Author: blogpoint

At eirpoint we find innovative ways to increase our retailer’s profitability. Giving our retailers access to the best and most advantageous card payment processing services available Worldwide is part of the added value we bring to the table.

When was the last time that you REALLY examined you merchant account card payment charges in detail? Do you ignore those monthly statements that you received, mainly because they are difficult to decipher? Do you know what rates you are being charged for each card payment? Does your card payment provider share their margin with you? Are you seeing PCI non-Compliance charges being charged on your account? Are you paying a monthly rental fee for your card payment device? Does it strike you as strange that you are paying monthly rental for a device that makes the card processor money?

At eirpoint we work with partners that are transparent. They show the retailer the margin they make. We can work with you and show you how to become PCI compliant and put an end to these non-compliance charges. We also offer our retailers the option of purchasing and owning their payment devices. This puts an end to the monthly rental fees and you own a depreciating asset that your accountant can use wisely.

Most merchant account contracts work off CONTRACT prices that are also known as blended percentages. These contracts mean that your payment provider is not being upfront or transparent with you regarding the fees that they earn. Indeed, it is likely that if you are on a contract based on a blended or fixed percentage per card that you are likely paying a lot more than you should be in card processing charges.

The more transparent pricing model is known in the industry as interchange-plus pricing. Normally this payment model was only available to larger, more-established businesses. The card processors felt that they could compensate for offering lower rates by only making it available to merchants who had a very high monthly sales volume. Traditional small businesses were stuck with tiered pricing plans, and forced to pay a premium for being small businesses. eirpoint has now changed that and can now offer all our retailers the benefits of interchange+ pricing.

Accepting credit cards in your business is something of a two-edged sword. On one hand, they’re extremely convenient for your customers, which generally translates into more sales. At the same time, processing a credit card transaction costs money, and the fees associated with maintaining a merchant account cost even more money. These expenses eat into your profits and increase your overall cost of doing business. Nonetheless, as customers increasingly turn away from paying with cash and use credit or debit cards whenever possible, most businesses will have to accept credit cards to remain competitive.

 

iOS Mobile Point of Sale Live in the United States

 eirpoint are delighted to announce the implementation of a mobile POS solution in the US that allows the Verifone e315m mobile EMV card payment device to be used for mobile retail.

The solution is closely integrated with our cloud based retail management system that has been updated to manage US sales tax. The solution allows the mobile retail solution to move comfortable from one tax jurisdiction to the next while maintaining full and correct sales tax calculations.

The Verifone e315m is the device of choice for all US Apple retail stores and we are delighted to be able to bring this solution to all retailers wishing to give their customers a differentiated customer experience.

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Many retailers jump into the World of e-commerce without considering potential pitfalls. Naively they believe that if they build an online store that their business will take an exponential upward curve. However, this is unlikely to be the case.

Retailers need to stop, sit back and consider their move into ecommerce. They need to see the opening of an online store as they would plan for the opening of another branch of their bricks and mortar estate.

Self Build or Contract

Do you go the self build route such as Shopify or contract a builder to create you an ecommerce site using a shopping cart tool such as Magento? The self build route is faster but will not scale as well as the contractor option. You must also consider if you want to own the content of your ecommerce site. In the case of Shopify you are renting the premises on a month to month basis.

Integrate or Hope

A retailer has to consider their current support and customer service chain and if the introduction of an online store will complement or disrupt these chains. As a simple example, a retailer has to seriously consider integrating their stock levels with their online store. Small to medium retailers will not have the resources to dedicate or allocate stock to their online store so they have to take stock level updates

The Payment Trap 

Retailers in the offline high street World would never consider giving away 2%+ of margin to a payment processor but, for some unknown reason, they are content to pay all comers to process their online payments. There are excellent multi-channel ready payment processor that will off retailers the same rates for in-store and on-line card sales ; retailers just need to search these out and not be lead by the nose to fill the pockets of these online processors. Finally, do you want to be reconciling multiple providers of payment services? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have you offline and online payment processed by a single provider!

