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NRF BIG SHOW 2016 RECAP: Intelligent Interaction Drives Innovation

With more than 33,500 attendees, hundreds of sessions, and miles of exhibiting companies, the 105th NRF Annual Convention & EXPO, once again showcased a wide array of technologies that seek to revolutionize retail. As always, customer interaction emerged as a top theme, however this year, the focus seemed to hinge on being able to provide service how, when and to whatever degree customers desire at a given moment. Many of the solutions being displayed have strong applications in hospitality as they complement the need for customization and the call for more data and insights. These solutions impact all areas from customer-facing to the back-of-house aspects of everyday operations. In case you missed them, here are a few highlights from the 2016 Big Show.
Samsung Unveils New POS Solutions and Samsung Pay Gift Card Feature
Samsung Electronics America, Inc. announced new solutions designed to empower retailers in real-world environments, from attracting customers at the storefront to driving business efficiencies in the back office. Samsung showcased its retail solutions in four settings depicting the customer life cycle including Attract, Interact, Transact and Back Office with tech ranging from commercial displays to tablet based POS.

Shift4 Showcases Secure Payments for OmniChannel
The EMV liability shift date is in the rearview mirror, but the continued threat of data breaches and credit and debit card fraud are still looming. Retailers are seeking comprehensive payment processing solutions that will support their daily business operations while keeping consumers’ payment card data protected. At National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention and EXPO (Retail’s BIG Show), a Shift4 Corporation representative was alongside one of their integration partners, Multidev Technologies Inc., to demonstrate how retailers can securely process payments in even the most complex omnichannel settings.
IoT Platform Improves Security and Energy Efficiency
Zebra Technologies Corporation  and Atmel® Corporation announced it is demonstrating a smart refrigeration Internet of Things (IoT) reference design at NRF 2016 being held on Jan. 17-20, 2016, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. In addition to the latest in low-power silicon and cloud services, this demonstration shows how products designed with the ARM® mbed™ IoT Device Platform bring improved security and energy efficiency.
Star Micronics Debuts High-Speed POS Printer
Star Micronics exhibited new solutions at the 105th Annual National Retail Federation (NRF) Expo. Star Micronics demonstrations will showcase both new and traditional POS solutions and applications including its digital receipt solution that also acts as a customer engagement tool.
International McDonald's Boosts Sales with IoT-powered Customer Engagement
New Zealand-based VMob is harnessing IoT to help McDonald’s transform its customer engagement in the Netherlands, Sweden and Japan, regions that represent around 60 percent of the food service retailer’s locations worldwide. With VMob, McDonald’s expanded its existing mobile app in these markets, building on standard features such as product information, restaurant locator and mass offers for promotions and specials. They did this by combining the mobile app with contextual information and social engagement to dynamically personalize the customer experience.

SATO Collaborates with Intel on IoT Platform
SATO Global Solutions (SGS), an innovation integrator that develops comprehensive Internet of Things (IoT) solutions designed to unleash the power of data, has collaborated with Intel to develop a data-driven, end-to-end IoT platform that enables retailers to accelerate the commercial benefit of data and IoT with a new level of actionable insight.

