The Ultimate Guide to Building Your iOS POS system

iOS POS systems look sharp sitting on a counter or mounted on a wall, so it’s no wonder why retailers and restaurants are drawn to these sleek setups for their establishments. Whether you need fixed terminals or a mobile solution, an iOS POS system can fulfill all your needs.

 

Are you in the market for a new iOS POS system? If so, keep these points in mind while you’re shopping around.

  1. iOS Device: If you’re using an iPad or other iOS technology you already own, make sure it has the most recent update that the hardware will support. If you have older devices, make absolutely sure the POS software you want to run supports your hardware — before you invest in it. A better strategy is to choose your POS software first — find a solution that offers features and functionality you need to run your business — then select the hardware. All iPad POS solutions aren’t the same. Look for options such as clock in/out, split checks, payments, scheduling and inventory tracking that can help you run your business.
  1. iPad enclosure: Although iOS POS systems are feature-rich, they aren’t ruggedized devices. An iPad or iTouch is a consumer-grade device, nowhere near tough enough for retail and restaurant workplaces. iOS devices that get wet or hot will have functionality issues, so protecting your technology with a specialized enclosure is imperative to staying online. iPads left unattended are targets for loss and theft, so opt for an enclosure that allows you to secure the device to a wall or counter. Some enclosures can be fitted to stands that flip and swivel into a customer-facing position, so shoppers can sign for credit card transactions or add a tip.
  1. Peripherals: iOS POS systems differ from more traditional POS solutions when it comes to peripherals. If you need a 2D barcode scanner, scale integration, receipt printer and customer display, make sure your solution has options to keep everything connected. Printing receipts from an iOS POS system can present a particular challenge for merchants. A great solution is Star Micronics’ TSP654II AirPrint, the First Receipt Printer on the market with AirPrint™ Certification. TSP654II printers allow merchants to print from their iOS devices without installing specific printer drivers.
  1. Aesthetic Appeal: One of the iPad’s main selling points is the tablet’s stylish design. If you selected an iOS POS system, chances are you care about how it looks. Don’t cover up a glossy iPad with a clunky enclosure or pair it with nondescript peripherals. Make sure your enclosure and peripherals enhance the iOS POS system and are as chic as their surroundings. Star Micronics offers mPOP™, Mobile Point of Purchase, the first hybrid for tablet POS that combines a cash drawer and printer peripheral. The unit’s ergonomic but fully integrated design works with the tablet or mobile device of your choice, so you can have a mobile solution without compromising space, quality design or functionality.

iOS POS systems can be a great choice for your store or restaurant if you strategically design a system that will meet your business’ needs, withstand a harsh commercial environment and complement your brand with the look you want. Work with an experienced POS solution provider to help you incorporate those elements into your solution — and more— to help you get the most out of your investment.

3 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Apple POS System with AirPrint Receipt Printers

iPad POS systems are extremely popular in retail, restaurant and hospitality venues. It’s easy to see why — an Apple POS system is sleek, attractive and compact — so they look great and they’re small enough to be used in tight spaces.

iPad POS systems are feature-rich, affordable and easy to and use, but printing receipts from an Apple POS system can present a challenge for merchants. Although Apple offers its AirPrint® technology, which allows users to print photos and documents from any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, AirPrint wasn’t available for receipt printers.

To meet this need, Star Micronics developed a suite of printing solutions including the StarPRNT SDK and PassPRNT, so receipts could be printed using a Bluetooth-enabled receipt printer. Most recently, Star Micronics unveiled its new TSP654II AirPrint, the first 80 and 58mm receipt printer to be Apple AirPrint certified.

What does this mean for Apple POS system users?

  1. No need to download or install drivers

There’s no need to get the help desk involved in connecting a wireless printer to your Apple POS system. Forget about workarounds and downloads: users will be able to wirelessly print receipts without installing specific printer drivers, extra configurations or software. Star’s TSP654II AirPrint includes both Ethernet and WLAN capabilities, so it will work seamlessly with Apple iPads, iPhones, iPods and Macbooks on any private network.

  1. Print receipts and orders right from your Apple POS System (Mac, iPad or iPhone devices)

AirPrint support is pre-installed on iOS devices, so you can use this familiar interface to connect to and begin printing from the new printer. The TSP654II features a fast, 300 mm per second print speed, high-quality 203 dpi print, compact footprint and aesthetic design. Faster print speeds at the Apple point of sale will help shave a few seconds off each transaction, which means less waiting and more efficient customer service.

  1. Control your cash drawer from your Apple POS System (Mac, iPad or iPhone)

A printer-controlled cash drawer must be connected to a receipt printer if you want it to open automatically at the end of a transaction. Although AirPrint has limited ability to control cash drawers, it gives developers previously using the StarPRNT SDK another option when programming printer control.  The TSP654II is available in charcoal black or ultra-white to match the Star CB2002 cash drawer options.

