It’s clearly not business as usual in the point-of-sale world.
Not only are customers expecting easier, faster and more secure methods at checkout, but so are retailers. And that means that merchants must be more nimble, more mobile and able to more easily integrate new solutions and technologies into their environments as they arise and as consumers demand new features and functions from their favorite retailer.
That’s, of course, creating a seismic shift in the retail point-of-sale market, one that Ken Paull, Cayan’s chief revenue officer, says is about helping merchants get out of their legacy environments and into the cloud.
“You definitely see a major shift. Companies are selling more mobility and POS that’s able to engage with customers wherever they might be in the store. And, certainly, retailers like Apple and others have created the demand and expectations among consumers that checking out will become much easier than it used to be,” Paull told MPD CEO Karen Webster in an interview on the eve of the opening of this year’s NRF show.
And easier today, of course, means mobile, which is sure to be a major highlight among “retail’s big show” this week in NYC.
“2016 will be all about omnichannel, so not only where consumer/merchant engagement can happen beyond a fixed point of sale but what type of payment types consumers can use, including, obviously, their [smart]phones and mobile wallets,” Paull explained. “So, I anticipate a lot of merchant excitement this year around those capabilities.”
As much excitement as there may be, there’s still the burden that retailers have to keep up with the ever-changing number of POS options facing them, everything from EMV migration to integrating mobile and contactless payments to creating loyalty and customer engagement initiatives that keep their customers sticky.
A process made a bit tougher since “keeping up” and “legacy systems” are quite often at odds. Something that Paull explains means trading in legacy systems for new technologies that make retailer POS systems nimble, flexible and future-proof.
“I think, in order to move away from that legacy technology, it requires new types of platforms like what we’re providing with Genius,” Paull explained. “[Retailers] are looking for solutions from their POS partners, and those solutions have to be ones that enable different capabilities than they have in the past.”
The problem with legacy systems, Paull noted, was seen in spades last year as retailers began their EMV integrations (“a nightmare,” he says, for many retailers) or trying to integrate new technologies, like Apple Pay or Android Pay. That, along with security concerns, he said, were top of mind in developing Cayan’s cloud-based Payments-as-a-Service POS platform.
“There are just so many things, in addition to the security concerns, hitting the retail environment today that I think the POS developers and their retail customers needed some relief,” Paull said, referring to the inspiration for the development of Cayan’s Genius platform. Paull says that Cayan’s Genius cloud-based platform was built from day one to accommodate a variety of retailer-centric features and payments form factors, thus giving it “an edge” with retailers who’ve been traditionally “hamstrung” by legacy systems that make upgrades long and costly.
Some of the value-added features that are part of the Cayan Genius platform include point-to-point encryption, PCI and EMV compliance, tokenization, splash screen advertising, video playbook, line item display, offline processing, electronic signature on-demand and gift and loyalty program management.
“Once the next new thing comes out, we can basically do the development in the cloud — easy for merchants to enable and easy for our partner channel to leverage as well,” Paull adds. “All the VARs and ISVs that integrate to us are able to take advantage of this flexible platform and not have to do different things for every different customer environment.”
And Cayan has brought a few new partnerships into the fold, announcing several just last week. Genius announced its partnership with Retail Realm — a distributor of Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management Systems, Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail and Retail Realm Essentials powered by Microsoft Dynamics. Cayan’s Genius platform, given its ability to continuously accept new payment technologies, allows Retail Realm customers to accept multiple payment types, including mobile payments.
Cayan also announced last week that it will become a Demandware Technology Partner in order to unlock merchant’s omnichannel ambitions.
Paull expects that 2016 will be a transformational year for retail point of sale, as retailers use EMV and new mobile payments opportunities to take a look at new technologies and use them to help advance their own consumer/merchant ambitions over the next several years.
“[EMV and mobile wallets] have really been driving innovation across the board in all retail segments and many restaurant segments,” Paull said. “But there’s still a desire to do that but, at the same time, ‘future-proof’ those decisions.”
For Cayan, that means helping retailers sidestep those legacy systems and go into the cloud.