Company Spotlight

NRF Sneak Peak: ROAM Reinvents Checkout

The National Retail Federation’s giant trade and expo event – Retail’s Big Show – is kicking off in earnest this weekend, as more than 25,5000 retail professionals flock to New York City from around the country to discuss the latest retail trends. The payments news debuted, discussed and debated there should have significant impact on the industry, and will be there to cover all the happenings for you.

But while many companies are keeping their NRF plans under wraps, was lucky enough to have Ken Paull, CEO of ROAM, give us an exclusive sneak-peak into his companies NRF plans, including a rundown of some new products and services ROAM plans to showcase throughout the convention. Paull also gave his opinions on some key payments topics, and explained what ROAM is hoping to impress upon the retail industry.

“What are these retail professionals looking to achieve at the show? We know that mobile is either at or near the top of their priorities this year, we’ve seen studies and talked to people and it’s near the top rank in their ritual budgets: it’s just a major, major concern, and an opportunity for a lot of retailers to get educated at this show,” Paul said.

“We’d like to not only be able to help educate them on what we have available, but also give them a road map to how they can take some actionable steps to implementing mobile strategy and solutions.”

One topic of conversation and demonstration sure to dominate the Big Retail Show is EMV, and it’s a subject Paull is well suited to discuss. Along with NFC and the concept of “checkout reinvention,” Paull noted EMV as among the most important commerce trends set to emerge over the next few years, and said retailers will need to consider several aspects of their operations when pushing to become EMV compliant.

“EMV is definitely a key topic amongst the entire U.S. payments industry, and the retailers are really trying to underhand how it on the mobile side. So I think it’s a little more straight forward, how it impacts their fixed point of sale at the checkout. But in terms of how it relates to their mobile strategy, it’s a bit trickier because a lot of them are just formulating those strategies,” Paull said.

To help with those strategies, ROAM is showcasing two EMV-based products at the convention: an audio jack with an EMV device that enables chip-and-signature payments, and a Bluetooth companion deice that will accept chip-and-PIN payments. Paull noted a “split feeling” within the industry whether the audio jack or Bluetooth option would prevail, nothing the reason behind ROAM offering both solutions.

Unsurprisingly, Paull cited ROAM’s work with Ingenico as hugely significant when it comes to dealing with EMV, and spoke about how the parent company has helped ROAM to understand the intricacies of the U.S. EMV migration.

“I think the big thing that Ingenico adds, along with their understanding of EMV and manufacturing capability, is just all the integration that’s required. It’s one thing to bring out a hardware device – there’s a bunch running around out there – but the real complication comes in with the software and the integration into the application with the phone.

I think that’s the part where we’re really getting a lot of help and expertise from Ingenico.”

To hear more of Paull’s sneak peak of ROAM’s 2013 NRF plans, listen to the full podcast below.


*If you have trouble with the audio player above, click here.

Ken Paull


Ken has over 20 years in senior management roles in the electronic payments industry including Senior Vice President at RBS Lynk”¨(now WorldPay), Vice President at Triton Systems and General Manager at VeriFone. He was responsible for building and rapidly growing what is now WorldPay’s national account payments division while also directing the turnaround of what had been a declining ATM processing business. While at Triton, the company surpassed NCR as the second largest domestic ATM supplier and also became the global leader in retail ATM deployments. At VeriFone, Ken built their major account, retail division which has become one of the largest segments of their business. Most recently, Ken was ROAM Data’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Prior to joining ROAM, Ken served on the Board of Directors of Access to Money, as Director of Market Platform Dynamics and President”¨of PAX US. A native of the Boston area, Ken holds a B.S. in Marketing and Communications ”¨from Babson College, as well as an MBA in Telecommunications Management from Golden”¨Gate University.

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