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Industry News - September 5th 2014



Amazon's Mobile POS Undercuts the Competition

Amazon has entered the mobile POS business with the release ofAmazon Local Register, and is looking to syphon market share from the established players with best-in-class merchant fees. The service is a secure card reader and mobile app that provides local businesses with the tools they need to quickly and easily accept credit and debit cards anywhere from a smartphone or tablet.

Amazon Local Register is similar to the offerings from Square, PayPal, ROAM and others, but with a 1.75% transaction rate for merchants who sign up for the service by Oct. 31 the online giant is positioning itself as the pricing leader — a position it is accustomed to holding. Merchants who sign up for the service by the deadline will enjoy the introductory merchant fees until the end of 2015. Those that sign up after the Oct. 31 date will pay 2.5% merchant fees — still lower than Square's 2.75% rate.

“From clothing stores to contractors, food trucks to accountants, businesses and organizations using Amazon Local Register will enjoy industry-leading low rates, trusted and secure payment processing, and access to award-winning customer support,” Matt Swann, VP of Amazon local commerce said. “We understand that every penny and every minute counts, so we want to make accepting payments so easy and inexpensive that it no longer gets in the way of a business owner doing what they love — serving their customers and growing their business.”

Customers can get started with Amazon Local Register in three simple steps: create an account onlocalregister.amazon.com, purchase a $10 card reader, and download the free mobile app from Amazon Appstore, Apple App Store or Google Play. The mobile POS app is compatible with a variety of smartphones and tablets, including Apple devices running iOS7, Kindle Fire tablets, select Android smartphones, and Amazon's new Fire phone.

In-app reporting enables businesses to quickly check bottom line performance, sales trends, peak sales times and more. All reporting is easily accessible from a smartphone or tablet and is password-protected. A host of compatible accessories are available including cash drawers, receipt printers and stands

Pizzeria Secures POS with Tokenization System

RedRossa Napoli Pizza in Clive, IA, a concept owned and operated by WR Restaurant Hospitality, LLC out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota has deployed Retail Data Systems’ TransArmor on NCR Aloha POS.
Retail Data Systems collaborated with NCR Corporation and First Data Corporation to deploy a solution that removes card data from the customer environment while at the same time reducing merchant liability, and further lowering PCI reporting effort requirements while introducing token technology that can increase sales and loyalty.
Essentially TransArmor introduces “end to end” security, utilizing a tamper proof connected terminal encryption device integrated through the Aloha POS, which collaborates with vault decryption technology at First Data, making the data of no use to fraudsters and hackers from the time of swipe, or EMV chip read, through authorization, and token issuance. 
Since the data is never exposed in the clear, reformatted and scraped from memory, or stored at the merchant, there is nothing to steal.  This particularly deters the remote access breach attempts from organized crime groups across the globe

Extending Desktop Functionality to Tablets

Designed for professionals on the go, Citrix has unveiled ShareConnect, an app that delivers a desktop-like experience to Android tablets and the iPad. This includes instant access to business-critical apps, files and networks, as well as full-scale document editing—all in an experience optimized for tablets.

The app frees tablet users to work effectively from in and out of the office—without sacrificing speed, usability or desktop features. With research showing the average worker uses around three devices in a day, the solution enables people to work securely on one device, shift to the next and pick up right where they left off to ensure enhanced performance and productivity.

"Today's workforce is more mobile than ever and they face two major challenges; not all data is stored in the cloud and many desktop apps are not fully functional through mobile apps," said Jesse Lipson, vice president, Citrix. "With ShareConnect, users can access and edit files, use industry-specific desktop apps critical to getting their work done and even use their business networks—all through a simple interface, optimized pixel by pixel for tablets."

ShareConnect features include:

Access and edit files: The solution displays the most recent files worked on, enabling users to access and edit those files on native desktop apps while on the business network, if needed.

