Alto Global Processing:Mobile POS Will Surpass $2 Billion in 2013, iPad As Cash Register

Written by TJ McCue of Forbes.com

When Apple began using mobile devices in their stores, people in retail started paying attention. According to a recent study from research firm IHL Group, 28 percent of North American retailers plan to adopt Mobile POS in some form by the end of 2013. The Mobile POS market will surpass $2 Billion in hardware/software sales in North America this year.

Clarification: This data is not consumer point of sales transaction value, but sales of POS equipment hardware and software.

Overall, mobile in retail is now a $5.7 Billion business worldwide and continues to grow rapidly. It is the single fastest moving trend in retail since Internet was added to the stores, according to IHL Group.

The report summary also stated that more retailers, however, are not planning to install Mobile POS at all within the next 3 years (33 percent).  Naturally, the adoption of a mobile POS solution is dependent on the type of retailer and volume of transactions, but I am drawing a blank for a retail environment that could not benefit from some mobility. See link in resources below for the report blog post, which is all I read — the report is not free. But you can download a free preview.

But you do not have to be Apple to turn an iPad into a cash register in your business. The iPad on its own, with free or premium apps, can serve as a full-blown POS (point of sale) system for small and large businesses. If you have not been to a farmer’s market recently, take a look at all the merchants who can now take more than cash. Add a Square credit card reader or one from Intuit , and you are a mobile retail machine.

Years ago, I worked with a wireless software company that was building a mobile point of sale solution for wireless handhelds. They were ahead of their time — having to use ruggedized handhelds from Symbol and Intermec and integrating with proprietary systems. But today, you can do all of that and more with an iPad. There are plenty of stories of how iPads and tablets, in general, are making their way beyond email or web surfing on the couch or using a tablet to show photos, but it is a serious profitability tool.

As a product reviewer, I see a lot of useless mobile stuff (to be candid) and I have seen no shortage of iPad stands, iPad cases, iPad accessories. Many are useful, some are definitely not. But I love this newest one on Kickstarter: MagBak, the World’s Thinnest iPad Mount. Elegant and brilliant are words that come to mind and it is already over-funded. I sure hope they make versions that will do the same for a variety of smartphones, too. Hint: I have an S3, S4, and Nexus 4 and would buy one of these… The reason I included this mount, however, is it makes for an even more functional point of sale system. Put up a magnet mount in your food truck, kiosk, or retail store and you have an impressive modern cash register.

The iPad can change your business processes. If there is not an app, you can get one custom built or build it yourself. The team at Sweb Development is working on custom apps, but also has a platform for building your own (on iOS or Android). Or look at the FileMaker platform that lets you custom develop your own, too. As most Forbes readers know, the iPad is not only a consumer device for fun gaming or watching videos; it is a robust business machine that can help you serve customers and get more work done out in the field or on the shop floor.

More Resources:

The use of tablets (iPad and Android-powered) is growing fast with shipments increasing at a rate of 38 percent in 2013 according to the IHL Group report Mobile POS: Hype to Reality.

I shared a few reasons in a post last year on Why Your Business Needs iPads atAmerican Express OPEN Forum.

USAToday reported on a few unique businesses leveraging the iPad.

If you cannot bear the idea of hanging a naked iPad on the wall or leaving it on the retail counter, then check out this very cool handmade wooden register box from Happy Owl Studio called the Cashbox.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2013/07/30/mobile-pos-will-surpass-2-billion-in-2013-ipad-as-cash-register/?partner=yahootix

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For more information on this please feel free to contact Luca Bizzotto, CEO of Alto Global Processing Please visit Alto Global Processing

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Alto Global Processing: Staples Velocity Lab – Ideation to Innovation at Warp Speed By D.J. Murphy, Editor-in-Chief, CardNotPresent.com

Source http://cardnotpresent.com/ Article by: D.J. Murphy, Editor-in-Chief, CardNotPresent.com

You may not know it, but Staples, the big-box office-supplies chain that introduced us to the “easy button,” is an e-commerce juggernaut. In fact, the company ranked second on the most recent Internet Retailer list of the top 500 U.S. e-commerce retailers, trailing only Amazon.com in online sales. But, as focused as Staples is on reaching customers through the online channel, e-commerce sales still only account for 40 percent of its total sales revenue. That relative balance means the company believes it is uniquely positioned to understand and leverage all of its assets—technological and traditional—in omnichannel efforts that are beginning to define retailing.

