The National Retail Federation (NRF), the world’s largest retail association, is back again with its annual retail conference which is commonly known as “Retail’s Big Show.” The NRF’s Annual Convention & EXPO earned the nickname “Retail’s BIG Show” years ago and the name stuck because it was so appropriate. Today, Retail’s BIG Show is the NRF’s flagship industry event which is held annually in New York City. The four-day event offers unparalleled education, collegial networking and an enormous EXPO hall full of technologies and solutions. Let’s Talk Payments was present at NRF’s Retail’s Big Show in 2015 and covered the event extensively, especially focusing on the “payments” industry.
While we already gave you the top five updates in the payments space at Retail’s Big Show 2016, one story is just not enough to inform our audiences about the payments news at such a big event. The biggest announcement in the payments sector at NRF’s Retail’s Big Show 2016 Day 2 came from leading global POS provider Verifone and global provider of touchscreen solutions Elo as the event saw a successful second day opening in New York City.
One week after Verifone launched its new device and operating system-independent mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) payment terminal, PAYware Mobile e355 (which supports all major smart device options and accepts all payment types including EMV, NFC and Apple Pay), the company announced its partnership with Elo to upgrade Elo’s 20 million self-service platform installations across 80 countries as it will now be able to accept all types of payments and incorporate loyalty programs using a single mPOS terminal.
Consumer behavior and engagement in a retail setting is becoming more and more important. Retailers from every industry want to give their customers the best experience in everything and when it comes to payments, consumers are expecting a smoother process and are demanding digital payments as card transactions, digital wallets and contactless payments are becoming popular. In the press release, Dan Ludwick, Vice President and General Manager of Elo said, “From gift registry or loyalty programs to endless aisle and price checkers, any in-store fixed digital touchpoint now becomes another point of commerce for your customers. Retail customers expect streamlined self-service options in-store, and competitive retailers are quickly embracing integrated payment solutions with every digital experience.”
The problem with existing self-service kiosks/platforms that have payments enabled in them is that they are not very compatible with accepting all the payments types in one single device. For retailers to incorporate all the payments acceptance methods in one kiosk is very expensive. However, Elo claims to reduce the costs by partnering with Verifone’s e355 POS terminal.
This solution from Elo is expected to be made available to retailers in April 2016. The other part of this news is loyalty programs, which is another emerging sector of the payments industry. Most grocery outlets like Safeway and Harris Teeter in the US have loyalty program discounts and self-service kiosks in the store. The self-service kiosks at most Safeway outlets do accept most payments types (not Apple Pay and contactless payments) and have loyalty programs incorporated. Verifone’s competitor in POS terminals, First Data has also been working on integrating self-service kiosks and POS terminals at one place since a long time. However, this news from Elo and Verifone is a very big partnership in the payments and retail industry in terms of the number of installations by Elo worldwide.