Interview • 18.10.2021

Advancing technological innovations in checkout systems

Frank Schlesinger from IGZTK discusses fiscalization, clouds, big data and the POS market

Digitization is advancing rapidly in the area of checkout solutions, cash registers and payments. The "Interessengemeinschaft Zukunftsweisende Technologiehersteller für Kassensysteme" or IGZTK (Association of Future-Oriented Technology Manufacturers for POS Systems) aims to facilitate access to and educate about innovative technologies such as the cloud.

Now the providers orderbird, ready2order, studiolution, tillhub, Anker, gastronovi and Lightspeed have spun off an independent association. We asked one of the board members – Frank Schlesinger, CTO of orderbird – about the IGZTK's goals.

Also, we were interested in: What are the advantages of cloud-based checkout systems? And what technological innovations are still to come for users of checkout systems?

A man in a shirt smiles at the camera
Frank Schlesinger, CTO of orderbird and board member of IGZTK
Source: orderbird

How did the foundation of the association come about?

Frank Schlesinger: The reason for our founding of the association was the changes in the Fiscalization Act in Germany. The law to protect against manipulation of basic digital records was passed by the Bundestag in 2016. By January 01, 2020, every cash register had to be equipped with a technical security device (TSE or Technische Sicherheitseinrichtung).

In principle, anything that prevents tax fraud and sets quality standards is a good thing. Nevertheless, we as POS system manufacturers felt very much left alone with this requirement.

With us as cloud-based POS system manufacturers, our customers' data is no longer in the retail store, in the restaurant, in the hair salon. Instead, it is transferred to the data center the moment it is entered and is therefore tamper-proof.

At the time, however, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Office for Information Security had a completely different idea of what a POS system looked like: They were thinking of a box on a counter. Manufacturers of TSEs developed their solutions accordingly: very hardware-centric.

But the reality was different: For the large proportion of POS systems in Germany that are either web browser-based or use tablets as input devices, whose entire POS logic is located in a backend in the cloud, these TSE solutions do not work.

In this situation, I approached our competitors, because we all had the same problem. This resulted in association work, we established contacts with organizations and authorities and explained the problem.

What have you achieved politically since then?

In the meantime, we have been able to influence the certification of cloud-based TSEs. However, this was only achieved after the legal deadlines had already expired. We worked to prevent damage to our customers, who had been using systems that had not yet been certified for a certain period of time.

In practice, there are still a lot of unanswered questions, for example regarding the inspection of checkout systems and the work of the tax auditors. I therefore assume that a great deal will still be learned in the coming months.

How far have companies progressed with the technical implementation of the Cash Register Security Ordinance?

Exact figures are difficult to determine.

We at orderbird have a TSE rollout rate of around 90 percent among our customers. Among the remaining ten percent, there will be some restaurateurs who have not yet reopened, but there are certainly also businesses that have not yet recognized the urgency.

But what I see when I walk down the street in Berlin: The big chains, the professionals, they're all fiscalized. You can see that on the receipt from the encrypted checksum. But often I don't get any receipt at all, many times I see old yellowed cash registers that can't have any TSE at all. From this subjective observation, I estimate more like a 50 percent rate.

”With over 30 members, we now represent more than 100,000 POS systems in Germany. We see ourselves as an association of those POS solution manufacturers who, due to new technologies, will always reach the limits of what legislators can even imagine.“
A rolled up receipt on a white background
Source: PantherMedia/BrianAJackson

So what does a cloud-based POS system mean for the daily work of a retailer?

Well, the simplest answer is: not much at all. A decent POS system means having the tools you need. If I can integrate functions such as inventory management, operate the software easily and pay for it all, then I don't really care about the system behind it.

Nevertheless, I find that a cloud system has many advantages. Some of them are also related to the "software as a service" (SaaS) business model.

With a cloud system, I as a customer participate in the technical development, I receive security and software updates, and I have a service partner who is available around the clock, plus I benefit from new solutions and interfaces. And our POS systems generally offer a better user experience as well.

Digital business models just happen to be successful, think of streaming offers for music or series. People want the best and largest possible portfolio without having piles of stuff sitting around, and they want it easily on any mobile device. If you run a store, you want to focus on the business and selling. A retailer has many needs in terms of security, payment methods, software development, data sharing and usage. But he doesn't want to have to deal with the complexity of it all.

Besides the cloud, what other technologies and innovations will retailers and users of checkout systems be facing in the next few years?

In Germany, the first checkout systems that are all-in-one devices are now on the market. This means that a sales employee has a smartphone with an integrated card reader terminal and receipt printer and can accept electronic payments and create tax-compliant invoices and receipts anywhere.

A second important topic is big data. Manufacturers of cloud-based POS systems are actually increasing the competition: orderbird, for example, has traffic data from 14,000 customers from several countries. From this, we can tell when a product is offered too cheaply or too expensively, for instance. We can use this data to develop products that give entrepreneurs guidance for business decisions. And this knowledge is then no longer just available to the large chains, but also to small, independent entrepreneurs.

How do Germany and Europe actually compare internationally when it comes to the market for checkout system providers?

In Europe and also in Germany, the POS market is highly fragmented, also in terms of the technological bandwidth; there are both long-established and very young companies on the market. One thing we have observed in the USA: The topic of payment has driven the development of checkout systems there. Providers such as Square or Toast have offered payment solutions to merchants as SaaS, and the checkout was virtually included.