Business networking: Network access is built into the app allowing workers to run resource-intensive desktop programs typically available only on the company network. The desktop processing power needed to smoothly run CAD programs, Illustrator or proprietary legacy apps is now seamless from Android and iOS tablets.

App optimization: Desktop PC apps are optimized for the iPad and Android OS, opening in full screen mode, so employees can get right to work. Swipe, pinch and zoom functionality, full keyboard control and the ability to preview and edit Microsoft Office files—all create a desktop-like experience even when outside the office.

Free storage: ShareConnect provides 1 GB of free cloud storage from Citrix ShareFile—a secure and simple file-sharing tool.


5 Tips to Supporting a Connected Workforce

Managers and business leaders who still rely on spreadsheets, forms and manual process (despite the pervasive use of smartphones, tablets, laptops etc.) may need help to realize how to enhance workforce agility, productivity and engagement—while optimizing their organization's workforce spend and improving profits. Asure Software offers 5 tips to better mobility.

"Progressive organizations are seeing many strategic operational advantages, even imperatives, to leverage technologies in new and better ways for enhanced workforce agility and productivity, while enabling managers and business leaders to track employees more effectively, protect profit loss related to time fraud, and accurately plan and manage staffing," said Steven Rodriguez, Asure Software COO, who outlined these tips:

1. Automate processes: Timecards, paper timesheets submitted to supervisors in-person or via fax, work schedules posted on bulletin boards, PTO forms left in a manager’s in-box—these are all things of the past. Today's user-friendly TLM systems consolidate these processes online, eliminating issues with illegible entries, lost or misplaced forms, data re-entry errors and duplication of efforts, and the risk of manual errors that can occur in this process, and help organizations manage regulatory compliance requirements that are prone to costly errors. And, all data is processed and reported in real-time, eliminating delays and guesswork.

2. Leverage employees’ personal technologies: Most workers are highly connected to technology 24x7 via their own mobile devices, meaning nearly all are "agile workers" to varying degrees. Enabling them to access work systems via their own familiar technologies helps to enhance their engagement and work satisfaction. Organizations can leverage employees' connectivity and help to make their lives easier and more efficient by enabling them to conduct self-service tasks online, such as checking PTO balances, submitting schedule availability or timesheets, searching and signing up for extra shifts, etc. at their convenience.

3. Move to the cloud: Cloud-based TLM solutions free employees from the office walls and work, enabling them to access scheduling systems at their convenience with their own technologies. Using the Cloud also ensures that all employees throughout the organization, regardless of their location, are using the same technology—a key benefit for organization whose employees are increasingly mobile and global. For HR and payroll managers, the Cloud's benefits also include assurance that technology is always current and less reliance on over-stretched corporate IT staff.

4. Explore emerging biometric and geolocation technologies: TLM mobile apps make it convenient and fast for mobile workers and those whose work involves time off-site to log their time and location by enabling their mobile devices to function as a timeclock fueled by selfies. Facial recognition and geolocation technologies combine to quickly verify the user’s identity and location, enabling supervisors to ensure the right people are in the right place at the right time, and helping the organization to prevent time fraud—which can account for up to five percent of payroll costs.

5. Optimize Scheduling: TLM scheduling systems now offer many useful functionalities that spreadsheets can’t even touch, empowering employees to better track and manage their schedules. For instance, employees who want to pick up extra hours can go online to look for open shifts and bid on them. Supervisors have visual dashboards to quickly check availabilities, as well as robust data to optimize staffing and reallocate staff, as needed. If they have shift spot to fill quickly they can push out notices to employees who are eligible to cover.

"Traditional paper-based and manual time and labor tools are cumbersome, error-prone and do not provide the conveniences, efficiencies and flexibilities that workers have come to expect with today's technologies," said Rodriguez. "Most workers have and use their own technologies to plan and organize their lives, and they appreciate and quickly adapt to solutions that enable them to use their own familiar technologies."

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