Blog Posts

Minor Changes That Make a Difference

 

Minor Changes That Make a Difference

So you’ve had your new system for a while, and everything seems to be going along pretty well. You have noticed, however, that there are a few minor changes that you would like to make, but are unsure about how to go about making those changes.

Perhaps you would like your receipts to contain more information about your return policy or your product descriptions to be expanded. Maybe your labels are printing incorrectly, or your employees have not mastered how to change passwords.

Do you need a report, but don’t know how to go about setting it up? Do you have a new user and need help adding this person into your system? Maybe you need to purge files to speed up your system.

Don’t put off fixing those little ongoing issues that can make your business run more smoothly when properly addressed. We can help you with all of these things and much more! Call us today at 425-672-4806 or email us at support.

Marlene

Signs Your System Has Been Compromised

Signs Your System Has Been Compromised

Users need to be on the alert for signs that your system has been compromised. Let us look at some of the signs. One that often occurs is that icons on the desktop have been moved, or new icons have appeared. If new icons have appeared, and no software has been installed, as far as is known, it is a red flag that the system has been compromised.

Hackers will often install new software when they gain access to a system, to give them further control, or the ability to gather additional information from the system. Most times, there is no obvious trace of this additional software, but many times they are sloppy, and those surprising new icons are an indication.

Icons being moved is often also an indication. This is often due to the hacker going through and clearing those new icons. However, those icons moved some of your old icons when they were installed, and the hacker does not know exactly where the old icons were on the desktop. Or, the icons were subsequently auto-arranged, and are thus not in the location on the desktop that users had moved them to.

Another big indicator is that your system suddenly slows down. The screen may lag when you are typing, or processes that used to take a second or two, now take many seconds, to even minutes. This is due to the system having an increased load, due to the additional software that has been installed, and what it is doing to steal information or use the computing power for other nefarious activity, such as cryptocurrency mining. Cryptocurrency mining is using computing power to unlock cyber currency, such as Bitcoin. This takes a great deal of computing power, cybercriminals are farming this activity out to compromised systems, rather than using their own.

Basically, be alert to any change in the way that your system looks, or responds. While it may be due to legitimate changes, often it is a sign that unwanted people have gained access to your system.

CCS provides IDS products.  Contact our Sales Department to discuss the right solution for your operations.

Dave.

Backup, Backup, Backup – Do you have a backup plan?

Backup, Backup, Backup – Do you have a backup plan?

Backups are just as important as any other task related to your business.

Do you know what you would do if your Server crashed and will not boot backup? Do you know how long it will take to be back up and running?

Having a good backup could make this stressful event seem like a “glitch in the matrix”

When CCS sets up your Counterpoint software, we also setup an internal backup of your database. Although this is a backup, it is not a failsafe against a disaster. These backups allow CCS (or your support team) to get Counterpoint back up and running quickly. But what it does not do, is get your Server backup and running. These backups are stored on the hard drive of your system, and if the hard drive is not recoverable, either are your backups. That is why it is a good idea to have full system backups to another device like an external hard drive or even an offsite or cloud service to help with a quick recovery.

CCS has recently been testing a cloud backup service called MSP Backup. It allows for full system backups as well a disaster recovery tools like Bare Metal Recovery, which helps with the restoration of full systems to brand new hard drives.

It also allows for granular recovery of specific files that may have been accidentally deleted or infected.

MSP Backups allow for you, the customer to also manage and start a backup at any time (although not always advisable), restore from a previous backup, download a full backup to keep safe and many other tools and reporting features.

If you are interested in setting up a backup plan, talking about backups or just to see what is available for your system, give the CCS Retail Systems Team a call or email us at support

-Bryan

Monitoring your NCR Secure Pay activity.

Monitoring your NCR Secure Pay activity.

By, default, when one signs-up for the NCR Secure Pay Service, the notification email address that you provided will be used to automatically notify you of the success or failure of your regularly scheduled overnight credit card settlements.  You can also access the NCR Secure Pay Portal in order to check on the real-time open activity as well as the settlement history 24/7/365 from any location that allows you access to the Internet access.

Site access will require the link information, the NCR Secure Pay User ID and the required password to access the site. This Portal location information was provided in your original NCR Secure Pay sign-up email, however, if you no longer have this access information, please contact CCS.  The site has a built-in access limitation that will temporarily disable your login account if more than (3) three failed back-to-back failed access attempts have been made.

Currently, NCR Secure Pay keeps detailed Settlement History online on their servers for 2 years, after which time the site automatically purges the older data. You can also extract transaction detail to an ASCII CSV file for use in importing into other products such as MS Excel.