Showroom Proofing

The moment retailers open their online store they are inviting all comers to compare their pricing to the big players in their vertical. There is little chance of competing on price with the likes of Amazon and others so retailers have to consider how they will add real value to their offering. Retailers need to find real ways of differentiating their online store experience and service so that buyers will purchase online., remember the experience and come back for more!

At eirpointô we are experienced in delivered integrated multi-channel retail solutions. We can integration with Shopify, Magento and other shopping carts. Out multi-channel solutions link your high street and online stores in a way that ensure you do not suffer from stock outs and stock control mayhem. We have partnered with experienced multi-channel payment providers to ensure that you are not giving margin away online. Let us help you reduce of the stress and risks of opening an online store.

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Go Mobile In-Store For Christmas

With the impending Christmas rush it may be time to look to new in-store mobile checkout technologies that will allow you deliver a fast and memorable check out experience. Using smartphones and tablets as part of your customer experience is now a reality for retailers. These technologies can beat the queues and give your customers a differentiated and memorable check out experience. Mobile retail solutions are now available on one device delivering both bar code scanning and card payment facilities. The technology allows retailers to combine excellent customer service without compromising on best practice.

The check out is often a source of stress and bottlenecks for customers and retailers alike. The check out presents the retailer with their last opportunity to give customers a memorable experience, be it good or bad! When sales associates are armed with mobile POS technology they do not have to walk the customer to a traditional counter check-out. The interaction away from the “counter” can help increase up-sells and cross-sells by keeping the customer close to your merchandise. Sales of out of stock items can also be managed by creating orders for delivery using the same mobile retail solution. The experience is further enhanced with e-mailed receipts thereby allowing retailer to grow their post Christmas mailing lists.

Our early adopters of this mobile retail technology have reported that in addition to increasing sales and reducing queuing, they also reported gains in labour productivity. The mobile check-out enabled staff to process more customers per hour than they would have done at traditional counter based touch screen retail systems.  The close interaction between store staff armed with mobile POS and customers created new upsell opportunities. Besides shortening queues, the application changed idle time spent waiting to revenue-producing selling time. The mobile POS solution allow sales associates to create a “one-to-one” relationship with each customer thereby giving the feeling of more attention and individual service, which improves the customer experience and loyalty.

At eirpoint (www.eirpoint.com) we continuously innovating to deliver leading edge retail systems. We consider ourselves the leading authority on mobile retail solutions and have retailers using these technologies in Ireland, UK, Europe and more recently in the USA.

 

eirpoint mPOS integrated with Verifone e315m

 We are delighted to announce that we are now able to deliver our mobile retail POS solution running on the Verifone Payware e315m solution. 

Verifone’s PAYware Mobile e315 accommodates both the Apple iPhone 5 and the Apple iPod touch 5 to create the ultimate mobile POS solution. Ergonomically designed to fit comfortably within any hand, this device features a built-in PIN pad, 2D laser barcode imager and wrist strap that helps guard against dropping. Process any kind of payment – mag-stripe, NFC/contactless, EMV chip and PIN – fast with the high-speed Apple Lightning connector.

Niall Cannon, eirpoint Founder says “We welcome this new device into our family of mobile retail solutions. Delivering an integrated card payment and barcode scanning solution using one device has always been a goal of ours. Now we have a solution that can offer retailers an all-in-one scan and card payment device.”

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mobile point of sale
Star have just released the World’s first Bluetooth combined 58mm printer and cash drawer offering outstanding connectivity and design, plus intuitive functionality and simple integration. mPOP works with all major mobile operating systems including Apple iOS, Android and Windows, giving Retailers the freedom to use the platform that works for them.
eirpoint have just concluded the integration of their Apple iOS mPOS solution mPoint with this unique device. The integration of both solutions gives retailers the opportunity to use an iPad or iPhone/iPod in their retail store or at pop-up retail events.

