Report • 07.01.2011

Cell phone and credit card in place of coins and bills

News from the world of checkout counters – that’s annually an important topic at the EuroCIS. What has emerged over the past few years will intensify in February: Next to handling cash, cashless payments more and more take center stage. In doing so, retailers don’t just pay attention to their hardware, but also to the equipment of their customers. When do customers carry the new EC debit –and credit cards with chip in their wallets? When do they want to pay via cell phone? And what benefits does this provide for payment processing at the checkout counter?

Last year Easycash introduced the M-Pass in a testing environment. This year Itellium in Düsseldorf wants to make a splash with a soccer fan shop. M-Pass is a cellular phone supported online payment system, where Easycash acts as a strategic payment processor since December 2009. At first, it partnered with Vodafone and Telefonicá O2, and now T-Mobile is also on board. Easycash would also like to offer M-Pass for cell phone payments in retail. Payment is done via credit- or EC-debit card.

The IT-service provider Itellium joins cashless payments via smartphone and wants to invest millions. This provides retailers with an alternative to the large credit card companies. The former Karstadt daughter company would like to pitch the quadratic residue code (QR code) to retailers instead. Printed on the receipt or displayed on the display screen, the customer takes a picture of the code with his cell phone and by entering his PIN code approves the money transfer from his account. The advantage: Retailers don’t need to invest in Near Field Communication (NFC) at the POS, customers don’t require a NFC-compatible cell phone and they also don’t need to divulge any account information. They only need a small plug-in on their smartphone, a scan & buy app; payment then is done via the Itellipay system, which is already in place.

At the beginning of 2011 Itellium wants to test its system at a large supermarket chain store. Via a basic software update it is meant to be programmed into existing cash registers and thus also becomes attractive to small retailers. In addition, it could also be used in Online Shops or even on billboards. The codes can also provide additional information for the user on their cell phone. The codes open new doors for retailers in terms of mobile customer retention concepts or lottery games.

New cards with radio chips

A lot is also happening in terms of payments by card. In December the credit card provider Visa was able to report a big success: The Postbank (The German Post Office Bank) with its 6.4 million bank cards switches from the dominating provider MasterCard and its”Maestro“system entirely to the Visa System “V-Pay” by mid-2011. Thus far, Visa Europe only counted a few Volks- and Raiffeisenbanks (credit unions), the LBBW daughter company BW Bank and the Landesbank Berlin as its customers. According to Visa, from the roughly 92 million plastic cards issued in Germany now ten millions are attributed to V-Pay.

The Postbank justified the switch first and foremost due to better protection against skimming, the illegal tapping of credit card information during disbursements at the automatic teller machine. For withdrawals and at retail cash registers, in Germany Maestro and V-Pay work with the Girocard standard which is backed by the three German Banking Associations. However, customers can only use the V-Pay card in Europe, for travel to the US for instance they need a credit card.

Retailers have high expectations for the contactless payment via radio chips, because it eliminates insertion of a card into the terminal. More and more bank customers carry credit cards with NFC chips in their wallets. And more and more EC debit cards, like for instance by Payback, are also outfitted with this technology. Customers can make contactless payments without entering a PIN for amounts up to 25 Euro. The amount is simply debited by the chip – just like the failed smart card at the time.

Costs for credit card payments and cash

So far in many cases high transaction fees scare off retailers from accepting credit cards. With the contactless solution for small amounts, service providers like Easycash, Intercard or Telecash want to specifically target public transportation services, newspaper stands, butcher shops or bakeries, because they would charge less fees to them. For the use in bakeries and butcher shops another good argument can be made: sanitation. Handling cash while handling fresh foods at the same time is complicated and a pet peeve of discerning customers.

Quelle: Toshiba So far, particularly smaller retailers rarely ever calculate the cost that handling cash is causing. This is called cash handling in larger companies. And they usually know exactly how much money it is costing them: getting change at the bank, counting revenues and taking them to the bank – not to mention the dangers caused by theft, hold-ups or counterfeit money. Cash machines for change and bills make handling cash at the check out easier. They also take over so-called cash recycling, the re-disbursement of bills and coins.

Cashless payments also cost money. Retail in Germany is vehemently fighting to keep the inexpensive electronic direct debiting system (ELV). But this form of payment simply by signing a sales slip is a German national isolated payment solution in the standardized European payment area Sepa. The future of ELV is uncertain.

Cost also plays a major role in terms of terminals. In recent years, retail was hit with technical innovations that forced it into new investments. Now, with wireless technology, once again new terminals are displayed at the trade fair booths of service providers. The advocates of the QR code for the cell phone view this as their chance. But they need to first convince retailers of their alternative. And perhaps both methods might also establish themselves at the same time.

