Article | March 25, 2014

Ways Mobile Cash Drawer Solutions — And The VARs Who Sell Them — Can Enhance Security

By Stephen Bergeron, V.P. of Global Marketing, APG Cash Drawer

Features Of Mobile Cash Drawer Solutions Can Enhance Security

Mobility and thin client applications are finding their way into the retail environment. APG’s Ethernet and Bluetooth interfaces promote these environments by allowing the drawer to be located in any convenient location with easy access from the mobile devices. These solutions present new opportunities to improve the purchasing experience by discretely relocating the cash drawer from the check-out line to the actual point of purchase. Bluetooth- and Wireless-enabled cash drawers facilitate mobile environments that still need to accept cash as a form of payment. These interfaces provide a secure environment for these transactions by ensuring that the drawer can be opened only when the retail sales associate is in close proximity of the drawer.

The NetPRO Ethernet cash drawers’ capabilities enable exception management and alert that prevent misuse and notify managers of unusual events. If a clerk opens the drawer manually with a key, even though a command from the workstation would normally open it, the system captures that activity and can send a mobile alert to a manager. IP-enabled drawers can also active security cameras or other network devices for POS monitoring. By reviewing the information, managers can determine if the exception was legitimate or ill-intended. Further monitoring is available with time-stamp processing. A cash drawer that remains open for a long time can indicate a security or training issue. A timely alert sent to management via email or text can solve this problem fast.

Controllers also record when a drawer is unplugged or moved — or if it is attempted to be opened by someone who is assigned to a different drawer. To prevent that, drawers can be programmed to open only for authorized employees. Exceptions can be instantly reported to management for corrective action.

IP cash drawers collect lots of valuable data that helps correct bad habits and make operational improvements. Dealers can turn this data into revenue-generating services by delivering it to customers as status reports and recommendations for improvements and best practices. The offering can become part of an overall remote services package, and it’s an ideal way to strengthen the trusted advisor role.

Mobile Cash Drawers Offer More Security Than A Traditional Fixed POS System

IP-enabled cash drawers offer more security and loss prevention features than the traditional fixed POS system. The IP-enabled cash drawer facilitates mobile environments that still need to accept cash as a form of payment. It provides a secure environment for these transactions to ensure it can be engaged only when the retail sales associate is in close proximity of the drawer.  Options such as scanning of the bar code nameplate on the drawer face, using an RFID transmitter/antennae, or a biometric device to recognize and to confirm that the right associate is at the drawer and ready to access the cash.

NetPRO Cash Drawers integrate the POS with the store security by broadcasting alerts to other IP-enabled devices. Security camera digital recordings may be time stamped to track exception drawer access events such as opening with the key. E-mail alerts can be sent to store managers or loss prevention manager.

Retailers with multiple POS check-outs have a different set of requirements. A larger retail footprint means multiple sales associates assisting customers. This can lead to multiple devices connecting to single cash drawer in a remote area of the store. Since mobile device authorization is required to gain access to the drawer, the cash is more secure than other mobile options. NetPRO drawers can also integrate with today’s traditional POS stack giving the retailer a hybrid solution. In addition to POS integration NetPRO helps a retailer with its asset management, loss prevention, tech support, mobile alerts, and security camera activation with its ability to talk to the other network devices.

VARs Can Be Trusted Advisors When It Comes To Security

By offering their expertise, VARs assume the role of trusted advisors, and can advise retailers on the implementation of thinbility POS solutions. Cash still remains a viable form of tender even in mobility enabled POS solutions. There needs to be a secure way to process cash payments in an mPOS environment. VARs can leverage cloud and mobile technologies; this model supports thin client and IP-enabled components such as cash drawers and printers.

Consider recommending solutions that can be remotely operated by mobile or thin client devices using simple network socket connections on a TCP/IP enabled network to support cloud-based POS. These solutions are far more secure than a drawer connected to an Ethernet receipt printer.  If the printer is the host of the drawer, it can be accidentally opened from the mobile device anywhere inside the network. Using an IP-enabled drawer in settings where retailers want to offer the convenience of completing cash transactions at the “point of decision” makes it track-able and secure as well. VARs can recommend placement of drawers for ideal traffic patterns and placement of security cameras for capturing unauthorized drawer openings. VARs can leverage mobile POS and become trusted advisors by helping their retailers stand out from the competition — improving the shopping experience and translating to higher customer loyalty.