Star Micronics has an extensive catalog of Bluetooth supported products ranging from desktop receipt printers, portable receipt printers, impact kitchen printers, label printers, wide format printers, secure medical prescription printers and secure wireless cash management solutions. All Star Micronics Bluetooth receipt printers and Bluetooth cash drawers are dual chip Apple MFi certified with Bluetooth iOS support for iOS and all Apple iDevices as well as Bluetooth 2.1 support for Android and Windows based mobile devices.

 

To learn more about Bluetooth solutions from Star visit http://www.starmicronics.com/printer/technology/bluetooth

Enter the World of mPOS

Initially embraced by small merchants for credit card transactions, mobile point of sale (mPOS) has exploded into a billion dollar industry offering both software and hardware solutions for retailers and merchants of all sizes. Improvements to wireless communication such as WiFi and Bluetooth have also made it easier to host mPOS solutions within a brick and mortar location. By replacing traditional stationary cash registers and PC operated cash wraps with space saving mPOS solutions, retailers are allowed to physically disconnect their devices from the store counter to complete the transaction with the customer anywhere in the store.

The transition from a traditional POS to an mPOS also signals a shift in the way people are paying for their goods. As more people use credit card or other forms of payments such as mobile payment apps, NFC, bitcoin, etc., there is less emphasis on cash. However diminished, cash cannot be ignored because people still use hard currency to pay for goods and services. So how can we make cash mobile?

At Star Micronics America, we have created solutions to mobilize cash by making cash management more accessible through a variety of communication options. With the ability to communicate via standard wired printer driven interface or Star’s DK-AirCash wireless option for Ethernet, Bluetooth 2.1 or MFi certified Bluetooth communication; Star’s SMD2 cash drawers offer a complete and secure currency solution. Star’s DK-AirCash wireless option allows the cash drawer to operate without being physically connected or wired to other peripherals. For instance, you can initiate checkout by taking cash payment and printing the customer’s receipt from the sales floor. Then staying engaged, walk the customer over to the cash drawer to get their change and complete the transaction without having all of the devices physically connected.

While we want to disconnect devices from traditional stations, we do not want to visually disconnect the devices from the store. As a result, Star released white color options on select TSP100 and TSP650II printers for use in an mPOS environment. With clean lines and smooth white tone, Star’s white printers match the look of tablets and other mobile devices commonly used by retailers operating in a mobile point of sale environment. Sleek and sophisticated, Star’s white printers can be prominently displayed without creating disconnect from the store’s brand and visual identity.

Whether if you are ready or not, the era of mPOS is here to stay. Maximize your retail space and engage your customers with mobile technology. We have more innovative technologies on the way so stay tuned to Star and keep pace with the new era of mobile point of sale.

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Mike Hanson, Vice President Star Micronics America Inc.

Finding your mPOS

Buzzwords such as “showrooming” and “webrooming” have been keywords associated with the mPOS trends in retail and hospitality. As the adoption of mobile devices rise, customers are embracing the BYOD culture and bringing their personal mobile devices into their favorite retail stores when they shop. Rather than fighting the customers, retailers are now embracing mPOS and creating a more mobile friendly environment for their patrons. Many merchants have upgraded their infrastructure to provide free WiFi to encourage their customers to shop with their mobile devices. Many retailers and hospitality providers  are also jumping in on the action by leveraging technology to close the service gap. “Clienteling” is now the buzzword that trumps “showrooming” and “webrooming.”

The best definition of clienteling was summarized by RedPrairie as:

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As a result of clienteling, many retailers and hospitality providers are turning to mPOS technologies to better engage their customers in-store. By engaging customers on the same platforms and devices, the sales person can provide individualized shopping experiences for each customer based on their preferences.

When choosing an mPOS solution, both software and hardware considerations must be taken to ensure the solution fits the store’s business objectives and its physical infrastructure. While mPOS software can be implemented on an application level, choosing matching mPOS hardware can present a challenge. For instance, the mPOS hardware in question must be coordinated with the IT infrastructure of the store. The mPOS hardware must also be compatible with the platform and mobile devices used by staff and even the customers. To further complicate things, the mPOS hardware must not only be integrated with the mPOS software but it must be physically integrated into the layout of the brick and mortar store.