Why choose the TSP654II AirPrint from Star Micronics?

Until now, there hasn’t been a “plug and play” receipt printing solution for Apple POS systems. The TSP654II is the first Apple certified receipt printer that works seamlessly over any private network, with any Apple device. In addition to high-speed printing, the new printer includes “drop in and print” paper loading and an improved guillotine auto-cutter. The TSP654II is a flexible printing solution that can be used in vertical or horizontal mode and includes a wall mount bracket in the box. A splash-proof cover is also available for added durability. The TSP654II is compatible with Star Cloud Services’ digital receipt solution and the AllReceipts App.

Apple POS systems are popular among business owners because they’re affordable and easy to learn and use. Despite their popularity, it wasn’t simple to print a receipt from an iPad POS solution—until now. Star Micronics’ new TSP65411 is the first AirPrint-certified receipt printer on the market, that allows users to print from their Apple POS system without any extra steps. In addition to groundbreaking technology, the new printer also includes the quality features and design details that meet Apple’s high operational standards.

How to Create the Perfect POS Solution for Your Fitness Center

Fitness centers have a unique environment and need a unique POS solution. Discover four ways to build the perfect POS for your fitness center.

A fitness center is a challenging environment for point of sale systems. There are staff schedules, members to track, classes to register for and different areas of the facility that may need retail POS functionalities but don’t have the counter space to spare.

Owners and managers who want to create the perfect POS solution for their fitness center can build it with the right componen

ts and applications. There are a wide range of technologies and point of sale hardware solutions that can help you elevate your fitness center to the next level.

Scheduling and membership management

Downloadable applications for scheduling and member management are popular because they require little upfront investment, update frequently, and typically you can use the hardware you already own. This affordable alternative to traditional, on-premises POS systems keep information secure and make it easy to create schedules and maintain client records, even when you’re not on site.

However, many web-based applications have printer connectivity issues.  A platform agnostic print data relaying application is a popular technology solution used to remedy this problem. You’ll want to find a low-cost, versatile solution to cloud/web-based printing that allows you to generate high-quality printing for your fitness center with professional, crisp graphics.

Solutions for off-site or outdoor fitness classes

Fitness center owners who host off-site events or outdoor fitness classes need to have receipt-printing capability for customers paying for retail products, classes or services. For this reason, you’ll want to find a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)-enabled printer. These portable receipt printers can range from compact models to more robust options and at price points that suit any budget.  Choose a portable receipt printer that is small and light and can easily be carried outdoors and used to print invoices, labels, receipts and other documentation.

Space-saving, cost-effective solutions 

 

Fitness centers aren’t cash-heavy operations, so many gym owners don’t feel the need to shell out big bucks for a full POS setup. But for a select few areas that handle cash—for example, a juice bar, babysitting or when paying for guests or special services— an ergonomic solution for tablet POS that combines a cash drawer and printer peripheral is the ideal solution. Select a unit with a fully integrated design that works with the tablet or mobile device of your choice, so you can have a mobile solution without compromising space, quality or functionality.

 

 

Quick and Easy Connections

Fitness center owners who choose popular iPad and iPhone POS solutions have demanded increasingly mobile and connected receipt printer solutions. Since gyms tend to be heavily soundproofed with electronic equipment or other signal blocking materials, you may struggle with connectivity.

Choose a printing solution from a line of printers that was created to take care of connectivity problems. For example, The Star Micronics TSP100IIIU offers a simple and extremely reliable tether connection for iOS devices via USB connectivity.

Gym owners looking for printing solutions for fitness centers should explore Star Micronics’ lineup of hardware and technology applications. Whether you are looking to add printer connectivity, mobile POS or off-site functionality, Star has a variety of options that will help you add the capabilities you need for a

n affordable price tag. Contact us for more information.

Solutions for Printing from Web Browser-Based Applications: WebPRNT

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Receipt technology has advanced dramatically in the last several years. Previously, in every transaction, a customer would pay for their purchases at the POS terminal and accept a printed sales receipt as a proof of purchase in case they needed to make a return or exchange. Mobility, however, has revolutionized POS and changed the process of providing a customer with a receipt.

Star Micronics has developed a variety of printing solutions for mPOS, including two that facilitate receipt printing from Web-based applications via HTTP(s) and from a project on an Android device or iOS hardware such as iPad®, iPhone®, or iPod touch®. These solutions, WebPRNT and PassPRNT solve common problems merchant often encounter with mobile printing.

Print from a Web Browser-Based Application with WebPRNT

WebPRNT, which enables device-agnostic receipt printing technology, supports HTTP(s) requests used in Wed-based applications. It facilitates printing on any Star Micronics WebPRNT-enabled printer – including receipt, label, and kitchen printers – from any local device running a Web-based application.

