The Green Sheet Online Edition
October 13, 2008 • Issue 08:10:01
Out of the shoebox, into the server
Major retailers are already set up with signature capture at the POS. Customers swipe credit cards through readers and sign their John Hancocks on a signature capture PIN pad. The digital signatures are stored on retailers' servers and are easily retrievable in case of disputes.
These retailers have the resources - information technology (IT) departments, servers, customized software, and the necessary internal networks - to enable signature capture. But small and mid-sized merchants often do not have such resources, so they are forced to store and retrieve paper receipts.
Many times that means three years' worth of receipts are stored in shoeboxes in the closet in the back office. When disputes are initiated, merchants must sift through piles of receipts for the correct ones. It's a hassle, to say the least - time consuming and costly.
In a tight economy, with shrinking margins, the little guys could greatly benefit from signature capture. To fill that need, Charge Anywhere LLC now offers wireless electronic signature capture.
With handheld wireless devices that support signature capture, merchants can eliminate paper receipts altogether. The digital signatures are stored on ComsGate, Charge Anywhere's secure, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard compliant system.
Through the ComsGate gateway, merchants can go online to retrieve, review and print out stored receipts in real time.Dmitriy Lerman, Director of Marketing Programs and Product at Charge Anywhere, called its signature capture system a turnkey solution.
"So now we can use all of our expertise and our costs and our infrastructure and our know-how to provide a very inexpensive service to the small and medium-sized merchants that is hosted, that doesn't require them to have any servers or IT people," he said. "All they have to have is an Internet connection really and our service."
Easing pain points
South Plainfield, N.J.-based Charge Anywhere has designed its system to function on a variety of wireless devices: the Bluetooth-enabled Palm Treo smart phone, the HTC Mogul smart phone that runs on the Sprint network, the rugged Intermec CN3 for industrial and package delivery environments, and VeriFone's popular Nurit 8000.
Merchants can also plug signature capture PIN pads, as used in big-box discount retailer stores, into PCs or laptop computers to enable signature capture on Charge Anywhere's system.
"So we're not looking for a way to lock a merchant into our service or to any particular device," Lerman said. "We're trying to offer the service onto as many devices as are available. We are providing choice." Lerman considers Charge Anywhere's solution the perfect value add to maintain merchant stickiness.
"I think that it's sticky because there are not a lot of other organizations, at least that I know in the small to medium merchant community, that provide that feature," Lerman said.
"And it reduces a very strong pain point for the merchants. In the end, the merchant wants to do what they do best. They sell tires. They sell the best pizza in the world. They know that business. They don't want to focus on dispute resolution and storing receipts. They kind of sort of want it to be done for them."
Charge Anywhere markets its services exclusively through third party resellers. "We have hundreds and hundreds of registered trade partners to offer our solutions to the merchant," he said.
Charge Anywhere LLC
800-211-1256 ext. 150
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