Help is on the way! At Star Micronics, we understand your concerns. To help simplify the process of successful mPOS integration, we have come up with a free white paper for download on our website to help retailers and hospitality providers choose the best receipt printers for their mPOS solution.

Going Mobile with a Web-Based Strategy

Web-based software is software you use over the internet with a web browser. Web-based software is used every day by people all over the world. POS software providers see the growing demand and are meeting that demand by creating web-based solutions for their customers.

Why are people using web-based POS?

  • The key advantage to web-based software is that all your data is centralized and accessible over the web from any device on any operating platform at any time. You can get to it from anywhere at any time. Safe, secure, and password protected, of course.
  • Another advantage is that unlike traditional software that requires you to download and install updates yourself, web-based software is updated automatically. Whenever you use web-based software you’re always using the latest and greatest version. The only thing you have to check is making sure your browser is up to date to support the web-based software you are using.
  • Ultimately, when you use web-based software your office is everywhere. At work, at home, a hotel, at a client’s office, even on your mobile phone. Your data is accessible anywhere with internet access.

To support businesses using any number of web-based applications such as point of sale for retail or hospitality, Star Micronics created its WebPRNT technology.  WebPRNT is Star’s innovative solution enabling device-agnostic receipt printing technology that supports HTTP requests used in web-based applications. WebPRNT utilizes a library of commands based on JavaScript/HTML format that allows Web applications to print on a Star printer without the need of installing a driver. Rather, the print commands are embedded and integrated within the web-based software.

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Instead of making developers use printer specific line mode print commands, WebPRNT makes the integration process more intuitive for developers by allowing the use of XML tags that are commonly used in web development and even native applications or WebPRNT’s ready-made Javascript library of commands. The time saved in development directly translates into a more rapid deployment. Also, since WebPRNT is integrated in the web-based software, it is device agnostic and can be used for multiple operating platforms. Star’s WebPRNT help developers streamline the development process which maximizes value and cost savings. To learn more about WebPRNT please click here to visit Star’s Technology Page.

How Bluetooth Printers Expedite Voting

Star’s TSP650II BTi and KNOWiNK Get Vote of Confidence from Lee County

There are few people, if any, who enjoy waiting in long lines on Election Day.

Star Micronics recently teamed up with KNOWiNK, a provider of innovative polling software, to streamline the voting process in Lee County, a notoriously busy municipality. The Lee County Election office in Florida’s Fort Meyers Metro Area handles the election polling for the county’s growing base of over 395,000 registered voters, making voting a costly and time-consuming process.

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A reliable bellwether in retail and hospitality, Star’s TSP650II series thermal receipt printers offered printing support to KNOWiNK’s polling software platform. Together, Star and KNOWiNK used technology to streamline Lee County’s busy polling season.

Before KNOWiNK and Star, the voting process was a long, arduous sequence. First, the voter had to present their ID to an agent for verification. Then, they had to sign in to a large, printed voter registry. Once completed, the voter received instructions on where to cast their ballot. Then they would enter their ballot and leave.

Even after the voter finished, the polling process continued for poll officials. At the conclusion of the poll, the municipality hired temporary workers to scan the individual barcodes on the back of every entry in the sign-in book. This information was then saved in a database that tracks when and which elections the resident voted in to help determine voter behavior—for example, if an individual votes in every election or only state or presidential elections, etc.

“Voting in Lee County was an expensive proposition, because it took so many manpower hours to run each election,” said Gene Hinspeter, Lee County Election Official. “We decided that it was time to look for a system that would help streamline some of the process, reduce the number of workers needed and save taxpayer dollars.”

KNOWiNK’s Poll Pad is an all-in-one system that works as an electronic poll book. The solution helps simplify voter check-in and posts instant updates to voter history. KNOWiNK’s Poll Pad enabled the Lee County Election office to speed up the process by scanning barcode information from voters’ driver licenses for identification, accepting and recording signatures on an Apple™ iPad® and storing the information in a database.

KNOWiNK Poll Pad

Lee County also selected Star’s TSP650II BTi printer for locations that offer multiple ballot formats. The county explored several mobile desktop printing options, but required one with an auto-cutter for better efficiency, ease of use and speed of service.