Verifone to Deliver End-to-End, EMV-Ready Payment Solution to Microsoft Dynamics Customers
Verifone has announced its partnership with Microsoft to provide comprehensive EMV-ready Payment as a Service solutions certified for Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail and Commerce solutions. In addition to Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, merchants are challenged by the expensive and time consuming process of certifying their point of sale (POS) software with processors in order to support EMV. Fortunately, Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics RMS users will be able to overcome these challenges with Payment as a Service from Verifone, which bundles payment hardware, software and support services into a single integrated solution, enabling merchants to centrally manage their entire payment system.
Elo Expands Self-Service Capabilities With Integrated EMV & NFC-Enabled Payment Solution
Elo, a global supplier of interactive touchscreen solutions, announced the ability of its self-service platform to integrate with one of Verifone’s latest payment devices—the Verifone e355—bringing support for loyalty programs and emerging payment methods, including Europay, Mastercard, and Visa (EMV), near field communication (NFC), and mobile wallets, to retail self-service and endless aisle environments.
Equinox and Acceo Partner to Deliver Intgrated Payment Solution
Equinox and ACCEO Solutions Inc. announced details of their partnership relationship at the National Retail Federation Big Show being held this week in New York City. ACCEO’s secure EMV-certified Tender Retail software will run directly on Equinox’s Luxe 8000i, extending an enhanced, secure integrated payments experience to retailers while reducing the overall scope of the POS environment.
Purpose-Built Tablets Drive Mobile Innovation for Panasonic
Panasonic showcased new technologies at the 105th annual National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show, including new mPOS and rugged tablet devices. These new solutions target retailers of various sizes as well as supermarkets, table service restaurants, quick serve restaurants (QSR) and build upon the company’s 30 years of experience in the retail sector.

New Services Accelerate Migration to Cloud for Operators
EarthLink announced new services and tools to accelerate retailers’ migration to customer-centric cloud services. The company will mark the opening of the NRF Annual Convention & EXPO by launching a new Cloud Vendor Selection Advisory Service to help retailers select a cloud-based platform ideally suited to their business and technical needs, along with a Cloud and Network Maturity Assessment tool to help retailers gauge their progress moving to the cloud.

Automated Solution Reduces Cash-Loss and Increases Productivity
APG Cash Drawer, LLC, a global manufacturer of cash drawer solutions and other POS related products, announces the launch of SMARTtill™ automation technology at NRF 2016 in New York. SMARTtill™ automation is a revolution in cash management. It enables retailers to reduce cash-loss, decrease the time and cost of cash-handling, while improving in-store productivity and customer service.  

Epson to Debut Cloud Offering Along with POS Solutions
Epson America, Inc. will demonstrate its new OmniLink® Merchant Services (OMS) platform, a suite of cloud-based software solutions for the retail and hospitality markets, and present a wide range of partner solutions. Epson OMS cloud partners include: Mobivity (MFON)-enables retailers to transform ordinary receipts into a targeted, revenue generating marketing medium by increasing frequency and influencing buying behavior; NimbleSchedule  -which provides food service and retail establishments with a powerful and cost effective application to manage predictive staff schedules, track clocked time and analyze profitability; and PnP Loyalty-a loyalty, gift and rewards solutions provider for chain restaurants and retail stores, will be demonstrating how its Loyalty program leverages Epson's OMS to capture data, which generates tailored offers and coupons associated with a specific purchase.

Theatro demonstrated solutions at the 2016 NRF Show including its voice-controlled wearable communication devices for hourly workers. Recent wins for the company include a partnership with Cabela’s, Inc. to replace two-way radios as well as a rollout taking place at a Bass Pro Shops restaurant location. Theatro’s service platform leverages the employee talent across an operation by letting employees easily access subject matter experts and vital information, without disconnecting from the customer. The request-respond functionality of the app allows for a closed-loop method of service, making sure that requests are heard and taken care of in a timely fashion.
Payment security is top-of-mind for Ingenico, which announced a new partner program intended to help accelerate EMV and NFC payment acceptance in unattended environments. The Ingenico Group Unattended Partner Program is designed for kiosk providers, value-added solution providers, system integrators and gateway providers who offer unattended solutions and want to protect their customers from post-EMV deadline fraud liability, while enabling consumers to pay using the latest payment methods, including Apple Pay and Android Pay.
The company also announced the official launch of its new brand: Ingenico ePayments.  Ingenico Group’s online and mobile commerce division combines the former Ogone and GlobalCollect organizations, merging capabilities and offerings, and providing merchants around the world with enhanced end-to-end products and services. The launch of the Ingenico ePayments brand now completes the integration process and enhances the Group’s position within the ePayments industry.
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