Biometric readers


FingerprintBiometrics (ancient Greek: bios =”life”, metron =”measure”) is the study of automated methods for uniquely recognizing humans based upon one or more intrinsic physical or behavioral traits.
In information technology, biometric authentication refers to technologies that measure and analyze human physical and behavioral characteristics for authentication purposes. Examples of physical characteristics include fingerprints, eye retinas and irises, facial patterns and hand measurements, while examples of mostly behavioral characteristics include signature, gait and typing patterns.

Source: Wikipedia

More and more point of sale systems come with support for biometric readers. As you know, speed is king in the POS world, and biometrics help improving the service speed at the counter. The biometric readers are used for two purposes: to authenticate employees and to authenticate customers.

The fingerprint scan is most widely used for authentication of employees, as it is a fast and inexpensive biometric technology. Different from other technologies such as the MSR or the Dallas key, employees don’t have to carry a token with them which can be lost, broken or transferred to another person.

Few retailers use biometrics for authenticating customers; and most of the users have a fixed group of customers such as school canteens, sports events, etc. Also in this case the fingerprint reader is used mostly, but there are special situations requiring other techniques. Iris scanning is the most accurate biometric, but systems are more expensive, slower, and can be perceived as intrusive because a beam needs to scan the iris. Self- service kiosks usually implement facial recognition as it is a passive technique. However, it is exactly this property that raises concerns about privacy.

Kits in the Point of Sale


POS kit

Sometimes you want to sell some items packaged together instead of separately. Such a package is usually called a kit in your Point of Sale software, or a Bill Of Materials if the package is the result of a manufacturing process.

Normally, kits appear in your software just as any other item, and can have a price independently of the sales price of the individual component. Of course the software calculates the costs of the kit based on the sum of the costs of the components. In the properties of the kit, you can specify which items are part of the kit, and how many units of each item are included. Sometimes you can even include kits as a component of another kit. The latter comes in handy in food processing, where for example you pre-prepare the pizza foundation using flour, yeast, milk,… and after that use the foundation as one of the components of the final pizza. You might also see such layered kits in the computer shop, that bundles a printer with the corresponding printer cable, and might want to offer a complete set containing a PC, monitor and printer (including the cable) for a special price.

A handy trick is to add the time needed to physically create the kit as one of the components of the kit, so the costs of the kit reflect the real costs. The software usually allows for modifications in the bill of materials when finishing the work order to reflect breakage and variations. If you fill in the actual time needed to create the kit, the POS system will calculate very precise margins on each sale!

Sharp Expands POS Systems


Sharp UPX300

Sharp extends its line-up of POS systems to include a system that runs on Microsoft Windows CE.Net. The new UP-X300C is a diskless system and includes a compact flash memory, a standard magnetic card reader and a 12.1 inch LCD color touch display. An integrated VIA Eden CPU system platform allows for fanless operations and low power consumption. Other ports can be customized, including: the standard Ethernet LAN port, a Serial and USB port and three RS-232 ports.

Find the right POS solution



You want to buy a POS system and don’t know where to start? Or you have tried out and even purchased 10 different EPOS solutions and don’t know where to look for the right software and hardware? You’re facing a difficult task, as there are thousands of solutions available in the market. In this post I will try to give you some tips to keep in mind when searching for the right solution.

First of all, I will have to warn you that the perfect solution for your business might not exist. Though the features and options offered by modern EPOS systems will overwhelm you, you will find many of them of little use. Keep the focus on the most important features you must have, and then go through the once would be nice to have. You will have to compromise or custom build your POS.

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Loyalty Lab Introduces Loyalty 2.0


Loyalty Lab logo

Loyalty Lab releases Loyalty 2.0, a new product to help grocery stores and specialty retailers replace their outdated first-generation loyalty programs. Loyalty 2.0 is designed to help marketers leveraging their reams of unused transactional data to launch new initiatives such as targeted e-mail, sweepstakes, sub-clubs and personalized Web-based communications.

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