To that end, Staples, in December of 2012, officially announced the opening of a facility in Cambridge, Mass. in which it could gather the heads of all the various departments responsible for its e-commerce and mobile initiatives. They all would reside at a hub, located within several thousand yards of much of the finest young IT talent outside of Silicon Valley, where close collaboration would accelerate the pace of innovation the company could bring to the most advanced shopping experience.

Staples scouted various locations for what it dubbed its Velocity Lab including San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto and Amsterdam. But, the tech talent pouring out of MIT and Harvard, the proximity to many of their tech partners—like Akamai and Endeca—and the proximity to the company’s suburban Boston headquarters made Cambridge the best spot for the Lab to set up shop.

Staples recognized the pace the industry is changing and the pace we need to keep up with it. Mobile is changing fundamentally how we live our lives,” says Prat Vemana, director of the Velocity Lab and general mobile strategy at Staples. “That gave us the recognition that we need that kind of skill set more. We need people who can think rapidly and move fast.”

Vemana says Staples envisions the facility as an incubator where the company can leverage its incredible strength in e-commerce and traditional retailing and marry it with the tremendous potential mobile has to change the shopping experience for its customers—and to do it quickly.

He notes that Staples already has implemented a mobile infrastructure that includes Websites optimized for smartphones and tablets (the company was among the first retailers to launch a tablet-only app) as well as a mobile-optimized site for StaplesRewardsCenter.com. Staples had launched all these online properties before the Velocity Lab opened. What the existence of the Lab has done, however, is enable the office-supply giant to brainstorm new ways to leverage its mobile assets to serve its customers. The company also is putting mobile devices in the hands of its in-store associates to increase their productivity and enhance their ability to contribute to a truly omnichannel environment.

“When you look at all our mobile assets, the #1 thing we think about here is how they can help the customer in the shopping journey, no matter where they are and in what channel they’re shopping,” he says. “What are the mobile moments? What are the right moments I need to bring the technology to you so you can actually apply it.”

So, while the technology they’re leveraging is not new, the speed with which they have to move to deliver innovation in the forms that make their customers’ lives easier is. And that’s where the lab comes in, Vemana says.

“The amount of test and learn we need to do in order to innovate is exploding,” he explains. “That requires a true collaboration. If you look at the office here, all the cross-function leads are in the same place. Visual designers, information architects, product managers, project managers, QA, all the leads are in one place. When you’re thinking about an idea or problem and how to make it actually happen, that conversation is happening right here. That is incredible for us. This facility exists to fuse the collaborative element and see if we can push out innovations faster.”

Even the physical design elements of the facility contribute to the speed of innovation. Offices and half-wall cubicles ring a few central bays with comfortable furniture and round tables where informal meetings can take place easily. Also, every wall is literally a blank canvas, on which spur-of-the-moment inspiration can be recorded in dry-erase marker.

The Velocity Lab had been up and running for months before the official launch in December 2012, and an example of how the team worked to bring innovations encompassing all its sales channels to Staples customers could be found in the weeks leading up to Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving that has become one of the most important shopping days of the year for consumers and retailers.

The team wanted to take advantage of the fact that retailers had seen a more than 15 percent increase in mobile traffic on the previous Black Friday with projections for 2012 even higher. Vemana, seeking out his “mobile moments,” wanted to leverage that to make the holiday shopping experience, as a whole, more convenient and valuable to their customers. The conversation that ensued ranged from flash sales to store-only vs. online coupons to geofencing.

“This was a lively conversation, just sitting kicking around ideas and we said, ‘why don’t we do it?’, he remembers. “From ideation to realization it was three weeks. We thought through it, went live and it was an incredible success for us. It was possible because they were all in one place. They just went for it. That’s the kind of culture we’re trying to cultivate.”

The launch of the lab has coincided with a reinvention of Staples’ strategy that more closely aligns the e-commerce and in store businesses, with an emphasis online and mobile, Vemana says. Staples will continue to leverage the Velocity Lab not only to pump out digital innovation, but to use that innovation to bolster an in-store experience in ways that pure e-commerce plays like Amazon and Google can’t.

