ARE YOUR BANK NOTE ACCEPTORS NOT ACCEPTING THE NEW $10 BANK NOTE?

$10 NGB Note

In September 2012 the RBA announced its intention to release an upgraded series of new banknotes.

Issue of the denominations will be staged across a number of years, with the first denomination being the $5.00 released in September 2016 and the $10.00 released in September 2017.

Along with our suppliers, we are working on a upgrade program to ensure that most current equipment purchased will be able to process the new bank notes.

Please contact our office regarding any questions you may have regarding your current bank note acceptor.

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Don’t Miss the Promotional Opportunity That’s Right in Front of You (and your Customer)

Your Point of Sale terminal is a vital piece of hospitality equipment. It allows you to maintain your menu and prices, ensures sales entry accuracy, acts as a communication hub between the front-of-house and back-of-house, and provides critical sales data for analysis.

But did you know that your POS can be an active promotional tool?

Most reputable POS systems now have the option available to add an integrated customer display that can scroll through a series of high quality graphic images. There are considerable advantages to utilising this option:

  • Your POS is often at the centre of your counter, right in front of your customers – so a graphic display fills the ‘dead’ space taken up by the POS with an excellent non-aggressive marketing opportunity.
  • When a sale is being registered at the POS the content shows on the display, allowing your customer to be confident that their order is correctly entered.
  • Use upselling and cross promotion opportunities in an effort to grow the spend-per-customer ratio of your venue – an excellent method of increasing revenue.

To help demonstrate the opportunity that a graphical customer display presents, here are some suggestions for the content that can be utilised:

  1. Advertise in-house specials – of particular benefit are promotions that are tailored to boost sales during quieter periods
  2. Offer up-selling opportunities for existing products to encourage impulse take-up of these options
  3. Present new products that have recently been added to your menu
  4. Promote upcoming special or seasonal events
  5. Publicise your social media presence
  6. Display photos of your venue and flagship products

There is no shortage of ideas of how you could use a customer display to benefit your hospitality venue. By way of a suggestion, have 10-12 different images on a 10 second rotation – this means each image will display every two minutes. Also, alternate between infographics (promotions) and venue or product photos – this makes the viewing experience less intense.

Do not miss this opportunity!

Finding eye-catching ways to promote your business and remind patrons of what you offer can enhance the customer experience and add to your bottom line.

This article was originally written for the Uniwell4POS website, and has been used with permission of the author.

 

Weighing Up the Value of a New Café POS System

When it comes to selecting a point of sale system for your hospitality venue, the choice has never been greater, or more difficult. There are literally dozens of different options, ranging from ‘free’ apps for your tablet through to fully integrated systems worth thousands of dollars. Every system has its own advantages and disadvantages and, frankly, no one has the time to investigate them all. So how do you make an informed choice? What factors need to be considered when ascertaining whether the systems you are looking at offer good ‘value for money’?

In this article:
Initial Outlay vs Ongoing Charges
Low Cost Hardware vs Reliability & Security
DIY vs Professional Help
Cloud-based vs Local Data
Enhanced Efficiency Saves Money

Initial Outlay vs Ongoing Charges

For any small business, decisions surrounding capital outlay require proper scrutiny. But for a start-up café, the money required just to open your front door for the first time is quite considerable. The coffee machine, cooking equipment, furniture, shop fit-out, counters and fridges – it’s a long and somewhat daunting list! So its little wonder that further outlay on a POS system proves to be a ‘step too far’ for many cafés.

Understandably then, the recent advent of cheap (or free) software-as-a-service ‘POS apps’ has provided many cafés with an easy way to get started. And to be honest, for a small espresso bar with limited products and little need for integration, a ‘POS app’ may be a perfectly suitable solution.

There are a few questions worth asking in regards to costing if selecting from these tablet app alternatives – What do the ongoing costs add up to over the course of 3 – 5 years (the expected lifespan of a purpose built POS terminal)? What happens to your POS settings and sales data if you decide to move on and stop paying the monthly fee for the app? Do you own or have access to your data? It may be that purchasing, or even financing, a system that you own with no ongoing license fees may prove to be more economical in the long term.

