The Green Sheet Online Edition
June 07, 2007 • Issue 07:06:01
Look to the light: Retail POS system can replace ECR
Some people prefer to use mail services such as Comcast, Yahoo! or Hotmail because their data is stored on the provider's server. Users don't have to worry about transferring files to different computers while traveling, or even backing up data.
If a laptop is stolen, or a desktop experiences a power surge, the data is safe because it is stored off-site. Vivonet Inc. recently introduced a product that brings similar peace of mind to retail merchants: Halo Retail POS.
Halo is a Web-based all-in-one cashiering and payment processing solution designed to replace the electronic cash register (ECR) that many small and medium-sized merchants use.
Halo includes a touch-screen terminal connected to the Internet. The system tracks details of every transaction (cash, credit and debit) and sends that information via the Internet to a secure data center off-site.
Real-time department, category and product sales performance data are accessible by store owners and managers from a Web browser anywhere, anytime. Even when the Internet connection goes down, the Halo offline manager keeps store operations running.
And since the data is housed off-site on the Halo secure server, merchants don't have to worry about losing information in a hard drive crash, theft or natural disaster, such as fire or flood.
Halo relieves some other burdens as well. With an ECR, merchants must back up data and update systems with new versions. With Halo, upgrades are free and take place during the night.
Since Halo is used for credit card and PIN-based debit card transactions, it eliminates the need for stand-alone terminals and the double entry and end-of-day reconciliations they can require.
Halo also integrates multiple locations and enables merchants to compare them in real-time and change items and prices instantly.
Additionally, Halo is secure. It reportedly is compliant with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard and has achieved the Visa Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP) certification for level 1 service providers.
Halo Retail POS will be available to retailers this summer. The product will be sold through ISOs and merchant
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