In the set-up and configuration area, the site allows you to change both the settlement status email address and time of day that the auto-settlement happens. Additionally, detailed information about your current merchant information and configuration, and options will be displayed.

If you have any question regarding NCR Secure Pay or need assistance with accessing the NCR Secure Pay Portal, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department.

– John

Calling for Support

Calling for Support

Having something go wrong with your system or software is often a stressful problem that costs you time, money, and physical distress. When you need our help, our aim is to give you fast, accurate, and worry-free assistance. We do, however, need a little help from you when you call in for support.

We know that your “hair is on fire”, but it helps us serve you better if you have, at hand, the information we need to get rolling:

  • Your name, and who to contact if a return call is needed.
  • Your company name.
  • Your telephone number and extension, if it is required. Remember that in today’s world, people call from landlines and cell phones, and from many different extension numbers! You may think our tech has your number already, but it may not be the one you’re using now.
  • The location of the store(s) having the problem (many of our customers have multiple stores).
  • A brief explanation of the issue. From this, we can determine who is available and can best handle the problem that you’re encountering. It helps if you can relate what task you were doing when the problem began.

Remember, when speed is essential in getting your problem addressed, it helps to have the necessary information gathered before you call for support!

Marlene

NCR Silver Cloud-based POS Solution

Supercharge Your Business with a Total NCR Silver Bundle Solution 

This bundle combines all the software and hardware you need – in a monthly fee, with no money down* – and will save you up to 20 percent. 

What Features are Available with NCR Silver?

NCR Silver is a complete POS system that can improve customer retention, manage your business, and help you grow

Inventory management

Know which items are selling, and which ones aren’t, to make informed decisions.

Employee management

Assign roles and track employee time with clock-in/clock-out functionality.

Consolidated reporting

Track sales and cash — for all locations — from anywhere, thanks to the cloud.

You’ve Got People

24/7 support + Silver Concierge = an entire team at your disposal

NCR Silver chat on an iPhone.
  • Unlike other POS providers, you’ll get LIVE support — every day of the week, any hour of the day.
  • Save time by letting your Silver Concierge team maintain your menus every month.
  • Experience peace of mind knowing that select hardware is supported if something goes wrong.
  • Get your back office up quicker by letting a Silver Concierge agent set it up for you.
  • Attend ongoing training sessions on new features.
  • Reach an agent by phone, email, chat or text.

NCR Silver EMV: A Chip off the New Block

EMV chip technology from NCR Silver is a cut above

When you opt for NCR Silver EMV, you can choose just about any card processor you want. In addition, NCR Silver chip readers and EMV stands are built to withstand the rigors of your restaurant, mobile environment or shop.  If that isn’t enough, you’ll also have more than 130 years of NCR financial technology know-how in your corner.

Learn More

EMV chip card reader with stand.

Have More Questions About NCR Silver?

Choosing the right POS system can be a challenge. We hope the decision is made easier with these FAQs

  • What devices does NCR Silver work with?

    NCR Silver apps work on Apple iOS 8.0 mobile devices, Apple iOS 9.0 mobile devices and the NCR Silver Quantum.

  • What’s included in my NCR Silver subscription?

    Your app, 24/7 LIVE customer support, the award-winning Silver Concierge service, regular software updates, integrated loyalty, email marketing, inventory management and more.

  • What third-party software works with NCR Silver?

    We’re constantly working with the best software providers — from accounting to mobile payments — to offer your small business or franchise an all-in-one experience. To name just a few: Xero, PassMarket, Paychex, LevelUp.

  • What is Silver Console?

    Silver Console, formerly known as CimpleBox, is an NCR-owned add-on service that offers advanced reporting and management features in one time-saving dashboard. It is fully integrated with NCR Silver.

  Silver Special Promotion For 2018.  Act NOW! 

 

CCS Retail Systems
Your Bridge With Technology  

Contact CCS Retail Sales …

 

Cost Saving Measures at the Point of Sale

Cost Saving Measures at the Point of Sale

Many retailers often focus on various cost-saving measures in their stores that could actually end up doing the opposite, generating increased costs instead of savings.

For many brick and mortar retailers, Internet competition is eating away at both market share and profit margins, as many businesses are looking for ways to reduce overall operating costs. Just one way that this is being done by many retailers is to cut down on material overhead at Point of Sale.

