Signature Capture

Are your customers still signing receipt tape to record their signatures on credit transactions? With the advancement in pin pad technology, the ability to sign for credit transactions electronically is becoming increasingly more popular.

Electronic signature capture offers many benefits to both you and your customers. Capturing signatures electronically rather than having customers sign on paper saves handling time on every single credit transaction. It may seem minute at first, but with the volume of credit transactions increasing rapidly over the past decade, the handling time adds up quickly. Not only does it save time at the checkout on every single credit transaction, but will also save time and effort should a customer dispute a charge. No more wading through boxes of old receipts looking for a single transaction. This saves you and the customer hassle when you are able to quickly resolve a chargeback situation.
Electronic signature capture is also environmentally friendly. With everything going green, why not credit transactions? This produces less waste and also lowers your expenditure on receipt tape. STCR offers signature capture solutions designed for your system. If you are not currently capturing signatures electronically and are interested, contact your STCR sales representative at (607) 757-0181.

SonicWall Firewall Device

SonicWALL firewall devices, do I need one and what are they?

Yes you do need a firewall to protect your network. On the PCI DSS website (see link below) step number 1 in the requirements is:

Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data

“Firewalls are computer devices that control computer traffic allowed into and out of a company’s network, as well as traffic into more sensitive areas within a company’s internal network. A firewall examines all network traffic and blocks those transmissions that do not meet the specified security criteria. All systems must be protected from unauthorized access from the Internet, whether entering the system as e-commerce, employees’ Internet-based access through desktop browsers, or employees’ e-mail access. Often, seemingly insignificant paths to and from the Internet can provide unprotected pathways into key systems. Firewalls are a key protection mechanism for any computer network.”

STCR Business Systems, Inc. sells Sonicwall firewall devices to assist you in meeting this requirement. There are two units that we now support. Please contact us at (607) 757-0181 to find out more about upgrading your Sonicwall.

Basic Access Controls are Key

Who has access to your business systems and what do they have access to?
This is hopefully an easy question to answer. If not, then you have an exposure in your company that needs to be addressed quickly. Controlling the specific authorized access to all end users of the systems that run a business is an important principle that needs constant maintenance and monitoring.

Access control is defined as a system which enables an authority to control access to areas and resources in a given physical facility or computer-based information system. This conveys two important points: first, this tells us the systems need to be physically secured and secondly, they need to be electronically secured. Simple measures such as locking the office door and only providing authorized people with a key is a start. The next step is implementing a simple plan and responsible person to manage and maintain all end user credentials and authorizations to meet some basic goals:
1. Developed role-based access levels - what roles need to perform what system tasks.
2. Create unique credentials for each user assigned to a role - no login sharing!
3. Encourage users to use best practices for password protection:

• Always use strong passwords.
• If passwords must be written down on a piece of paper, store the paper in a secure place and destroy it when it is no longer needed.
• Never share passwords with anyone.
• Use different passwords for all user accounts.
• Change passwords immediately if they may have been compromised.
• Be careful about where passwords are saved on computers. Some dialog boxes, such as those for remote access and other telephone connections, present an option to save or remember a password. Selecting this option poses a potential security threat.

4. Remove credentials for any employees leaving employ immediately.

5. Review user access roles routinely and keep updated appropriately.

Instituting and following these basic guidelines will help secure your business systems, minimizing the exposure and opportunity to issues related to unauthorized access. Be proactive and make sure you have these measures in place before you wish you had.

Things to Consider in Designing A Reward Program

As a POS system service and support provider, we often receive requests from our customers on setting up reward programs. Reward programs could be more effective than other types of promotions because they foster a long-term relationship as compared to coupons or discounts. A good rewards program creates customer loyalty by offering your customers what they need, thus generating value for your customers to keep coming back. Here are some tips on getting the most out of your reward programs.

First, you need to decide the objective of the reward program. Some programs aim to get new customers through referral, others are based on dollars spent or the length of time a customer has been shopping in a store. For retail store that rely on high frequency, you may want to lean toward a program that rewards the number of transactions or dollars spent.

You want the reward program to target the right people, your top 10% frequent shoppers. To know this group, you want to gather information on what they buy, when they buy, how often they buy and what rewards they would value. Data from your POS system along with the right analysis will show you this information. Of course, you do not want to neglect attracting new customers either.

Second, your reward program should offer something that is tangible and a goal that is easy to reach. You should design your data gathering and reporting methodology to get the information from your POS system so you could offer rewards that are meaningful and obtainable to your top customers. When done right, the reward will create excitement among your customers. When they reached the point of redemption, you want to make the redeem process easy.

For any reward program to generate any buzz, you need to reach out to as many customers as possible. Use multiple avenues to spread the word.

Lastly, check out what your competitors are doing. Learn from what they did right and what they missed and work to create your competitive edge.

It is simple for any retailer to offer a reward program. However, with careful planning and the right execution, you could create a reward program that truly generates customer loyalty and attract new customers to help your business grow.