“Having a printed receipt ensures that voters receive the correct ballot without confusion,” Hinspeter said. “Although it seems like a small detail, the auto-cutter was critical. It eliminates the possibility of crumpled or torn receipts that need to be reprinted and slow down the process. Star’s printer had all of the features we needed at a price point that worked within our budget.”

The TSP650II BTi is Star’s first desktop Bluetooth printer. It is an Apple MFi certified unit that is approved for use with the iPod Touch®, iPhone® and iPad®. The TSP650II BTi is lightning fast, printing 60 receipts per minute. It’s equipped with easy “drop in and print” paper loading, a small footprint suitable for tight spaces and a reliable guillotine cutter.

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With poll workers at ease on a one-touch system designed specifically for them with support from Star’s reliable TSP650II BTi thermal receipt printer, voter check-in now moves at brisk pace. Lines at Lee County polling destinations move quickly, and the call volume from precincts to election officials has diminished drastically.

“The new electronic Poll Pads and Star TSP650II BTi thermal desktop Bluetooth printers make a huge difference in the time people spend waiting in line to check in and receive their ballots,” Hinspeter said. “We’ve received a lot of good feedback from residents who appreciate the smooth check-in and taxpayer savings the KNOWiNK solution provides.”

For more information about Bluetooth printing and how it can speed up Election Day processes, contact Star Micronics today!

Star Micronics and MMF POS Cash in on mPOS Solution

MMF POS, a leading supplier of cash drawers and accessories, has chosen Star Micronics to help strengthen its mobile POS (mPOS) cash management solution.  Star Micronics’ DK-AirCash units will enable wireless control of MMF cash drawers, including the Advantage® ADV-INABOX Drawer as well as the VAL-u Line® Series drawers.

MMF’s  Advantage® ADV-INABOX Drawer is a robust printer-driven 24V Cash Drawer with Star® Interface Kwick Kable bundled all INABOX. This package also comes standard with the patented LockIt™ feature, a hidden locked compartment beneath the currency till for safe storage of larger bills. In addition to its Advantage® ADV-INABOX Drawer, MMF’s VAL-u Line® Series 13”x16” and 13”x13” drawers (Electronic 24Vdc version) offer customers a cost-effective and compact cash management solution with durable construction and high-quality standards.

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“We chose Star Micronics because of their progressive mPOS technology,” Phil Oyos, Sales and Marketing Manager, MMF POS, said. “Integrating the DK AirCash enables us to offer a complete, robust mobile solution and empowers our customers to keep pace with the rapidly growing trend towards mobility.”

Once integrated, Star’s DK-AirCash enables communication from a tablet device and mobile printer with the cash drawer. Traditionally, cash drawers are controlled manually (key operated), by a wired connection to a PC or through a wired connection to a printer. The DK-AirCash enables the control of the cash drawer either directly through an Ethernet, Bluetooth or MFi certified Bluetooth connection. Star’s DK-AirCash makes wireless operation of cash drawers possible. With MFi certification from Apple®, Star’s DK-AirCash is compatible with popular Apple® devices such as iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® in addition to devices running on Android and Windows platforms.

Star Micronics Announces Exclusive Partnership with Sanei Electric Inc.

Star Micronics America is pleased to announce its exclusive partnership with Sanei Electric Inc. to expand its kiosk solution offerings with two-inch (SK1-20 Series), three-inch (SK1-30 Series) and four-inch (SK1-40 Series) thermal kiosk printer series as part of the company’s continued commitment to the growing kiosk market.

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The SK1 line of thermal kiosk printers provides dependable, maintenance-free printing with a quick speed of up to 200mm/sec with 203 dpi resolution. The diverse SK1 Line of kiosk printers provides horizontal, vertical and drop-in loading paper formats for the SK1-20 Series and SK1-30 Series and horizontal paper format for the SK1-40 Series. Presenters are available on select models for the entire SK1 Line of kiosk printers. Additional options include large paper roll holder and bezel paper detector for the SK1-20 and SK1-30 Series.

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The SK1 line of thermal kiosk printers offer a variety of features, accessories, and sizes to meet virtually every kiosk application, including gas pumps, airline e-ticket/boarding passes, ATMs, bus/rail tickets, gift registries, Internet access terminals, lottery/gaming, and maps/direction kiosks.

To learn more about Star Micronics printers, visit www.starmicronics.com.