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The Future Point of Sale

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June 18, 2018
Point of Sale | Technology
Ted Horner - ted@hornertech.com.au






Technology is having a big impact in the direction that point-of-sale systems are headed, and customers are dictating how products and services are ordered and payments made, hence the demand for technology that supports this. The focus is all about the guest experience and one of the major drivers is mobility because is it accessible, real and is now what guests use in all aspects of their lives.
 
“POS systems are evolving from simply conducting guest transactions into becoming powerful platforms with rich analytical capabilities that can empower associates to offer differentiated service, and help operators make more informed inventory and staffing decisions,” said Brett Smith, senior director of food and beverage product strategy at Oracle Hospitality. “Combined with mobile hardware, next-generation POS platforms are disrupting the hospitality experience by better engaging guests and reinventing check-in and service processes.”  
 
POS Security 

Over the last few years this has been a major problem for hotels where guest credit card details have been stolen and often this has come about because of the lack of security within the POS. To overcome this, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council has created security standards that all hotels must follow. Now the card data is processed only by the payment gateway to/from the acquiring bank and only the final transaction approval code is passed to the POS, without the card data.
 
Tokenization has become widely adopted in recent years. Using technology to save a token instead of the actual card data has helped security by reducing retention of sensitive data. The token is only meaningful to the property and its specific payment gateway. In the hands of a criminal, it can’t be used with any other property or payment gateway.
Also helping improve POS security is the wider adoption of point-to-point encryption. Theft occurs when malware is injected in the payment ecosystem. Point-to-point encryption is eliminating many opportunities of exposure by immediately encrypting credit card data. 
 
With the advent of EMV this prevents counterfeit card fraud, but it does nothing to secure the account number. EMV just protects one card as opposed to every card that is transacted through a terminal protected by point-to-point encryption.
 
Amazon Go: Imagine the Possibilities at Hotels
 
Amazon recently introduced the concept called Amazon Go in Seattle – the store with no cashiers, no POS and no lines. Using an app, shoppers scan the products they plan to buy, and then walk out of the building without waiting in a checkout line. Amazon’s machine learning technology can automatically identify when a product is added to your cart. When the customer leaves the store, Amazon automatically charges their Amazon account. 
 
Imagine the possibilities here for hotels; a guest arrives at a hotel bar or restaurant and the guest is instantly known based on a loyalty membership or IP address from his smartphone. The guest has the option to self-order drinks or food from his phone and all items are posted to a shopping cart which can automatically post to his guestroom or a mobile payment method such as Apple Pay or Google Pay. Some old fashioned hoteliers may decry the lack of personal service, but many millennials are not interested in face-to-face contact and would prefer to fully automate the ordering process. In Australia retailers and customers are moving away from traditional POS. Australian banks have touchscreen EFTPOS terminals that can also be used as mobile POS units. These are ideal as cashless transactions are more prevalent in the country. Pay at the table and customer checkout are in very high demand. With the most recent arrival of Top Golf in Australia, the location will use around 40 Albert touchscreen EFTPOS as POS terminals and only five traditional POS units. Another example of a kiosk-based POS system which allows patrons to create their own order is Australian-based provider Task Retail which is installed in the new U.S. fast food chain, Burger Boss.  


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