Star mPop Product Page

Mobile POS

For short we refer to our Mobile Point of Sale solutions as mPOS. Our mobile point of sale (mPOS) solution allows for a non-wired, point-of-purchase payment of products or services offering a paper or electronic receipt. In addition, such systems can be used to streamline a variety of processes (i.e., queue-busting, order-taking and up-selling, bank transactions, management functions, delivery applications, event, travel traffic ticketing, and much more).

The mobile POS devices can be either Apple, Android or Windows Mobile devices that operate on your in-store or public network like other POS solutions. They can be designed to connect directly into back office applications making data available for stock control, business intelligence, work flow processes and customer service.

 

How Will Mobile POS Benefit My Organisation?

By enabling access anywhere within range of a secure wireless network, an mPOS solution can provide a seamless product/service transaction.

Each sales person can be equipped with an mPOS device in order to empower them to create a one-to-one relationship with each customer that visits your store.

Retailers can replace or compliment their existing retail check-out or cash-desk technology with mobile technology. This allows retailers the freedom to reconfigure the layout of their stores in ways that they would not have been able to consider previously.

Other benefits include:

  • Eliminating queuing at traditional checkouts for sales or service
  • Releasing valuable floor space for merchandising rather than checkout
  • Allow for easier capture of customer details
  • Offer mobile device based loyalty programs
  • Saving paper by e-mailing receipts
  • Increasing productivity of individual workers
  • Get a greater return on wireless network investment

How Can I Help My Organisation Embrace Mobile POS Solutions?

Fixed POS systems will not likely be deemed obsolete anytime soon. We are still developing and upgrading our software offering for these devices. We are continuing to implement these touch screen system in new retail stores. However, we are seeing more and more retailers requesting that we supply a mix of the traditional fixed systems alongside a number of mobile mPOS devices.

For retailers that have an existing fixed mPOS infrastructure, integrating an mPOS solution can be a smooth process. Both fixed and mobile POS solutions can work together to effectively garner benefits for the customer as well as for the organisation.

Research shows that there are a number of components that can help an mPOS system succeed including:

  • Staged Pilot Implementation—consider a pilot program, plan well, start small and evaluate the results.
  • Let customer complete transaction in the area desired—seek to provide mPOS capabilities in areas that have heavy traffic but are relatively far from fixed ePOS
  • Maintain data security—the more stringent requirements of a wireless network may foster greater mPOS system security.
  • Integrate back-office systems— look at integrating the mPOS system into your existing retail ERP, accounting, customer relationship management (CRM) and other applications.

What Comprises A Mobile POS Solution?

Effective mPOS systems require multiple integrated components and applications, such as:

Software Applications This is the “app” that runs on the smartphone or tablet device. We have been writing retail software for 15 years and our mPOS app is an award winning solution.
Enterprise Database The mPOS stores and uses essential data on board its fixed memory so that it can operate independently. The device connects to a retail database from time to time to synchronise data.
Wireless Network Internet access is a requirement for an mPOS solution. Usually for in-store mPOS this will be via a wireless LAN. For outdoor or temporary pop-up stores this can be via a mobile phone network.
Input Devices If your retail operation requires bar codes to be scanned then we can supply scanning sleeves for iPhone or Bluetooth scanners for Android & Windows implementations.
Payment Device We are very proud to be able to integrate and deliver an accredited and secure Bluetooth mobile payment solution with very competitive rates for processing credit and debit card with EMV Chip & Pin.
Mobile/Fixed Printing We can connect the mPOS to existing LAN thermal receipt printers or, if required, supply and configure mobile Bluetooth or LAN printers.

 

What About Mobile POS And The Cloud?