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Alto Global Processing: Payments Players Face Four Key Decisions As EMV Shift Nears

Source: http://www.pymnts.com/

Visa, MasterCard and Europay formed EMVCo in the 1993 to combat and reduce fraud internationally, but in the United States, the slow transition to this new standard is causing problems of its own.

To date, more than 1.62 billion payment cards have been upgraded to comply with the standards set by EMVCo. This accounts for nearly 45 percent of all cards globally – most of which are in use outside the United States.

As this figure continues to climb, domestic financial institutions (FIs), merchants and consumers face an increasing threat of fraud, which is increasingly likely to occur in nations where the financial infrastructure has fewer safeguards in place. With the U.S. EMV liability shift four years away, what does the road to compliance look like, and what steps do acquirers, issuers and merchants need to take to prepare?

This is the subject of a new white paper released by global management consulting firm Accenture. Entitled “Payments Transformation – EMV comes to the US,” the release outlines four key decisions facing those in the payments ecosystem.

In this PYMNTS.com Data Point, we’ll take a closer look at two of the four decisions Accenture highlights in its research.

Offline Or Online Authentication?

According to Accenture, FIs first need to determine how they will verify the authenticity of EMV cards. This process can occur online or offline. Either way, authentication validates the EMV card before a payment occurs while providing additional safeguards against fraud.

Offline authentication – The card is verified by the merchant’s POS terminal, which reads information and certificates embedded in card’s chip. With this option, the terminals manage the payments brands they will accept.

Online authentication – The card is approved by the issuer using cryptographic certificates created by a card or mobile phone. This removes the need for important information to be housed on the physical card

How To Verify The Cardholder?

In an EMV system, cardholders verify their identity through three Cardholder Verification Methods (CVMs). These are a PIN, a signature or no CVM. The second decision facing FIs is selecting one of these options. Factors that could influence this decision include the level of fraud reduction desired by the issuer and customer attitude toward PINs.

Chip & PIN – Since much of Europe has elected to use PIN technology over concerns of the use of signatures, EMV cards are sometimes known as “chip-and-PIN cards” overseas. Read by dipping the card into a POS, the chip-and-PIN is more secure, but alters the traditional customer experience.

Chip & Sign – The chip & sign method may lead to a smoother adoption of EMV cards in the United States because this process is similar to the one used currently with magnetic-stripe cards. However, these transactions are less secure, and may make consumers vulnerable to fraud and theft: one of the main issues the EMV transition could help the United States solve.

No CVM – In this choice, neither a signature nor PIN is used to verify transactions. By making this choice, issuers would need a merchant POS structure to support this feature. No CVM is best suited for low value transactions, such as unattended terminals ie mass transit, as an example.

For more insights from Accenture, read the full white paper here.

To access the Accenture Payments Transformation Series, visit Accenture here.

Email Accenture with questions at paymentservices@accenture.com.

Direct Link To Article: http://www.pymnts.com/briefing-room/security-and-risk/online-and-cyber-fraud/2013/payments-players-face-four-key-decisions-as-emv-shift-nears/

For more information on this please feel free to contact Luca Bizzotto, CEO of Alto Global Processing Please visit Alto Global Processing

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Alto Global Processing Report: Mobile Transaction Value to Reach $235 Billion in 2013

Technology research group Gartner said worldwide mobile payment transaction value will exceed $235 billion in 2013, up 44 percent from the $163 billion spent using mobile devices last year. And, the Stamford, Conn.-based consultancy said, growth in mobile transaction volume and value will continue to grow significantly.

“We expect global mobile transaction volume and value to average 35 percent annual growth between 2012 and 2017, and we are forecasting a market worth $721 billion with more than 450 million users by 2017,” said Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner. “Nevertheless, we have lowered the forecast of total transaction value for the forecast period due to lower-than-expected growth in 2012, especially in North America and Africa.”

Gartner attributes the lower growth projections to disappointing adoption of NFC technology and struggles experienced by high-profile initiatives like Google Wallet and Isis.

Source: http://cardnotpresent.com/news/cnp-news-june13/Report__Mobile_Transaction_Value_to_Reach_$235_Billion_in_2013_-_June_6,_2013/

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