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POS SOFTWARE

Today, Amazon held its annual display for its coming new products. A few items excited me.

One item I thought would start a revolution in shop security.

It is a robot that, among other things, can do security work and perform automated security patrols of the shop.

- My first thought was how many times did I have to go to the shop after hours because Mum or my sister suddenly became nervous that they had forgotten to lock the shop up? With its periscope camera, it can go high enough to allow you to check the door's lock remotely.

- How often do alarms go off for no reason? Usually, there is a reason, but there is no way of knowing the reason after a few minutes. The raccoon in the video below is a case in point.

- Most thieves today at night are smashing and grabbing. They know from when the alarm goes that they have so many minutes before the police arrive. If such a robot were present, they would know that the storekeeper could get instant monitoring.

- Often, the security guard is a risk. Unfortunately, this happened to one of my clients in a shopping centre where people could reach given time into the shop's front window with a stretch where stock is on display. Stuff went missing overnight, and no one knows who took it. Since there is only security guards present in that period.....

Here is a video of what it can do!

Having a robot that can run up and down the shop carrying something would be handy too. 

I would love to get one to try out!

 

 

 

 

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POS SOFTWARE


Biometrics security is when you use peoples fingerprints, facial pictures, etc rather than passwords. Many mobile phones use it. Many of our clients use it on their POS Software for over four years since we first introduced it to our marketspace. 

One of my clients met a credit card, where the information was swiped. The owner of the card did not know it was swiped. Swiping leaves no trace. A girl with the info went on a shopping spree. She did not take long to spend just under $30,000. With the new biometric cards, this will be impossible. 

Soon I suspect all retailers will have no choice but to use biometrics as the banks move to this security. So if credit card details are known, even with the PIN without the owner's finger, it cannot be used.

In theory, whether in practice one hack is proposed for the most popular types of biometrics security, which most of us use. It is claimed that it can be cracked.

Now we use the fingerprint method.

This involves some new equipment that is not expensive. Its big plus is that even if others know the password, they cannot get in so its much more secure

Yet, although people talk about the advantages of biometrics, it does have some drawbacks.

Delay: This is the big one. It takes too long. You have customers queued up, and the operator, if they have to wait a few seconds to process, is just too long. That is why we currently do not use it on the cash register.

COVID, as fingerprints are contact-based, people do not want to keep pressing the same pad as everyone else. 

Errors caused by the sensors, which are not perfect, cause problems. Although a fingerprint is better than a pin, errors still occur. Some court studies show the error rate, fingerprints errors showed they vary from 3% to a dismal 20%.

Shops are dirty environments, so people have wet hands, dirty fingers, etc. Often the operator has to wipe their hands, then try again. This causes more delays.

Our system is often used by people with physical disabilities, e.g. MS. They can have problems using the fingerprint scanner. 

Have a chew and if you want to know more, let us know. 

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POS SOFTWARE

 

A person takes an item in the store and then presents it to get a credit. This is one of the most common scams that target retailers.

You have this nice policy above, now watch it abused.

 

​In my experience, here are three common scenarios.

1) The person has no documentation, like this guy here.

2) A customer purchased the product. They give, use or often find a receipt often thrown out in the rubbish bin by the purchaser. Now someone comes into the stop with the receipt. They take the same product from the shelf and then request a refund.

For this reason, receipts should always be put in the packaging of the purchased item.

3) People fake your receipts to return stolen goods for cash refunds. It is easy to do with a smart camera and some image editing software.

To stop this you need

a) A good return policy

b) A POS System that can track sales. Always look up the item sale into the POS System to verify the original sale.

c) You need a good security camera.

 

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POS SOFTWARE

Protecting your information in most retail shops is hard. This is as generally, many people in your business have access to your system. We used to set up all our clients with a secret VeraCrypt drive to get over this problem. No-one can read that drive unless they have the password. To get your information, they need your password to log into your VeraCrypt program. This makes your information secure on an open network. 

This is one of the best and trusted encryption software for Windows. 

You can get a copy of the software here.

For an explanation on how to use it and set it up, look here.

If you are going to use it, here are some tips.

1) Never use AES+SHA-512. There are many other options, so select something else. This is because if someone is trying to break into your system, they will assume you are using it.

2) Do a complete shutdown when you finish with Veracrypt. You can do this by hold down the SHIFT key on your keyboard and then click the "Shut down" option in the Start Menu. This is because your password is in RAM, and the hibernation file 

3) Use a new password and make it long. Almost all cracked systems are because someone knows or guesses your password, e.g. your child's birth date. 

4)  Make a "Hidden VeraCrypt volume" for your sensitive information. 

Doing this is another advantage too if your computers are lost or stolen, no one can read your private information.


Enjoy your privacy.

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POS SOFTWARE

Your Retail Protective Key Performance Indicators can show you what your people at the point of sale terminal are doing. It is a security check.

By far, the most critical indicator is the number of voids. 

Now I will take you through it. 


Go to cash register reports. (see orange arrow)



Now select Staff and click on "Sales security indicators" (see blue arrow)

Please select the required period you wish; most do it monthly, so pick this month.