Historically, in Germany there is less acceptance for new things, for clouds, e-payment, contactless payment, and so on. On top of that, we have a bureaucracy that makes innovative developments difficult. When I'm on the road in associations and committees, I always hear a lot about Europe's digital sovereignty. But we are dependent on the platforms of the Americans, and soon perhaps even on those of the Chinese. This is also what we as IGZTK are trying to do when it comes to POS solutions: To not only observe the great developments of others, but to tackle them ourselves.

Interview: Julia Pott

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: In the age of online shopping, shoplifting has gone digital...
26.07.2021   #security #data transfer

In the age of online shopping, shoplifting has gone digital

Popularity of online shops on the rise, and with it the number of digital fraud cases

The pandemic has forced shoppers to dramatically alter their behaviour. In no sector is this more obvious than in food shopping. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Arvato Supply Chain Solutions in Poland starts cooperation with Sephora...
11.06.2021   #brick and mortar retail #digitization

Arvato Supply Chain Solutions in Poland starts cooperation with Sephora

Plewiska/Poland - Arvato Supply Chain Solutions is expanding its cooperation with the cosmetics company Sephora. In April 2021, the company therefore commissioned a new distribution center to support its e-commerce and B2B business in Pruszków, Poland.

The new warehouse covers an area of 7,000 square meters, making it almost 2,000 square meters larger than the previous one. One of the innovative solutions used here for Sephora is self-driving vehicles called Weasels®, which automate transport ...

Thumbnail-Photo: POS There is potential in every carton
30.08.2021   #POS marketing #shop equipment

POS There is potential in every carton

POS TUNING's latest product idea turns trays into real eye-catchers

How do you get the maximum presentation out of a simple cardboard tray on the shelf? This is the question that POS TUNING has been trying to answer.The point of sale is where the buying decision is made. Here, within a few seconds, an incentive to ...

Thumbnail-Photo: ISE 2022 – Integrated Systems Europe: The world’s leading AV and...
20.09.2021   #digital signage #event

ISE 2022 – Integrated Systems Europe: The world’s leading AV and systems integration exhibition

01.02. - 04.02.2022 | FIRA Barcelona

Integrated Systems Europe is the world’s leading AV and systems integration exhibition. ISE 2022 will on 1-4 February 2022 showcase the world’s leading technology innovators and solutions providers. In addition we will see five days of ...

Thumbnail-Photo: The intelligent seasoning for your inventory optimization...
11.08.2021   #artificial intelligence #stock level optimization

The intelligent seasoning for your inventory optimization

How to increase your sales with predictive analytics

Predictive tool options for retail and e-commerce are booming. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are used to make very accurate predictions, for example, the expected number of customers in stores, the number of products sold and upcoming ...

Thumbnail-Photo: How can automation bolster margins?
12.07.2021   #customer satisfaction #supply chain management

How can automation bolster margins?

Counteracting growing margin pressures on retailers with technology

Competitive and price pressures are steadily increasing. Technologies that automate processes can help companies remain profitable. Here are a few examples.Retailers are facing unprecedented margin pressures in the current times. Increased raw ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Success at c-stores with workforce optimization...
08.10.2021   #retail #personnel management

Success at c-stores with workforce optimization

Despite the turbulence of the past year, C-stores are almost certainly due for a promising quarter–or more.

The pandemic’s effects are receding, and the public is itching to spend and move about again. In fact, many retailers expect consumers to make both routine and leisure trips at pre-COVID-19 levels.This means C-store associates will be ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Citizen Systems launches Lightning interface for POS printers...
15.06.2021   #printers #label printers

Citizen Systems launches Lightning interface for POS printers

Control your POS station from your POS printer

In an ever-growing and vast market diversifying interface options for POS printers is imperative in order to keep up with the latest POS technology. New POS technology not only ensures streamlined processes but also that hardware and software can ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Former CEO CCV Deutschland Reinhard R. Blum to retire...
27.08.2021   #brick and mortar retail #mobile payment

Former CEO CCV Deutschland Reinhard R. Blum to retire

Reinhard Blum will continue to be involved in dedicated projects of CCV GmbH as an external consultant.

Following a long career in technology leadership, Reinhard Blum, one of the pioneers of the German payment industry, retires as of 31 August this year. Blum, a founding member of EL-ME GmbH, which merged with the Netherlands-based CCV Group B.V. in ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Cloud POS technology – shaping up the future of retail and restaurant...
30.09.2021   #marketing research #POS software

Cloud POS technology – shaping up the future of retail and restaurant industries

The escalating trend of online payments is expected to strengthen the cloud POS market up to 2026

The digital payment landscape is transforming incredibly, worldwide. With specific technological advancements and penetration of cloud systems being a top priority, various corporations, retailers, and in-store leaders have pivoted to the use of ...


POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
Am Zubringer 8
32107 Bad Salzuflen
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Kokkolastr. 5-7
40882 Ratingen
Gewerbering 1
84072 Au i.d.Hallertau
SALTO Systems GmbH
SALTO Systems GmbH
Schwelmer Str. 245
42389 Wuppertal
Stockumer Kirchstraße 61
40474 Düsseldorf
Citizen Systems Europe GmbH
Citizen Systems Europe GmbH
Otto-Hirsch-Brücken 17
70329 Stuttgart
iXtenso - retail trends
iXtenso - retail trends
Celsiusstraße 43
53125 Bonn