We appreciate that retail is a mission critical 24/7 operation. Retailers must always be able to sell and no interruption in service can be tolerates. Some of our competitor’s mPOS systems only operate exclusively “in the cloud”. This means that if your store should lose internet connectivity the mPOS devices will fail to process sales.

We have also designed the Bluetooth payment module to ensure that offline payments can still be processed so that card sales are not compromised by poor or slow communications

We have implemented our mPOS in live and difficult environments in Ireland, UK and Mainland Europe. We have designed our mPOS devices as native applications with local database that synchronise data from time to time with cloud ERP database systems.

All of the mPOS data is generally stored in the Cloud. The devices can be configured and controlled from our cloud based ERP solution.

 

Getting Started With Mobile POS Systems?

We appreciate that mPOS is a new concept to retailers. We are ready to assist you with every phase of choosing and leveraging the right solution for your mobile point of sale environment. Give us a call and we can discuss the following as part of your mPOS strategy:

  • An initial discovery session to understand your goals, requirements, and budget
  • An assessment review of your existing environment and definition of project requirements
  • Our recommendations and proof of concept proposal
  • Procurement, configuration, and deployment of the final solution
  • Ongoing product lifecycle support
  • Overview of requirements and service assessment

 

Click here to download our m-Point Fact Sheet

Our experience in mobile retail solutions at large footfall events has taught us a lot about the processing of card payments in offline mode. Offline mode is required for card payments when no mobile data connection is available to seek online authorisation from your selected acquirer or payment gateway.

When you accept card transactions you should seek an authorisation from the cardholder’s card issuer that the transaction details that have been processed by your terminal are correct. You will receive an authorisation code for that particular transaction at that time on that day.

However, even though an authorisation has been given it only checks that there are available funds in that card account up to the value of the transaction at the time it is processed and that the card used has not been reported as lost or stolen. An authorisation does not guarantee that a transaction is not fraudulent or that it will not be charged back at a later date. This is an important point that you have to remember. PIN code can be lost or stolen and not all PIN verified card transactions are immune from fraud.

When a retailer wishes to operate in an environment where they know that the data communications for online authorisations will be weak they often consider implementing mobile retail solutions that support off-line card payments. Our mobile retail solution supports these types of card payments. We work with the retailer and the acquirer to agree the rules of engagement for off-line card payments thereby ensuring that retailers never lose a sale just because a data connection is not available at the critical time of a card payments.

Offline card payments may be necessary for on-board airline or train card payments when a WIFI connection is unavailable. Even with mobile phone voice coverage a retailer operating a pop-up store at a busy event (for example, Chelsea Flower Show) is never guaranteed to get a data connection and therefore they will want us to configure the retail systems to support offline card processing.

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We have been working with retailers for close to 15 years in order to grow their business. The evolution of retail over this period of time has meant that we have helped retailers to embrace new sales channel opportunities. The World of retail is moving with pace towards an omni channel retail marketplace where competition is keen and the ability to respond rapidly to customer queries on all channels is a pre-requisite to staying in business. As software developers we value and plan for integration between retail ERP solution and your website. Our comprehensive API gateway ensures that we can integrate our retail software solutions with a myriad of shopping cart systems including Magento, Open Cart and nopCommerce. Integration between your ePOS software and your ecommerce website allows for maintaining accurate real time stock control and allows you to update your stock levels at the touch of a button.

Benefits of eirpoint ePOS Integration

Duplication of Effort
When your ePOS and ecommerce website are integrated there is no need for duplicate data entry. Inferior retail solutions will require you to maintain two separate product, sales and customer databases. With our integrated solutions none of this is required as your ePOS and website share the same data.

Stock Control
Your ePOS and website also will hold the same stock figures. If you sell from the website or from the physical store your stock is updated accordingly. You can manage dedicated stock for your web sales or you can serve both sales channels from the same stock location. The choice is yours and our retail solution  supports both approaches to ecommerce stock control.

