Cash in on cashless8 April 2019
Cashless payment systems for drycleaners are proving to be a boon for high street retailers. We look at what is available in this area along with other developments in EPoS
Wetcleaner, drycleaner or small laundry; chain or one shop outlet, with or without pick-up and delivery, the latest developments in EPoS systems can really help streamline your business and make admin tasks so much easier to accomplish.
Putting in a cashless payment system cuts out manual work and streamlines efficiencies that can be the basis for ‘Business intelligence’, says Tabish Aimain of Tex-iD, UK distributor for Thermotex EPoS and RFID products. “One of the many benefits of a modern EPoS system, specifically designed for today’s drycleaner and launderer, is the powerful database that comes as standard. At TexID we leverage this database to make life easier, more efficient, and establish the basis for ‘Business Intelligence’.”
Aiman believes that integrating a Thermotex barcode printer is one of the most effective ways of doing this, namely the purposely designed BPPI 1200 entry level printer and the industrial grade TT4SX printer with integrated rotary cutter.
The BPPI 1200 has a compact footprint ideal for use with limited counter space. Using die cut labels, the printer receives instruction from an EPoS system and prints a handy barcode for heat sealing directly onto the garment/linen. This permanent label eliminates the need for temporary tags. At each subsequent visit, the barcode label is scanned and the EPoS will prepopulate the details of the item (customer name, description, price, and so on) saving valuable time at the counter.
The TT4SX uses continuous labelling material bringing the cost down to less than 1p each and is better suited for larger shops or Central Processing Units. In addition to Heat Seal Barcode Labels, the TT4SX can produce temporary labels populated with specific information and/or Instructions from the EPoS system. These include client name, due date, tailoring specifics and/or special instructions (such as no crease in trousers, same day return, wetclean only, and so on).
By adding barcoding, the EPoS database builds a commercial picture of the items being processed. Business owners can use this information to critically analyse patterns and trends in their business. This information can be very handy when setting up promotions specifically targeting the trends/circumstance recorded by EPoS. Modern ePOS systems can also be set up for coupons. “For a customer identified as only bringing in his suits, and not shirts, a coupon can be designed offering a discount if they bring in business shirts/blouses in at the same time. Expanding on this, if we know that we get fewer duvets in the summer months, would it be an idea to offer a clean and store service?”
he suggests for those requiring faster scanning times, the option of using a small RFID set up eliminates the need to line up a barcode scanner with the label as well as scanning bulk piles of items directly into the EPoS system.
Axcess IT, meanwhile, has integrated cashless payment systems into its drycleaning EPoS systems, allowing users to process all types of payments safely and efficiently, whether cashless or not, for retail customers, collection and delivery customers and monthly account customers. Making use of merchant accounts, Axcess IT is now able to offer one-click payments, streamlining the credit and debit process and eliminating mistakes due to human error, such as entering the wrong amount into the card machine. It will also increase the speed of the transaction and ensure the correct payment type is chosen, which will help with the store’s daily cashier balance.
In a time where technology is driving daily life to become paperless and automated, with tools such as cashless payments, Axcess EPoS systems also allow the user to automatically send e-mail receipts if the customer requests them. E-mailed receipts will reduce the use of paper and make the store’s services more user-friendly for customers.
Axcess says its systems give the user great flexibility in payment procedures by allowing advance payments – or even part payments. The systems will record them all ensuring accountability for each individual order or invoice. The systems’ customer service facility allows the user to check specifics such as when payments were made per order, what type of payment was made and also which staff member served the customer at payment, allowing management of the store to have greater transparency and accountability on transactions.
Inteltec’s CleanPos Integrates with Payment Sence Card processing via the cloud giving fast secure payments with confirmation of card authorisation directly to the user screen thus avoiding any mistakes in transactions of card payments at the counter.
Contactless payment is fast and easy, says Inteltec’s Paul Robinson, who has 36 years’ experience in the drycleaning industry. “As a special offer we can secure a free of rental PDQ machine and the same or better rates so you could reduce costs by over £200 per year in many cases.
