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A Thing E-Pic and Choose


E-Pic and Choose

     Hypercom is launching a Web-based point-of-sale terminal. Make no mistake, this is not a “virtual terminal” online. It is a terminal at the POS with full Web access and capabilities.

     Hypercom’s ePic Countertop Commerce System provides e-commerce capabilities at the POS by connecting Hypercom ICE terminals to the Internet. This turns the traditional terminal into an interactive payment and Internet access device. This means that merchants of all sizes can take advantage of the convergence of POS and the Internet, even if they lack a PC. Yes, you read that right. If you have a merchant who wants to open a Web store but does not have a PC, ePic could be the solution.

     For merchants with a PC, full scale electronic commerce is enabled by ePic with the integration of iMerchant (Hypercom’s e-commerce Web merchant hosting package). However smaller merchants may conduct e-commerce with ePic without even owning a computer. A clerk can pick up orders, verify transaction approvals, arrange shipments of merchandise, notify customers of shipments, and respond to simple inquiries, all without the training and support requirements of a computer.

     “With ePOS-infocommerce, Hypercom transforms the card-swipe ‘gray box’ into a networked, screen-based, customer-activated platform. ePic makes possible not only secure and fast card payments but also transforms the card payment device into a platform for merchants to deliver valuable information to shoppers, whether in the physical store, in the virtual store, or in the broader Internet commerce community. With ePic, the terminal essentially becomes a consumer channel that accepts payments,” Wallner said.

What Else Does it Do?

     In addition to traditional secure payment processing functions, ePic also supports:

* e-mail

* on-screen advertising

* interactive electronic coupons

* interactive loyalty programs

* electronic receipt capture

* branding programs

* e-commerce

     Link Stores

       One of the key merchant benefits of ePic is the ability to inter-link the physical store with a virtual store and enable the two to mutually support each other. Receipts printed by the ICE transaction terminal at the real physical store can advertise the Web address or offer credits to customers that can be redeemed when shopping on the Web. In turn, a visit to a virtual store on the Internet can promote a visit to the physical store with promotions or loyalty programs.

     Provide e-mail

     ePic supports Internet-originated e-mail via the transaction terminal. Processors, banks, and retail offices can send e-mail to merchants to inform them of new programs or new procedures. The interchange through the POS device is two-way so customers can make appointments or request merchandise availability and prices. Merchants can also send e-mail to processor support desks and to banks and respond to questions from customers or suppliers.

     e-mail also enables merchants to consolidate and expedite their communication with banks and reduce chargebacks. By accessing the Internet at the countertop, merchants faced with charge-back disputes can quickly connect to a receipt-storage system, locate the receipt by date and card number, and send it directly to Visa or MasterCard by e-mail, fax, or electronic data interchange.

      Display Coupons

      A graphics screen that faces the consumer, such as those on the ICE terminals, is an excellent medium to display advertising, loyalty programs, and electronic coupons. Immediate on-screen access to loyalty and coupon programs can translate into high levels of consumer participation and generate additional revenues for the merchant.

     Why Did Hypercom Do it?

     Hypercom believes the same shift that occurred in retail banking from the teller window to the ATM is occurring at the merchant countertop, and ePic is their solution. Old buying habits die hard and many consumers research products online, only to log off and drive to the store to make their purchases. Hypercom’s ePic allows people to take advantage of the conveniences of the Internet, and still shop the old-fashioned way.

     “Until now the substantial benefits offered by the Internet have not been realized by the majority of merchants. It has simply been too costly, too inconvenient, and indeed, often not practical for many merchants to get involved with Internet based selling and promotional programs. Hypercom’s ePic uses the familiar, ubiquitous POS payment terminal to bring the benefits of the net to the merchant,” said George Wallner, president and CEO, Hypercom Corporation.

     According to Hypercom, within six years electronic transactions are projected to grow from 24% to 48% of all consumer payments. “Even if the percentage comes in below that projection, it is essential that small merchants move now to establish their presence on, and extend their reach to the millions of consumers purchasing goods and services over the Internet,” Wallner said. “Selling over the Internet is the most cost-effective way for merchants to dramatically extend their reach and increase sales. Indeed, it is a business imperative if merchants are to maintain and build sales.”

     “Most importantly, ePic will expose non-Internet users to Internet content, and thus expand the reach of the Internet into an entirely new domain, to a consumer market segment that may not get on the net for years to come,” added Wallner.

     Who is Behind it?

    Hypercom has worked with Visa, MasterCard, Paymentech, and other industry leaders to ensure ePic delivers a solution that supports the key points in the financial transactions chain. “Hypercom’s ePic product strategy is a major step in integrating the physical and virtual payment worlds,” said Scott Thompson, Executive Vice President, Visa USA.

     “ePic represents a new paradigm for merchants that will improve customer retention,” said Laura Rogers, group executive for product management at Paymentech, the nation’s second largest credit card processor. “Many merchants either do not have PCs, or do not have ready access to them in their stores. With Hypercom’s ePic, merchants greatly increase the functionality and programs they can perform with their ICE card payment terminals.”

      “Hypercom’s ePic strategy is an innovative approach that will lead to a significant and valuable transformation at the point-of-sale,” said Paul Martaus, president, Paul Martaus & Associates. “We applaud the company’s progressive leadership.”

     The rollout of Hypercom’s ePic platform components is underway now. The company will work closely with merchants who use Hypercom’s more than three million terminals to quickly transition to the new ePic system, and with millions of other merchants worldwide.

       Hypercom Corporation is a global provider of end-to-end electronic payment solutions, including card payment systems, peripherals, network products, software, and e-commerce payment solutions that add value at the point-of-sale for consumers, merchants, and acquirers. For more information access http// or call Jack Bunting at 650-286-3835.

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