Lower Cost Hardware vs Reliability and Security

Another primary advantage of a ‘POS app’ is the ability to bring your own hardware – such as a tablet/iPad or computer. Many business owners utilise a spare iPad they had at home, or buy a cheap Windows laptop to run a POS program. Undoubtedly, this can save you money – but is it necessarily a good idea?

Hospitality venues can often be tricky environments for tech gear. Is a tablet or laptop designed to be used in that kind of scenario? If you have multiple staff – will they all treat the equipment with the care it requires to last a long time? Another aspect to consider is security. ‘POS apps’ are typically installed as 3rd party software on a generic operating system. So even if the app is stable, it can only be as reliable and secure as the OS it is working on. Also worth considering – can staff close the app and use the tablet or computer for other activities, like browsing the internet or playing games?

So while it may be cheaper to bring your own hardware, is it really the best idea for your business? We are not saying that purpose-built POS equipment is absolutely bullet proof, but it is usually designed to handle the rigours of the environment it is developed for. ‘Embedded POS systems’ that don’t run as a third-party app, but are designed as the sole function of the terminal, have a reputation for being quicker, more robust and less susceptible to misuse.

DIY vs Professional Help

In recent years the ability to save money by doing tasks yourself, that previously required the help of a trained professional, has changed the way we live. Especially on the technological front, with the advent of the internet, has this change been prominent. We can now organise our own travel arrangements, purchase items from around the globe, develop our own website and handle our own banking and bookkeeping.

This ‘DIY’ mind-set has flowed across to the point of sale industry. The latest ‘POS apps’ are designed to allow the end-user to install, set up and maintain their own POS system without the need for extensive outside assistance. And again, for simple POS implementations, this is likely to be a perfectly adequate solution.

So is it ever worth paying a POS professional to set your system up, and provide training and support? Yes, for several reasons:

  1. Your time is valuable, and what might take you hours to sort out might take an experienced technician half the time, freeing you up to focus on other necessary activities.
  2. POS hardware and printers aren’t necessarily ‘plug and play’ like many modern home/office peripherals. They may require specific settings to operate on your network, or function the way that you need them to.
  3. POS professionals have experience in setting up hospitality systems and knowing what they are typically capable of. You could miss out on valuable functionality if you don’t get good advice on how to use your POS system effectively.
  4. And finally, if problems do arise, having someone who is available to help and knows how your system is set up is invaluable in getting your POS back up and running. After all, the last thing you want is unnecessarily extended downtime for your POS system.

Cloud-Based vs Local Data

Here is another amazing technological development of the last few years – ‘cloud storage’. Many new ‘POS apps’ promote the fact that their data is stored online. The benefit is that your POS settings and sales information is available to you from any location with an internet connection and that if devices break down, it is simply a matter of logging in with a new device to access your system.

There is no doubt that using ‘cloud storage’ is incredibly beneficial – it enables businesses to implement an off-site backup of critical data, and allows the easy transfer of data between remote locations. But it also comes with overheads. Some business owners are reluctant to operate solely via cloud-based apps that are reliant on the availability and speed of an internet connection. Additionally, with recent concerns over cyber security, there is a trend toward wanting primary data to be managed locally to avoid unnecessary risks.

Regardless of whether your POS system stores operational data locally or remotely, a proper backup routine including off-site backups should be implemented. Most POS systems have the ability to email sales management reports or save key figures to a ‘cloud’ location. And if you want to access locally stored data from a remote location (such as working on your POS program from home), you can easily use remote access software such as TeamViewer to achieve this. There are countless options – you just need to speak to your POS provider to discuss a suitable solution for you.

Enhanced Efficiency Saves Money

The primary functions of an integrated POS system are that it (1) provides an easy mechanism for recording sales, (2) efficiently communicates orders to the applicable areas for preparation (ie. the barista and kitchen), and (3) supplies useful data for managerial analysis. When a system achieves these primary goals well, your café runs more efficiently, which saves you time, money and headaches. That has to be worth something! In contrast, if you choose a POS that doesn’t meet these basic requirements you won’t experience the benefits that a properly set up system can provide.