René Schellbach,

Logo: easycash GmbH

easycash GmbH

Am Gierath 20
40885 Ratingen
Logo: InterCard AG

InterCard AG

Mehlbeerenstr. 4
82024 Taufkirchen b. München
Logo: TeleCash GmbH & Co. KG

TeleCash GmbH & Co. KG

Konrad-Adenauer-Allee 1
61118 Bad Vilbel

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Smart digital labels and pricing automation
07.02.2020   #displays #electronic shelf labels (ESL)

Smart digital labels and pricing automation

SES-imagotag at EuroShop 2020

For 25 years, SES-imagotag has been the trusted partner of retailers for in-store digital technology. SES-imagotag, the worldwide leader in smart digital labels and pricing automation, has developed a comprehensive IoT and digital platform that ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Compact for security
17.01.2020   #security #Trade fair special EuroShop 2020

Compact for security

A new security antenna system specifically designed for convenience stores

Retail security systems to prevent theft are a big concern for retailers. Large supermarkets and clothing stores install EAS antennas at the entrance and/or exit areas. Installing this type of feature proves more challenging for stores with a ...

Thumbnail-Photo: “AI starts with AI”
24.01.2020   #online trading #e-commerce

“AI starts with AI”

The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) supports the retail industry

When we shop, many of us are unaware that artificial intelligence helps retailers – in both online and offline settings – more often than we realize. One who is intimately involved in this process along with his Research Center is ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Storefront technology turns spectators into paying customers...
06.11.2019   #digital signage #brick and mortar retail

Storefront technology turns spectators into paying customers

Fomo brings social proof to brick-and-mortar retail

Fomo announced the launch of their new product "Fomo Storefront", an interactive shopping experience that enables retail owners to leverage social proof in brick-and-mortar locations. Customer purchases, testimonials and buyer behaviors ...

Thumbnail-Photo: “Money left on the table”
19.11.2019   #customer satisfaction #customer analysis

“Money left on the table”

Mark Thomson from Zebra explains why stock management is essential for retailers

Zebra Technologies Corporation did a study on attitudes of shoppers and their buying behavior. It shows that more than half of Generation X shoppers shopped in a store and left without a purchase only to end up purchasing the item ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Irma: flagship store in Copenhagen
30.10.2019   #electronic shelf labels (ESL) #price labelling

Irma: flagship store in Copenhagen

Denmark's oldest grocery chain opens a new store

At the same time Irma, a Danish grocery chain, could celebrate its 133rd birthday, the chain also opened a new flagship store at Østerport station in Copenhagen. Besides showing renewal and being able to ensure the customers updated prices ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Think Different! Thought leadership at ISE 2020...
13.12.2019   #security #digital marketing

Think Different! Thought leadership at ISE 2020

Over 200 specialists to offer expert opinion and insight

Integrated Systems Europe 2020’s professional development programme will feature over 200 leading experts from a wide variety of disciplines and subject areas across five days of keynotes, conferences, masterclasses, workshops and ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Nominate your company for the E-commerce Germany Awards 2020!...
21.11.2019   #online trading #e-commerce

Nominate your company for the E-commerce Germany Awards 2020!

Award ceremony as part of E-Commerce Berlin Expo

The E-commerce Germany Awards are officially accepting submissions as of the 4th  November, 2019. Companies within the e-commerce sector are able to apply to one of the ten categories. The annual awards are given out for the third time in ...

Thumbnail-Photo: A strong team for the POS
18.12.2019   #pos systems #pos software

A strong team for the POS

Founding of neoalto GmbH

POS TUNING, the specialist for the optimized presentation of products at the point of sale, announces the spin-off of the digital services division. The GmbH (LLC), founded in September as neoalto, has already made a name for itself on the market ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Making Deeper Connections at ISE 2020
21.11.2019   #digital signage #video

Making Deeper Connections at ISE 2020

Visitor registration opens; exciting new features; most conferences ever; opening address confirmed

Visitor registration opens today for ISE 2020, which is set to be the most compelling Integrated Systems Europe show ever. Taking place at the RAI Amsterdam on 11-14 February 2020, ISE is the world’s leading event for the professional systems ...


ROQQIO Commerce Solutions GmbH
ROQQIO Commerce Solutions GmbH
Harburger Schloßstraße 28
21079 Hamburg
SES-imagotag Deutschland GmbH
SES-imagotag Deutschland GmbH
Bundesstraße 16
77955 Ettenheim
Via Venezia, 58
35010 Marsango di Campo San Martino/PD
Burkhardt Leitner Modular Spaces GmbH
Olgastrasse 138
70180 Stuttgart
Axis Communications GmbH
Axis Communications GmbH
Adalperostraße 86
85737 Ismaning
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
Am Zubringer 8
32107 Bad Salzuflen
VR Payment GmbH
VR Payment GmbH
Saonestraße 3a
60528 Frankfurt am Main
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen
SALTO Systems GmbH
SALTO Systems GmbH
Schwelmer Str. 245
42389 Wuppertal