Now, this report comes out with lots of indicators.

Check the individual to the collective.  What you are looking for is some indicator that is way different without a good reason.

I find it useful to rerun it with the same dates last year and then for the previous month and check against this month.

With COVID and the increase in electronic money usage, I am sure that the theft rate on cash is up. A thief will tend to take the same amount, but the pool of cash is less.

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POS SOFTWARE

I was talking to this woman, in a lotto shop, normally security is a minor issue to them, the centre has security guards and is full of people as it is always busy. Now they are holding out but where are the security and they are worried about it?

New times bring changes and new problems. One of them is you need to be proactively thinking about preventative security measures. Robberies, shoplifting etc are still happening.

Remember thieves today have fewer targets and most retailers have less staff. This is not a good combination.

You need proper procedures when opening and closing the shop as these are the most dangerous times in retail security.

Reduce cash levels in the shop, more banking, more EFTPOS, etc 

Clear visibility in and out of the shop

Cameras are now more important than ever before.

 

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POS SOFTWARE

This cannot be stressed too much.

In a retail business, every person in your point of sale Software should have a unique login and that they must make them make use of it. Do not allow several people to share the same login otherwise, it can be impossible to track and investigate what happened.

What you will find is that if your staff know that they are being audited, it will reduce the risk to you and your customers.

 

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POS SOFTWARE

The problem is monitoring the security camera in shops. Something like this could warn you that a suspicious person has come into the shop or that someone has done something questionable. 

Under Beta, it has detected some shoplifters in a Japanese convenience store.

I can see such technology having a dramatic effect on reducing shoplifting.  As it uses face recognition, a shop keeper that knew from his tapes that this person is a known trouble maker could get a warning that this person is in the shop.  It would also serve shop keepers to sell more as by using face recognition it knows the average spend amount, the number of visits, and frequently purchased items. It could give the shop keeper, the name of many of their clients too. 

What we are discussing is that our optical people counting system can already do much of this, if anyone is interested and using or thinking about our optical people counting system we could *NOW* do something like this! 

If we get enough interest, why we could do something like this too! 

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POS SOFTWARE

 In Australia, retail theft is probably now the biggest crime. The figures quoted tend to be between 1 and 3%.

What makes it worse in our market space most of our clients are working on slim margins.

The kicker is that most of this theft is internal. 

Ignorance is not bliss here.

I can tell you stories of what I have seen of retailers in tears when they discover their most trusted employees, caught stealing from them. "We went to school together?" "We went on holidays together for years?"  "She is my sister?" etc. 

There is much you can do. I feel that the best approach is to set up proper procedures and check everything.

Here is a start in your system, we have a unique security system which monitors what people operating your point of sale are using.

These indicators give you a detailed breakdown for each operator, statistics on such things as their usage of no sale, voids, count, totals, refunds, negative items and discounts they are doing. Pay particular attention to any unusually large numbers in specific voids.

To run it, go to cash register reports. (see orange arrow)



Then select Staff and click on "Sales security indicators" (see blue arrow)


Select the required period, you wish; I recommend doing it monthly.

What you are looking for is that most thieves have a method which works for them, they become a creature of habit, and as such with these people, one indicator is generally up.

So what you are looking for is someone who has one very high item so what I suggest you do in the Adhoc reporting is ask your report to divide the Item_Void_Total and the Refund_Total by the total number of transactions the person has done. Now compare those figures to the average that everyone's else has done. Anything significantly upon that average figure might mean something. Also, another point to look for is that generally with an operator no-sales and voids tend to be linked, a high no-sales result tends to go with high voids and vice versa, but if one is high and the other is low, it's worth investigating. This is shown nicely on the graph, which you can also get the Adhoc report to make. 

Of course, you do not end here.

 

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POS SOFTWARE

The mere presence of you having a correct security procedures system often deters theft. If a staff member sees cameras, if they see proper procedures in the POS software, then there is less likely to be trouble. It is essential that you do take retail loss prevention seriously.

I have, over the years, become very cynical about this issue. Too many retailers have told me stories which starts "He was in school with me... his family and my family....he was very good, my best employee ... and ends that he had been skimming my cash register for years.

Face it if an employee sees that you won’t care about a discrepancy of a few dollars in the cash drawer, some will note this and take advantage of this. If they see a third-party your POS Software monitoring this, it will give them something to think.

One of the clients to pick up almost $13,000 a year in extra revenue when a computer system was upgraded by simply running separate tills for every staff member and introducing a policy of counting each cash drawers after each shift.

 

Now it is straightforward to set up in our system. 

Firstly in the section "Staff maintenance", there is a section "Security Level."

 

Now the defaults are there which we have set up designed to work for 90% of the shops. However, like everything, each shop is different and what works in 90% of cases often does not work with your shop so you can fine-tune it for your situation.

There are heaps as you can see options here.

Set them up for you. Now enforce them.

Now make sure you have cameras facing the tills.

Security in retail is often treated as a joke, but it does not have to be and should not be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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