The Green Sheet Online Edition
February 09, 2009 • Issue 09:02:01
When taking debit becomes a snap
A recent Motorola Inc. study found that nearly one in four holiday shoppers in 2008 abandoned store purchases when items they wanted were unavailable. Stores either had limited merchandise, items were out of stock or store associates were unavailable to offer shoppers help in finding items and making purchases.
Motorola estimated brick-and-mortar shopping cart abandonment resulted in a multibillion dollar loss to retailers.
Motorola has launched a solution to ease that merchant pain point. It is called the Snap-on Mobile Payment Device, which literally snaps on to Motorola's MC-70 and MC-75 Enterprise Digital Assistants (EDAs) and transforms them into PIN-debit-card-accepting payment terminals.
Walking the floor
The EDAs are hand-held computers that run Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Mobile operating system. In retail and field service environments, the EDAs are used for scanning barcodes, checking inventory and signature capture.
"But what we have seen both in field service, field sales, and certainly retail, is that there's a greater need to be able to do more for the customer at the point of sale," said Sheldon Safir, Director of Marketing for Mobile Computing at Motorola.
Safir cited additional research indicating that during peak shopping periods, a large percentage of consumers will leave stores if checkout lines are too long. But by attaching the Snap-on, the EDAs become mobile terminals.
"A store associate or field service person can use the EDAs to both capture information, as well as to sell or upsell a person, or to complete a sale within a retail environment without the person having to wait in a long line," Safir said.
Ron Kaminski, Director of MCD Accessories at Motorola, offers an electronics retailer as an example. "Say you want to buy a new TV," Kaminski said. "An associate pulls up the specs on his EDA. He can check the amount of TVs they have in stock. He can set up a delivery time for the TV. Then he takes your card, swipes it. You sign off.
"Now here the retailer's captured your name, address, your e-mail address, and the associate has made the sale. You've never even bothered going to a cash register. You walk out; you're done."
Jumping into payments
Motorola listened to its customers when developing the Snap-on debit card reader, which is Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard compliant.
Credit card payments are more expensive than debit for merchants. To reduce interchange costs, therefore, merchants prefer customers pay for purchases with debit. The PIN pad for customer entry of secret PIN numbers is on the back of the reader.
To see a demonstration of how the Snap-on works, go to http://video.motorola.com.
Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.