Let’s be honest – your point of sale system is probably the least exciting piece of equipment you’ll have to acquire to set up your café. But you’ll certainly notice it if it doesn’t work properly! So when doing the research on what POS you need for your venue – consider all the costs… not just the initial outlay, but the reliability, usability, security and longevity factors, and the advantages of proper installation and ongoing support.

Conclusion

In reality, as mentioned at the outset, there are advantages and disadvantages in all POS systems. It is important to weigh up all of these factors when deciding on what POS solution fits your business.

We invite you to consider our Uniwell4POS systems – robust, purpose-built hybrid ePOS systems that are based on decades of hospitality point of sale development. UniwellDirect and its resellers have finance options that can make the implementation of a properly integrated system more manageable.

We are confident that these systems can provide a cost-effective solution to your ongoing café point of sale needs.

This article was originally written for the Uniwell4POS website, and has been used with permission of the author.

 

WHY ‘EMBEDDED POS’ REMAINS AS RELEVANT TODAY AS EVER BEFORE

An old saying goes something like this – “You can’t compare apples to oranges.”  The same is true with point of sale systems.  There are so many different types and levels of POS equipment and applications, that making a fair comparison between several options can be quite difficult.  One type of POS that is significantly different to many other systems is known as an ‘embedded POS’ terminal.

To truly appreciate the advantages of embedded POS, it’s important to have an understanding of what it is

What does ‘Embedded’ Mean?

For the sake of simplicity, we are going to divide POS systems up into two broad categories – (1) POS applications installed on standard IT hardware, and (2) Embedded POS.  The majority of point of sale solutions on the market today are POS applications.  These are programs written by software developers and then installed on generic computer hardware, such as Windows computers and POS terminals, or tablets such as iPads and android equivalents.  Therefore with POS applications, there are numerous other components that go into making your POS terminal work.  For example, you have the operating system (Windows, iOS, android) that controls the hardware and allows the application to be loaded, as well as third-party database engines, and drivers that allow peripherals or other integrated components to function.

‘Embedded POS’ is different!  The point of sale hardware is purpose built, with electronic components that are specifically designed and programmed to perform POS functions.  Rather than having a separate operating system, third-party drivers and POS application, embedded terminals are an ‘all-in-one’ solution with the sole function of point of sale operation.  In reality, the earliest form of embedded POS was the electronic cash register (ECR), which became popular 1980s and ‘90s.  However, since the advent of touchscreen computers (and more recently tablets), the proliferation of hundreds of POS apps that have grown in functionality and scope has led to the demise of the humble cash register in its traditional form.

Uniwell’s HX Series is Embedded POS, Reinvented

The reduction in the use of ECRs doesn’t mean that embedded POS solutions no longer exist, or are too old-fashioned.  There are tangible advantages to embedded POS terminals, and specialist manufacturers with decades of point of sale experience have worked hard to develop modern embedded systems with functionality equal to many of the more advanced POS applications available.  One such developer is Uniwell Corporation.  This Japanese manufacturer has been designing and producing POS equipment since 1979, but it is their latest ‘Hybrid ePOS’ technology that has taken a giant step forward.

 

So let’s consider 4 fundamental reasons why you should seriously consider choosing embedded POS over a POS app:

  1. Security – with the recent increase in cyber security threats, along with the risk of staff misuse, there is a real need for enhanced security on POS terminals. The multiple software layers required for a PC/tablet POS system, including the operating system, database engine and peripheral drivers, as well as the POS application itself, introduce multiple points of vulnerability.  Anti-virus and anti-malware software is needed to protect the terminal.  Compare this to an embedded system, which has only one purpose and can’t intentionally or inadvertently access websites, emails or other external sources of potentially harmful material.
  2. Reliability – the POS system is a critical component in any busy hospitality or food retail business. If point of sale terminals have unexpected problems and downtime, this has a negative impact on the speed and quality of customer service provided by the venue.  The ‘all-in-one’ nature of the proprietary systems in embedded POS removes a number of risk areas in relation to system reliability.
  3. Operational Speed – another important benefit of embedded POS systems is the speed that a well setup terminal can be operated at. This comes from two primary areas – (1) improved data and memory processing, which again stems from the fact that POS processes are not cluttered by the multiple software components that are required for a PC/tablet solution, and (2) specific POS functionality that automates or enhances the workflow of the sale process.  Embedded POS developers like Uniwell Corporation have been refining POS features for decades, and have a clear understanding of what makes a point of sale terminal easy to use for an operator.
  4. Purpose-built Hardware – hospitality and food retail venues can be tough on tech equipment, particularly products that are not intended for the environment. Embedded POS terminals are specifically designed to cope with the day-to-day requirements of these sites in ways that a standard tablet, laptop or PC is not.