This low cost, versatile solution to printing from Web browser-based applications allows users to print high-quality POS receipts with professional, crisp graphics on Star’s line of WebPRNT – compatible printers.

How it works:

You can use any device you want when you download WebPRNT, so businesses can eliminate the need to spend money on upgrading their current hardware. This solution enables local printing from a device with a browser to a compatible WebPRNT printer (desktop or mobile) on the same network.

WebPRNT is easy to read, maintain, and modify for developers. It works with XML tags or a JavaScript software development kit (SDK) that is integrated into the Web application’s code. This functionality can be extended to Bluetooth printers by using the WebPRNT Browser with no changes to the Web code. In addition to Web-based applications, Star’s WebPRNT also supports HTTP(s) requests from native applications.

One advantage of integrating WebPRNT is that the application the engineer or developer creates can give a retailer more complete control of printing, such as the ability to adjust the formatting, operate the cash drawer, or check the status of the printer. It also enables additional, innovative features to be added to the print application including digital receipts and other cloud services.

WebPRNT technology is available with several of Star Micronics’ printers including the TSP650II WebPRNT, SP700 WebPRNT, TSP700II WebPRNT, TSP800II WebPRNT, as well as any of Star’s Bluetooth printers using WebPRNT Browser.

Why choose WebPRNT: 

  • Easy to use. WebPRNT eliminates time spent downloading software and installing drivers. The app enables printing from any local device hosting a Web-based application (e.g., Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari) to a Star WebPRNT-enabled receipt printer.
  • Affordable. WebPRNT enables printing from any application or operating platform without the need for expensive, multi-platform development costs.
  • Compatible. WebPRNT allows users to print from their application to a WebPRNT-enabled receipt printer from any device, regardless of its operating platform.

To learn more about WebPRNT and find out if your Star Micronics receipt printer supports WebPRNT, please visit http://starmicronics.com/pages/WebPRNT.

Download our eBook: Solutions for Printing from Web Browser-Based Applications on iOS, Android, and Windows

10 Ways mPOS Can Benefit Your Business

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As a business owner, the last thing you should need to stress over is your point-of-sale system. POS  systems are designed to make your daily workflow smoother and easier for business owners and employees alike. If you’re considering a mobile POS solution, be sure to look at ergonomic mobile solutions.

These solutions recognize that some businesses need peripherals beyond the basic tablet POS, such as a combination cash drawer/receipt printer. Here’s what ergonomic mobile solutions offer:

1. Convenience. With an ergonomic tablet POS plus cash drawer/receipt printer, you can accept all payments anywhere, anytime. This is a big improvement over common mPOS, which traditionally only handles electronic payments.

2. Space saver. Ergonomic solutions reduce your POS footprint significantly. With their small size and sleek profile, these platforms are attractive and unobtrusive in your retail or restaurant environment, freeing up space in which you can add tables or expand merchandise displays.

3. Assist mPOS solutions. Because these ergonomic mobile solutions rely on Bluetooth technology for connectivity, they’re fully mobile when needed and rid you of tangled wires and a jumble of dongles.

4. Full functionality. Ergonomic mobile solutions offer robust features and functionality for a wide range of applications.

5. Receipt printer. Small and compact, a built-in printer lets you quickly and quietly print a receipt as soon as the transaction closes. Additionally, sometimes single accessories are needed without a full system. In this case, you should check to see if your system can support additional printers for your bar, kitchen, and other areas.

6. Barcode scanner. If your tablet or mobile device lacks a barcode scanner, your ergonomic mobile solution easily accommodates an optional plug-and-play scanner for reading merchandise.

7. Cash Drawer. A secure cash drawer stores currency, checks, receipts and other important items. The size of the cash drawer you choose will depend on the number of cash transactions you process a day.

8. Software application. To get the greatest value of your ergonomic mobile solution, pick a software application that supports the latest payment options such as NFC and EMV. This will help you to avoid another technology upgrade in the near future.

9. Tablet/device. When evaluating tablet and mobile device options on the market, be sure to select hardware that’s designed to process NFC and EMV payments, preferable without requiring add-ons or peripherals to do so. Choose a device that’s compatible with your preferred software application. Most software applications have a preferred operating system, however if you need a software application to be cross compatible, make sure to do your research and find a web-based solution.

10. Digital receipt. More and more retailers want to deliver an in-store experience that provides digital support. There are innovative, downloadable apps on the market today that are supported by many POS systems. These apps allow your customers to receive a digital copy of their receipt on their smatphones. Some of these apps even allow functionality for customer satisfaction surveys, so retailers can always get a gauge on how they are perceived by their customers.

For more information on mPOS solutions, download our eBook: mPOS: How it’s Revolutionizing Payments

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.

PORTABLE BLUETOOTH PRINTERS

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.

Mike-Hanson_LI

Mike Hanson, Vice President Star Micronics America Inc.

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!