Open 24 hours 365 Days a year
Even after your physical store is closed for business your website will continue to sell. Stock figures are adjusted and sales will be processed.

Call eirpoint today for a quotation for a fully integrated ePOS and website solution to suit your needs.
UK Customers: +44 (0)1707 818172
Irish Customers: +353(0)656868880
Outside UK & Ireland: +353(0)656868880


iConnect Select eirpoint™ m-Point product for innovative mobile POS solution
 

In 2013, following intensive market research, Al Mana Lifestyle General Manager John McEvoy decided the time was right to enter the Irish retail landscape and open a number of iConnect Apple Premium Retail stores. As part of an ambitious European expansion strategy starting in Ireland, McEvoy wanted to present a new shopping experience to customers while utilising the latest innovations in retail technology.

 

McEvoy’s vision for the ‘Customer Experience’ involved the customer benefitting from a whole new style of interaction with iConnect’ s team of Experience Consultants; the POS technology needed to support a strong one-2-one relationship between the customer and iConnect staff.

 

In line with McEvoys vision, a mobile POS solution was required. An innovative and functionally sound mobile POS would mean the end of queuing at a fixed point of sale. With the proper technology, the complete retail transaction could be completed anywhere in-store thanks to an Apple™ mobile point of sale solution, all the while ensuring that best practice retail policies and procedures continued to be supported.

His search for an Irish technology partner led him to eirpoint™ who have been innovators in mobile retail solutions since 2000. The company researches, designs and implements mobile retail solutions for Windows™, Apple™ and Android™ smart mobile devices.  eirpoint™ , founded by Niall Cannon, list Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland, Heineken, Bristol Airport, Dubarry Of Ireland & Cliffs Of Moher as end users of a suite of over 3000 mobile retail devices in Ireland and the UK.

If you have visited one of iConnect’s stores in Liffey Valley Shopping Centre or Whitewater Shopping Cenre in Newbridge, then you will have experienced the mobile POS checkout that is unique in Ireland today. The solution developed by eirpoint™ successfully supports the new customer check-out experience envisaged by McEvoy. The customer has their goods scanned by an iConnect sales member who carries the POS system on them at all times, pays and walks out of the store without ever having to stand in line at a traditional POS counter.

The mobile POS solution supports bar code scanning, emailed or printed receipts and is fully integrated with a mobile Chip & Pin device. Cannon explains, “Mobile POS will never completely replace traditional counter based point of sale systems; however, for retailers who want to support a deeper more customer focused type of service then mobile POS is a perfect fit.”

Cannon continues “Our next step must be to gain momentum and scale in the rollout of mobile POS, and, with that in mind, we are looking towards the UK market.  Our solution is currently being used by Dubarry of Ireland in their pop-up shops on the busy UK country event circuit.  With its integrated mobile chip and pin device, mobile POS makes secure transactions possible in the most challenging of environments. There is no need for complicated infrastructure, heavy hardware or long set up times. We believe that our mobile POS is the future of retail for retailers and shoppers alike.”

 

In order to compliment the download of their mobile POS solution from iTunes™ (iOS) and Google™ Play (Android™) eirpoint™ have also migrated their Microsoft Windows client retail ERP solution to the cloud. When the full solution is released later this year the POS “app” will be free to download. Connections of the mobile POS to the cloud ERP will be on the basis of a SaaS (Software As A Service) offering. The retailer will pay a monthly subscription to access the cloud ERP solution.

 

The integrated credit card processing device they are using is a Bluetooth™ Chip & Pin device that connects with Apple™ and Android™ smartphones. The device will cost a retailer €100 with a monthly subscription cost of €10 per month. The processing fees are competitive and as Cannon explains, “The fees for processing cards are priced very competitively based on a transparent margin charged above the Interchange+ wholesale rates. We can offer Visa credit card processing beginning at a rate of 1.15%.”

 

* This is an article extracted from Shelflife Magazine April 2014

 

 

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