So the next time you are researching a potential new point of sale solution, consider the benefits of an embedded POS system such as Uniwell’s HX-2500 and HX-4500.

The fundamental advantages that these terminals offer can provide your business with increased efficiency and stability that will ultimately improve your bottom-line – making embedded POS more relevant than ever

HX-2500 – Compact POS Without Compromise

This article was originally written for the Uniwell4POS website, and has been used with permission of the author.

 

POS Tips for Café Start-Ups

Starting a hospitality business is a huge undertaking.  There are so many things to think about – location, equipment requirements, décor, marketing efforts, menu development, just to name a few.  So it’s little wonder that choosing an effective POS system is often forgotten in the inevitable scramble leading up to opening.

So whether you are opening a new café or looking at enhancing an existing operation by upgrading your current POS system, here are three basic tips for you to consider:

  1. Your POS must be easy for staff to use

While this might seem to be a ‘no-brainer’, it is often not considered a key selection criterion when choosing between a range of POS solutions.  During busy periods, your counter staff will need to be fast and accurate when entering customer order details into the POS to keep your café operation running smoothly.  So when viewing demonstrations or trialling a POS system, check how easy the POS screen is to navigate around, make corrections, add extras to an order or specific cooking instructions.  Pretend that you are in a peak period, and see how efficiently you can enter a variety orders for 10 minutes straight.  If it passes the ‘ease-of-use’ test, you are well on the way to finding a good POS solution.

  1. Remember that expenditure on POS is an investment

There are three key returns on that investment that you want to look for when choosing a POS solution – reliability, efficiency and flexibility.  So ask yourself these questions when considering your options:  Has the POS terminal been designed to physically handle the busy environment of your café front counter?  Does it help you to be more efficient – both in the daily operation of your venue, and in providing sales data on which you can make good business decisions?  Can you easily make changes to refine and improve your POS setup once you have it up and running?

  1. Give some thought to your future requirements

It is understandable that café start-ups would have a limited budget for their initial POS system.  But give some thought to the possibilities of what you might want your system to do in the future.  For instance, would you like to add handheld order-taking devices at a later date, or install a kitchen video display system?  What about implementing a loyalty program, or managing corporate customer accounts?  While your initial system might not include these advanced features, can they be added at a later date if desired?  Don’t box yourself into a limited setup that can’t grow with your business.

Statewide Business Systems is Tasmania’s Uniwell4POS specialist reseller.  Our staff have decades of hospitality POS experience.  If you are looking for a POS system for your café or hospitality venue, we invite you to talk to us about your requirements, and see how our Uniwell4POS systems could benefit your business.

Article originally posted on the Uniwell4POS website.

How Uniwell4POS Helps Control Retail Shrinkage

The term ‘retail shrinkage’ refers to the loss of stock by retailers caused by the combination of shoplifting, staff theft and administrative errors,  It is estimated that up to 3% of revenue is lost by retailers to retail shrinkage.  Ultimately, this cost is passed on to customers, making it a concerning problem for businesses and consumers alike.

An integrated Point of Sale system, such as our Uniwell4POS solutions, can act as a means to control, deter and investigate potential retail shrinkage.

