Epos landscape continues to evolve

Rigg Service Station

The competitive world of EPoS provision has undergone huge change in the last year or two with new entrants shaking up the industry and making big headway in recruiting local retailers.

The world of selling Epos systems to local retailers has traditionally been a very competitive one, long dominated by a handful of big players and a slew of smaller, more tailored providers – but much of that has changed in recent years as a number of new entrants to the marketplace have aggressively targeted Scottish local retailers.

A relative newcomer to the Epos market that’s making huge inroads is PayPoint whose PayPoint One platform is now live in over 16,000 stores across the UK, a remarkable achievement given that the system was only launched in 2017.

The system combines Epos, card payments, parcel services and bill payments into one device and is available without any upfront cost and with only a monthly fee which varies depending on the package required.

PayPoint recently launched an iOS app, which is also available on Android, to reflect modern working practices by allowing retailers to manage their stores remotely.

Lewis Alcraft, Chief Commercial Officer for PayPoint, commented: “Reaching the 16,000 milestone highlights that PayPoint One continues to transform the convenience store. We’re delighted that both new and existing PayPoint retail partners are driving significant benefits from our market-leading platform that reflects the future of convenience.”

PayPoint also revealed last month that, after a successful national trial with over 50 participating retailers, an Epos link is now available to PayPoint One Pro retailers who are members of Premier, Family Shopper and Shop Locally.

Retailers will benefit from daily price updates, monthly consumer promotions, the ability to place orders through the PayPoint One mobile app and receive electronic delivery notes to update stock. The link will help retailers operate a more efficient business and free up time to run their store.

Alcraft comments: “We’re delighted that Premier, Family Shopper and Shop Locally retailers are now able to benefit from an Epos link which will help them run a more efficient business. We’ve had great feedback from the trial, and we’re particularly pleased that our unique PayPoint One mobile app is helping retailers transform the way that they manage their stores.”

Another such provider is Henderson Group, which only really appeared on the Scottish scene last year but has already made good ground in tempting retailers over to its EDGEPoS system.

As part of the Henderson Group, which operates the Spar brand in Northern Ireland, Henderson Technology is very unusual in being both a retailer and an Epos supplier. The group decided in 2010 to develop its own Epos system to fulfil the demanding and innovative needs of retailers in Northern Ireland.

Consequently, the business undertook a task that was markedly different to any other Epos company: it was creating an Epos system using its learnings from being a convenience retailer.

Darren Nickels, Head of Henderson Technology, comments: “Over the past decade EDGEPoS has continued to develop by responding to specific retailer requests as well as market research to integrate a range of innovative third-party offerings. As a result, our award-winning Epos system can include Self-Checkout, ESELs, Scan & Go App, Pre-Order and Pre-Pay Food-to-go and a Grocery app. It also includes the 2019 Mobile App of the Year, Gander, which communicates an individual store’s reduced items in real time to their community of shoppers in their area.”

Henderson believes it is essential to provide a reliable Epos system to the convenience market which allows each retailer to be flexible in the way they run their business. Nickels explains: “EDGEPoS offers three key sectors to retailers: operational efficiency, security and business development. We offer the complete system in a 60 months lease agreement, taking out any initial upfront payment. New hardware, EDGEPoS software, 24/7/365 software support and hardware maintenance are all included in the agreement, and retailers will never be charged for upgrades over the five-year period.”

Some key features included on EDGEPoS are self-populating PLUs, customer loyalty integration, local accounts, advanced age checking, sales-based suggested ordering, automated report scheduling and password audit trail.

“Fuel is fully integrated with full bunkering facilities,” adds Nickels. “And the upcoming self-checkout launches for BP and Texaco sites will allow more fuel sites to offer a self-serve option in-store.”

Andrew and Scott Aitken, owners of JET Rigg Service Station and JET Bypass Service Station in East Lothian have had very positive experiences since investing in new Epos systems for both sites. They say: “We first met Henderson Technology at an industry event and it was very evident from our research that EDGEPoS would offer everything we needed for the sites and a whole host of value-added fuel features. The system is directly linked to our wholesaler which offers a lot of benefits such as smoother ordering and better control over stock holding. It also gives us far superior accountability on occasions when customers have no means to pay because you can recall a sale from a day, a week or a month ago, giving you better control over the fuel. The whole operation is much slicker as it is quicker at processing cards, the scanner is much more efficient and we no longer have merchant copies of credit card receipts so we’re saving in till rolls.”

Henderson Technology is now the fourth largest Epos company in the UK and celebrated its 600th UK install last month.

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