by Ty Hardison

Mobile payments come to JCPenney

JCPenney has rolled out a mobile cash register solution. Anyone walking into a select number of JCPenney department stores today may notice something a little different when they go to make a purchase. After several months of talk and speculation, the retail chain officially started rolling out a new mobile payment solution.This has been in the works since former head of Apple retail and current JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson spoke about it during the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference last summer. Johnson, who left Apple in November of 2011, was responsible for the mobile cash register system that can be seen at the popular retail stores.The new checkout system is based around Apple's iPod touch, much like the EasyPays that are seen in the company's retail stores. Every employee on the sales floor that holds one of these devices and can run a … more

New cloud compliance guidelines released by PCI SSC

The PCI SSC released new guidelines for cloud payment compliance. One of the major concerns for the payment card industry (PCI) is ensuring the security of every transaction. However, there has been a recent debate over the use of cloud systems and how they should be incorporated into PCI compliance.Since 2004, the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has maintained proprietary information for a data security standard (DSS) for handling all forms of payment card data. But the question of whether and how PCI DSS covers the cloud deployments has remained undecided and quality security assessors (QSAs) - who are trained in PCI auditing and consulting - disagree.A recent CIO article interviewed Chris Brenton, a PCI Cloud Special Interest Group contributor. He mentioned that previously, cloud PCI DSS was open to interpretation and QSAs debated whether … more

Mobile payment industry has several options for SMBs

More options are hitting the market for companies looking to implement mobile devices into POS terminals. Mobile technology had influenced how we handle a number of different tasks. One industry on the cusp of a major mobile overhaul is payment processing and cash registers.In a recent report for Street Fight Magazine - a publication focusing on hyperlocal business - contributor Stephanie Miles examines a number of cloud-based POS systems that are on the market today and how it benefits small and midsize businesses (SMBs)."Cloud-based point-of-sale systems offer a number of benefits over traditional hard-wired systems, the most important of which (to many small business owners, at least) is a reduction in costs. Whereas the costs involved in a closed legacy system can be anywhere from $3,000 to $50,000, SMBs can be up and running with a cloud-based system for less than $1,000 (and even much … more

Smartphones revolutionizing the mobile salesmen

Whether running a garage sale or making B2B sales for Apple, mobile payment options make the process easier. According to a report from comScore at the end of last year, there are more than 123 million smartphone users in the United States. With the increase in functionality of these devices, it is easy to see why executives in many industries have looked for ways to incorporate them into business operations. The payment industry has been no different.The study also found that the use of mobile devices to shop is growing by double digits with no signs of slowing down. This can be seen by the sheer amount of peripherals on the market that turn a smartphone into a mobile cash register.A recent CIO article features interviews with executives of several mobile payment providers to understand why companies should look into adopting mobile devices as a payment tool. One of the industry experts … more

Consumers show confidence in mCommerce

Consumers confidence in mobile commerce has reached a new high. Nearly every industry has been affected by the increased functionality of mobile devices over the last few years. On top of that, there have been numerous reports during that same time frame that have proclaimed smartphones and tablets as "the next big thing" in a given market.One of these industries has been the mobile payment market and the concept of mCommerce. Despite the numerous proclamations, a new report shows that consumers worldwide are more confident in this form of payment than ever before. Released by mobile advertising company BuzzCity, the study shows that even with the security issues, customers what to go mobile.According to the report, last year, 27 percent of respondents admitted to having fears over payment security. This year those concerns fell to only 3 percent. Dr. … more

Most Merchants Unlikely to Surcharge Credit Card Sales

Effective January 27, 2013 merchants in the U.S. region and U.S. territories have the option of adding a surcharge to Visa and MasterCard credit cards. Yet despite the media hype over these recent changes allowing merchants to charge up to a 4% surcharge on credit card transactions, the reality is few merchants are expected to implement additional fees at the point of sale.

Most merchants will likely take a wait and see approach before contemplating adding surcharges, letting their closest competitors try it first.

Another issue is that new application software to support surcharges has not yet been widely developed. One of the many stipulations if a merchant chooses to implement surcharge fees is that they must use a payment application which supports the following mandated POS … more

Mobile commerce hits local food trucks and fortune 500 companies alike

The food truck industry is a prime example of a market that is exceeding thanks to mobile commerce. In Boston, it was recently announced that in the Spring and Summer, there will be 56 total food trucks, which is nearly four times the amount that were in existence in 2011. The city will see several local restaurants trying out a mobile version for the first time as well as some outsiders trying out the Hub. For residents, the influx of food options is great, especially if the owners have adopted a mCommerce solution so the busy clientele can pay with a mobile device.In many instances, the small and midsize business market has been the breeding ground for these kinds of mobile payment solutions, and it is easy to understand why. A food truck may provide the best grilled cheese, organic smoothie or pizza, but if they don't accept credit they are missing out on a large market.This is where … more

Tablet POS platforms gain steam with merchants

Tablets have evolved from hot new computing device to changing a number of industries like POS terminals. Over the last few years, the cash register system has seen more competition than ever before because of the advancements in mobile technology. Many businesses that had been cash only - like food trucks or small mom and pop shops - can now embrace a new POS system that centers on smartphones and tablets.A recent article from TabTimes, features a profile of the start-up tablet POS terminal company Leaf. In the piece, Leaf CEO Aron Schwarzkopf was interviewed and admitted that designing a point-of-sale system based entirely around a tablet was not met with much enthusiasm."When we, as a small company, told our investors we saw an opportunity in building a commercial tablet, everybody wanted to kill me,” said Schwarzkopf. “No-one in the founding team had any experience in building hardware … more

Tablet POS terminals to increase adoption in 2013

Tablet POS systems could have a major impact on the payment industry in the next year. One of the more interesting discussions in retail circles is about the future of the POS terminal. For years, the place where customers made payments didn't change - a counter with a cash register. While the technology did advance  - adding devices like a credit card reader - the general concept did not. However, the introduction of mobile technology is offering a new solution that could have a large impact in the next year.A recent guest column for Retail Info Systems News by Jay Graham - the vice president of tech solutions at Randstad Technologies - dove into a number of different trends that will affect the point of sales industry in 2013. Several of his predictions, like social media integration, customized marketing and increased customer loyalty programs, will not change how … more

Despite setbacks, NFC chip future is not dead

The iPhone 5 featured payment options, but no NFC chip, despite rumors to the contrary. One of the major mobile payment story lines from 2012 was the iPhone 5 and what it didn't have - a near field communication (NFC) chip. The rumor mill was rampant with speculation that the hardware would incorporate an NFC chip when it was officially unveiled. Unfortunately for fans of the innovative feature, the September 12 press event came and Apple introduced PassBook - a payment application - and no NFC adoption.This was the final blow in what was a rough few months for the technology. The Google Wallet, which used the NFC, failed to gain much traction with consumers while alternative payment options like LevelUp and QR codes and cloud-based solutions through PayPal and Square gained momentum.A recent article from Barron's examined the mobile payment industries and, more specifically, … more