Consider these benefits:

  • Price control – powerful management of selling prices and keeping all terminals synchronised reduces staff mistakes – also, minimise ‘open price’ buttons on the touch screen layout, preventing staff from guessing or discounting without permission.
  • Barcode scanning – one of the best ways of providing secure price control for barcoded merchandise.  Even pre-packaged weighed goods can have price or weight embedded barcodes, ensuring price accuracy.
  • Recording, and optional manager control, of critical POS functions – security sensitive POS functions, such as refunds, no sales, corrections and discounts, can all be limited to manager control.  Totals of these functions are also returned to Uniwell Lynx, our back-office software, for analysis.

  • Direct feed of journal dataUniwell Lynx has the ability to display a ‘live feed’ of journal data as the POS is being used.  It is particularly beneficial to let staff know that this feature exists.
  • Export to shelf labelsUniwell Lynx can export data to shelf label software at the time of price changes, meaning that advertised prices on the shop floor are kept consistent with prices in the POS (complying with consumer law).
  • Journal data storageUniwell Lynx collects and stores historical journal data directly from the POS, providing a searchable report that aids in the tracing of suspected anomalies.
  • Stock controlUniwell Lynx can provide optional comprehensive stock control features that allow retailers to track movement and spot anomalies.  The LynxScan Portable Data Terminal also provides a means of easy spot-checking of stock.

Even small retailers should consider these benefits to assess whether the investment in an integrated POS solution can effectively ‘pay for itself’ in savings resulting from the minimisation of retail shrinkage.

Contact Uniwell POS Australia, or your local Uniwell reseller, to discuss how a Uniwell4POS system can benefit your business.

Stock image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This article was originally written for the Uniwell4POS website, and has been used with permission of the author.

 

Uniwell ET-X100 Android Touch POS

*COMING SOON!

Introducing the all new edition to the Uniwell line up of POS systems.  The ET-X100 is the next evolution in Uniwell terminals boasting an Android operating system, capacitive touch screen, Bluetooth, WiFi and many other features found in Android devices. The edition of an internal 58mm thermal printer and various I/O ports makes this system the perfect replacement to your traditional cash register with looks and feel of a tablet with the robustness of a purpose built POS system

Uniwell HX-2500 High performance Capacitive Touch Screen POS

A good reason to choose Uniwell embeded ROM based POS over PC systems!

New MagikPOS Malware Targets Point-of-Sale Systems In US & Canada, Customer credit card details stolen…

Malware uses a remote access Trojan to sniff out potential victims first, Trend Micro says.

Security vendor Trend Micro Friday has warned of a new type of point-of-sale (PoS) malware that is being used to attack PoS systems belonging to businesses in the US and Canada.

The malware, which Trend Micro has dubbed MajikPOS, was first spotted infecting PoS systems the last week of January and has been used to steal data on at least 23,400 credit cards, Trend Micro said in an alert.

Trend Micro researchers describe MajikPOS as malware that is similar in purpose to other recent POS data stealing tools, such as FastPOS and ModPOS, but different from them in the manner in which it deploys.

“The attackers are mapping out victims with relatively generic tools ahead of time,” says Jon Clay, Trend Micro’s global threat communications manager.

Many MajikPOS infections have involved the use of a remote access Trojan (RAT) that appears to have been installed on the systems sometime between August and November last year. The RATs are designed to determine if the systems on which they been installed are worthy of further exploitation.

If the endpoint appears promising, the operators of MajikPOS then use a combination of methods including VNC, Remote Desktop Connection, and command-line FTP to install the PoS malware. The goal is to find systems that are vulnerable without compromising the main weapon in their arsenal, Clay says.

Once potential victims are identified, the attackers use a pair of executables to run the attack — an implant and a scraper for getting the card numbers. The approach ensures that if the initial stage of an attack fails, the core malware itself is not compromised, Clay says.

The method of attack indicates that the operators of MajikPOS have taken active precautions to mitigate the possibility of their malware being screened for and detected. This suggests that the operators of MajikPOS are also the authors the malware, Clay says.

Another interesting aspect of MajikPOS is that it is coded in .NET, which is a somewhat rare choice of a programming framework for malware authors.

Once installed on a system, MajikPOS inventories it thoroughly for payment card numbers, including looking for them in memory, and then exfiltrates the data to its command-and-control server.

