It was the worst kept secret in retail, but now that the new PayPoint One Epos platform is live, was it worth the wait? SLR finds out…
by Antony Begley
In hindsight, the launch of an Epos system from PayPoint is a bit of a no-brainer. With a 20 year history of working directly with over 29,000 stores across the UK, PayPoint has long had the perfect platform to launch an in-store solution like this.
The new system – known as PayPoint One – was officially unveiled last month after what PayPoint says was an exhaustive collaborative process working with retailers to create a solution that meets all of their key requirements. The platform has also been built to be future-proof with the ability to evolve and develop it over time.
With a surprising number of retailers still running stores with no Epos system at all in place and those that do have one often failing to get the best out of it, PayPoint believes it has a ready market to target with PayPoint One.
In essence, the platform combines three separate sets of solutions in a single, neat little unit:
- Card payments
- PayPoint services
The platform has been designed “to help retailers run their whole store from one device” and, specifically, to compete with the major multiples. According to research by PayPoint and JWT (a division of Retail Connect), 46% of independent and symbol retailers view multiples as their biggest competition, with 36% responding that having enhanced technology and a better understanding of their customers is their biggest opportunity for future growth.
The research also revealed that a quarter of independent retailers (25%) view limited access to advanced technology as the biggest challenge to delivering good customer experience.
Under the bonnet
Unlike most established Epos systems on the market, PayPoint One makes use of tablet technology. The system is effectively just an Android tablet housed in a toughened case which, as well as taking up remarkably little space on the counter, brings some useful benefits. Firstly, navigation within the system will be very familiar to most retailers if they’ve ever used a tablet before. Secondly, the cloud-based nature of the software means retailers can manage their business from anywhere from any device with internet connection. Lying on the beach in Marbella and checking the day’s sales is now only a click and a swipe away.
The system scores well on making lots of basic Epos information available quickly and easily. No need to run complex reports or log into the back office to get core, important data: pre-built reports for frequently requested information are accessible in a click or two, delivering real-time updates on the performance of the store.
Unsurprisingly, a big focus of the new terminal is on delivering faster and more reliable payments, helping to improve customer experience and reduce queue times. Contactless technology within the till unit itself means PayPoint services can be accessed directly through the terminal, although a separate unit is still required for debit and credit card payments.
The system is future-proofed with the inclusion of wifi and Bluetooth which will permit, for instance, beacon technology to be introduced in-store.
Having had the opportunity to extensively trial PayPoint One, it’s fair to say that it’s a very slick piece of kit that will appeal particularly to retailers who currently don’t have Epos or retailers who feel they are not able to get the most out of the system they have.
At this point the system is not yet capable of taking wholesaler updates so it’s unlikely that many symbol retailers will be able to consider it right now – but PayPoint say that they are working on this challenge and the system will be evolved in 2017 to enable it to pull in regular product and pricing file updates from wholesalers.
At £20 a week to new customers, or £15 a week if you are already a PayPoint customer, the system is competitively priced and there’s no question that for retailers with no Epos system it’s a great way to get into the benefits of understanding customers better and running their stores more efficiently.
Dominic Taylor, Chief Executive at PayPoint said: “The PayPoint One terminal is an exciting milestone in PayPoint’s history. The new platform, which has been designed to be future proofed for evolving retailer and consumer needs, is a significant enhancement to our service offering. Our new platform allows complete flexibility and control for retailers, enabling them to run their whole business from it.
“We’ve thoroughly tested the new technology, working alongside retailers throughout its development, to ensure that our full service offering meets their current and future needs and that the platform can flex as their businesses grow.”