“Inteltec’s CleanPos has features that help drycleaners with busy agents and receiver shops. Our agents module allows users to set up receivers and agents with a cloud version of their shop system (monthly charge for cloud module) allowing individual pricing and real time figures and orders.”
Security features include the facility to take a picture of any damage or very expensive item, for example, and attach the picture to the customer’s record card in case of any future disputes. The system can also take a set of pictures of every cash drawer open for cash drawer security. The customer facing screen also acts as the payment screen when EPoS is being used to pay a bill or create a ticket.
Inteltec recommends the Twin Screen PC for marketing and advertising and using Graphics to promote services at PoS. “For chains or shops with several branches we can serve these images from our servers and all stores can be updated instantly with new graphics saving many hours.”
Over at DryStream, which has recently celebrated its 25th anniversary selling thousands of EPoS systems to drycleaners and laundries, managing director Jonathan Beach claims it has become the de facto EPoS system for owners wishing to improve their businesses, increase profits, reduce workload and enhance customer service.
He says DryStream’s success comes from its “ease of use with underlying power to guarantee results”, whether it’s building a customer database, managing a loyalty or membership scheme, controlling work flow through the business or keeping a photographic record of incoming work. “In today’s world, competition comes from on line as well as local threats. So DryStream users have the ability to market themselves using email and text messaging; staying connected and reaching out to customers.
“The UK ranks higher than all other EU countries for cashless payments and this helps improve security further. To facilitate ease of use and better customer service DryStream offers a fully integrated cashless cloud payment system allowing customers to pay in store with contactless or NFC mobile payment systems such as Apple Pay,” he explains, adding that a cloud connection harnesses the power of DryStream with the payment terminal.
Until the end of March DryStream’s payment processor is offering card payment contracts with entirely free terminal rental and lower card processing rates to customer switching from competitor contracts. That offer extends to DryStream and non-DryStream terminal users.
According to SPOT Business Systems the overall size of the UK laundry/drycleaning market has neither grown nor declined significantly over the past 10 years. “What we have seen, though,” says Mark Reynolds, managing director of SPOT Europe, “is a shift in emphasis from drycleaning to aqueous processing and a massive demand for services like home or office delivery/collection.
“Those with the tools to manage requests and billing on-line place themselves at a considerable advantage over those that are less well-equipped.”
Reynolds says he is proud that major players in the home/office delivery market now specify SPOT as their operating software of choice. What fascinates him, he says, is the way that they all use SPOT in totally different ways to meet their own individual requirements. What they all have in common, is the use of the latest cloud based technology which has completely revolutionised what it is possible to achieve with an EPoS system or computerised till. “The hosted version of SPOT now accounts for more than 95% of our total sales worldwide,” he says. “Although we still offer and support local installations (where the data is stored on a local hard drive) it certainly isn’t a common request anymore.”
Availability of the SPOT Mobile app (v3.0 has just been released) can be given free of charge to each customer and allow their on-line requests to go straight into the driver’s route sheet or SPOT RouteTrac app and automatically charge the customer’s credit card on completion. The program (including reports, design and marketing tools, promotions, price list editor and coupon generator) are accessible by authorised personnel from anywhere at any time. He says: “With over 14,000 users worldwide using the SPOT server farm, that not only makes SPOT by far the largest supplier of EPoS solutions to the drycleaning industry in the world, it also means that members of the user group benefit from the pooled knowledge and experience of some of the most experienced and best drycleaners and launderers in the industry.
SPOT operates what it claims is the unusual policy of including all its software modules in the basic price. “This includes a hotel module, modules to handle agency and contract work, home and office delivery management, weekly/monthly account management, assisted and automated assembly software,” explains Reynolds. “We even provide users with a full editing suite so that they can design their own invoices, tags, barcode label templates and reports. I don’t know any other software company that does this.”
SPOT integrates seamlessly with the Vx820 credit card terminal from Verifone. The neat, slimline design does not require the usual separate and bulky secondary print unit because it prints credit card receipts to the regular SPOT invoice printer. The means that the retailer only needs to stock a single size of paper and makes for a much more compact installation.
The Vx820 allows contactless payments up to the current limit of £30 and ApplePay/GooglePay transactions up to a higher amount if agreed with your acquiring bank.