Regional furniture retailer modernizes front-end
City Furniture sales associates are moving away from the cashwrap, and completing transactions directly on the show floor.
The furniture retailer based in South Florida, is upgrading is point-of-sale (POS) network across its 15 City Furniture and 12 Ashley Furniture HomeStore showrooms. All locations will be getting a mobile POS system from Ingenico, which encompasses transaction processing software, and decryption and EMV solutions that securely process all forms of payment, including EMV chip & sign, EMV chip & PIN, magstripe and NFC/contactless, as well as City Furniture’s private-label credit cards and gift cards.
The solution is also integrated with the retailer’s tablet-based program that enables its 400 sales associates to streamline the shopper’s in-store path-to-purchase. The ‘ASAP (Sales Assist)’ program, powered by IBM, delivers associates the insights and flexibility needed to deliver a more efficient, personalized shopping experience for their customers as they make their purchase decisions.
“Our goal at City Furniture has always been to provide consumers with the best customer service and in-store experiences, so partnering with Ingenico Group and IBM was an easy decision,” said Steve Wilder, CFO and CIO at City Furniture.
“Their solutions allow us to accept different forms of payment from anywhere in the showroom, while offering a more engaging sales experience,” he added. “This gives us a significant competitive advantage because not many retailers are using mobile payment systems, especially in furniture retail.”
Discounter adds new hiring academy
Walmart is making good on its promise to open 200 learning centers by year’s end.
The discounter is planning to open another employee training academy. The new location, which will be in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is expected to open by end of 2017, according to the Argus Leader, a division of USA Today.
According to the report, the academy is part of Walmart’s plan to open 200 training centers by year’s end. Each academy serves multiple stores in an area, and trains approximately 100 employees each week.
Class sizes span between 15 and 30 employees. The associates are immersed in two-plus-week training sessions focused on leadership, merchandising, operations and customer service, as well as role-specific functions, the Argus Leader said.
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Visa program streamlines global QR code payment adoption
A new service is helping retailers adhere to newly introduced interoperability standards related to QR code-based payments.
In a move to standardize emerging cashless payments, EMVCo, the global technical body that manages the EMV Specifications, released new global QR Code Payment standards — a move that will allow retailers to process mobile payments made through the two-dimensional machine-readable barcodes. Visa and the other EMVCo members worked to develop these new globally interoperable EMV specifications.
Visa also offers a service that helps merchants accept these emerging digital payments. Called mVisa, the solution allows consumers to pay for goods and services by scanning a QR code on a smartphone or entering a merchant number into their feature phones.
Payment goes directly from the consumer’s Visa account into the merchant’s account, and provides real-time notification to both parties. mVisa is interoperable, meaning that the consumer and the merchant do not need to be customers of the same bank.
Merchants can participate in the program by enrolling the Visa Ready Program, which has adopted the interoperable QR standards. Once enrolled, merchants can freely accept payments from any country or bank given mVisa’s interoperability. Visa securely and efficiently processes each transaction, the company said.
Visa is already supporting merchant-presented QR technology in 15 countries around the world. India, Kenya and Nigeria are currently live with mVisa across both bank and merchant partners. Specifically, 33 banks and more than 328,000 merchants across India, Kenya and Nigeria have adopted the interoperable standards, as accelerating their QR code digital payment programs, according to Visa.
“We’ve already seen tremendous progress towards adoption of standardized, interoperable QR code payment systems in the developing world,” said Sam Shrauger, senior VP, digital products, Visa. “We are working with governments and central banks in countries like India to develop and implement QR code payment solutions that provide the convenience and security, and help the journey toward a cashless future.”
Visa intends to replicate this success in 12 other countries where mVisa has been enabled. This includes Cambodia, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda and Vietnam.