Trend Micro’s examination of one of the dumps showed it to contain over 23,000 stolen debit and credit card track data. Prices for individual cards ranged from $9 to $39 depending on card type. Bulk pricing ranged from $250 for a set of 10 cards to $700 for 100. Cards in the dump included those issued by American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Diners Club.

Meanwhile, in separate but related news, security blog KrebsOnSecurity disclosed what appears to be a significant breach of PoS data at Select Restaurants, a company that owns several well-known, high-end restaurants around the country.

The breach, according to Krebs, is apparently tied to a previously disclosed intrusion at 24-7 Hospitality Technology, a PoS company that provides credit and debit card processing services to thousands of restaurants and eateries around the country. The malware used in the breach though appears to be different from the one that Trend Micro warned about.

This article was originally written for the Uniwell4POS website, and has been used with permission of the author.

 

Handheld Ordering for Uniwell HX/AX series POS terminals

Phoenix, Android Handheld Software       for HX-series/AX-series

Phoenix is here!

Phoenix is the handheld application software that runs on Android devices, such as smart phones, tablets, etc. Phoenix is purely designed to work with ONLY HX-series/AX-series so that maximum compatibility is offered. If you use a latest Android device, you will be sure to enjoy its operation – quick, intuitive, smooth scroling, etc. just like “feel innovation” .

Phoenix order entry software is optimized for Andriod devices to offer easy-to-use features that can be intuitively learnt, thus Phoenix is quite free from concept of existing solutions and give users more free feeling and fun of operations!

 

Phoenix Features

Preset data of HX-series/AX-series to be used on Phoenix
Once Phoenix downloads the preset data from HX-series/AX-series, a clerk can immediately sign on and start to register PLUs. No need to program on Phoenix itself.

Security protection by license code generated by MAC address
Only a device that is registered on HX-series/AX-series with license code can communicate with HX-series/AX-series.

Set Menu
When a Set menu is selected, you will be prompted to choose course items from the list and will know if you have registered full number of items for each course seeing the sign of n/n.

Condiments, Cooking Instructions
When a PLU has a link for Condiments or Cooking Instructions, then it will automatically display a list of Condiments or Cooking Instructions to choose from, hence you never forget to ask customers’ choice.

Picture on PLU list
You can take a picture of PLU using a camera equipped with the Android device and save it, which is then shown as icon next to PLU name. If you click a picture, it can be enlarged, which can be very nice presentation to customers!

Split bill
Convenient function in case some people in a group require to check out separately.

PLU repeat
Very easy to register the same items already ordered by other customers. You only need to tap PLU to increament the Qty in Track window.

Clerk Open Track List
When you sign on, you will see the list of tables you are taking care of to choose from.

Close/Media-Close by “Gesture Entry”
Gesture Entry to Close/Media-Close operation by one action, without pressing any button.

Media Close
You can close a table without going to HX-series/AX-series terminal to finalize the transaction.

Mobile Printer (Bluetooth Connection)
Can be linked with mobile printer for subtotal print via Bluetooth connection. Operator can carry the mobile printer attached to his/her belt and print immediately when commanded from Phoenix.

Flexible Printer Selection
Printer can be selected at the timing of Subtotal bill and Media close so the operator can select printer for their best performances.

Phoenix’s Advantages VS 3rd party solutions

  • Maximum compatibiity with HX-series/AX-series
  • Friendly & intuitive especially for younger generation staffs
  • Initial cost can be low (Phoenix + Android device < 3rd party handheld)
  • Device cost decreases day by day because of the volume distributed
  • Various choice of devices including durable, bright LCD visible under the sun, etc.
  • Easy to try – you can try using Phoenix with your own Android smart phone or tablet
  • Staffs can use their own smart phones
  • Fast communication by high speed WI-FI
  • Flexible installation with WI-FI router and bridge antennas locally available
  • Easy-to-add Picture on PLU list with possibility to enlarge the picture. You click a space in the right of PLU name in PLU list, and camera application starts up, take a photo and save it, then it will appear like a button next to PLU name! This can be extremely convenient for a PLU like Today’s menu or Chef’s special, etc. for which you need to change pictures everyday.