The functionality of Eftpos is poised to expand in all directions with the launch of a new terminal that can have its software upgraded over the Internet.
Currently a technician has to upgrade each terminal individually, but with the ICE (integrated customer environment) 5000 model by Hypercom, applications and services can be downloaded via the Net.
John Tait, general manager of Eftpos for Advantage Group, which distributes the ICE 5000, says Internet-delivery will make it cheaper, quicker and easier to add functionality to terminals.
He believes this will open the way for a wide array of new services such as the ability to customise receipts by adding corporate logos, advertising text or coupons.
Retailers and suppliers can also display messages on the terminal screen which customers view when choosing an account and entering PIN details, and suppliers can email information to retailers.
“Merchants will be able to do things they wouldn’t have considered before because of the cost. They will also be able to generate new revenue from these terminals. For example in the US, Sony pays seven US cents per impression for having its name appear on the screen.
“Eftpos does 33 million transactions per month so you can see what a wide audience it reaches.”
Most interest in the terminals is coming from organisations interested in having exposure through the terminals such as banks, he says.
Advantage has 65% market share of the 70,000 Eftpos terminals in New Zealand. The company, which has eight people developing Eftpos applications, has ordered 3000 terminals, with Auckland wine retailer Fine Wine taking one on board after a week long trial.
Fine Wine managing director Jeff Poole says he has positive comments from customers who notice that Fine Wines had added its logo, Web address and contact details to receipts.
Another function Advantage is considering developing, is the ability of customers to sign their signature on the touch screen using a stylus pen, meaning the entire transaction can be stored electronically.
This would be handy when a customer queries a transaction, as the merchant must supply a copy of the receipt within 28 days - otherwise the transaction must be reversed.
Although pricing has not yet been set, Tait says it will be comparable to current terminal prices, which can be rented for $16.95 per month.