Internet-based Eftpos machines that also offer advertising and other commercial services are set for launch next month in New Zealand.
Kiwi software development company, the Advantage Group, calls its product ePic - electronic point-of-sale information and commerce.
It replaces standard Eftpos terminals with a smartcard-enabled Web appliance called ICE (Internet Capable Eftpos).
In addition to current payment services, new Internet services are offered using a Sky-TV like subscription service.
Initial services will be receipt management, email and advertising.
Merchants can capture signed receipts using the touch screen and then they print out the customer copy.
The merchant copy is stored online through a secure database - and is accessible through ICE if a merchant needs to settle a dispute or help a customer re-order something. Storing receipts online also avoids merchants keeping paper receipts in shoeboxes.
ICE allows businesses to receive orders by email. For example, people could email a reservation at a restaurant. The maitre-de reads this on the front counter using ICE and replies back with the pen and on-screen keyboard to confirm the booking. After dinner, the diner pays for the meal with a credit card and the receipt is emailed to the card owner's PC.
Another checkout service is advertising while shoppers are waiting for their Eftpos cards to be cleared. Broadcast advertising is delivered straight to the ICE screen before and during a transaction and is printed on the receipt afterwards.
Every merchant is segmented and targeted with specific advertising for their store. Merchants charge advertisers each time an adverisment is placed on their terminal and advertisers pay a premium for this advertising medium.
The service also offers merchants interactive loyalty, couponing, ticketing, stock ordering and online store management.
ICE has just completed a pilot and will go on sale late this month.
Advantage says merchants can do limited branding immediately, with full advertising and email services “turned on” before Christmas.
The company plans to replace existing Eftpos technology with ICE through an aggressive campaign. Extra services, such as a larger colour ICE screen for major stores, will also be launched next year.
“The Internet is a gold mine for the point-of-sale. It lets merchants add new value to their sales processes, and earn recurring revenues,” says Advantage e-commerce general manager George Hladilo.