To accomplish part of this, one simple thing that some Retailers have resorted to is not printing or giving out receipts to customers unless they ask for one. For many of these business owners, the most often used logic for allowing this could be any or all of the following:

  • I’ll same money on receipt paper.
  • There will be less wear and tear on my printers, so they will last longer.
  • If I don’t hand out receipts, I can get more people through the registers faster.
  • If people don’t have receipts, they can’t return items. So fewer returns equate to savings.

Some of the unintended consequences of this can be:

Theft at the Till – For cash transactions, employees may not ring up the sale, and subsequently bag the items and pocket cash at the register. This is especially critical risk area in businesses that do a lot of cash transactions.

Irate customers – If the stores return policy states that you must have a receipt, and the customer was never given one, they may be angered when they find out that they can’t return the item. So this could end up actually costing you, customers. This is one such reason why I personally ask for a receipt forever purchase that I make.

Customers being erroneously charged with theft – I know of multiple situations involving Credit Card transactions where the clerk printed a receipt and charge draft for the customer to sign, but never gave the customer a copy of the receipt. Later that, the customer was forcibly detained for shoplifting by store security, and held for several hours while being berated by the security people, and is continually being threatened with arrest for theft for something that they had legitimately paid for. However, these customers were later vindicated when the security personnel reviewed the store’s video surveillance footage. The video clearly shows the customer paying for the transaction. as well as the failure of the clerk to give the customer a receipt. This scenario’s later involved the customer taking legal action to sue the store for violating their rights. The end result was a lot of legal fees and undisclosed out-of-court settlements, plus the loss of a long time, loyal customers.

Shrinkage/Inventory Control Issues– Items bagged for customers that were never rung up in the register. In these cases, the customer leaves with merchandise for which they were never charged. Since there is no paper receipt to verify what is in the bag, the customer could also end up walking out without some of what they legitimately purchased.

You got my order wrong – This I really common in the restaurant and fast food arena. You order something very specific, and you get something completely different than what you ordered. In most cases, the customer has a receipt ends the debate over what was actually ordered.

If you would like assistance in reviewing your existing Point of Sale register procedures, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department.

– John

Passport Version 12.06 Update for July 2018

Passport Business Solutions
Passport Business Solutions

Passport Version 12.06 Update

With the release of PBS 12.06, Passport completes a major infrastructure project on field expansions begun with the version 12.05 release. Enhancements for PBS 12.06 will include:

  • Expanded field sizes for both the name and addresses in Customer, Ship-to, and Contact files.
  • Field expansions in A/R, O/E, POS and Customer Order Processing in PBS Manufacturing.
  • Professional Time & Billing fields expanded.
  • PO # expanded to 30 characters to accommodate Amazon, etc.
  • Approximately 12-14 Accounts Payable SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) reports have been created
  • Three new SSRS reports have been created to replace the previous standard reports for wholesale distributors.
  • Passport 12.06 includes a new runtime, version 10.2, so a fresh install will be required and the use of EZ Convert is required to migrate your existing data to the new format.

Currently, version 12.06 is being thoroughly beta tested in-house at Passport. A Limited release will begin mid-July, 2018 with general release anticipated to be available at the end of July 2018

Please consult the CCS Support department if you have any questions on the above release.

– John

The threat of Attack on Point-Of-Sale (POS) systems

The threat of Attack on Point-Of-Sale (POS) systems

In the retail world, the threat of attack on Point-Of-Sale (POS) systems is always high, as they are a prime target for the bad actors trying to get credit card information. There is always new malware being created to try to get that information. There are, however, steps that can be taken to reduce the risk, even with regards to the latest attack software.

The best thing that you can do is to isolate your servers and workstations as much as possible. In an ideal world, these would be completely isolated, and not interact with any other systems. The reality is that this is very rarely the case. With that in mind, let’s look at some things that can be done.

The first step is to make sure that your firewall is as restrictive as possible. Your POS workstations and server if needed should only be restricted to accessing what is absolutely needed. In most cases, this is only your credit card processor. In no case, should your firewall allow either the workstations or the server, unrestricted access to the internet? The firewall will eliminate the chance for drive-by downloads, or users browsing to malicious sites.

Along those lines, any computers that are used for general internet browsing, and also email, should be on a separate network. If it is not possible to implement workstations on a separate physical network, at least use a different logical network as in a different network address range. Even just the different logical network, will stop the majority of malware infections.

If remote access is needed, and it should be restricted to those cases where it truly is needed such as your support company, then it should be restricted to only those addresses that have a legitimate reason to connect. Also, any such connections should be closely monitored. One such method is to disable the remote access software, and only enable it when your support personnel is actively connecting. Of course, it is again disabled as soon as they are finished.

Those cover the basics of securing your POS system. It is a good place to start, but it is only a start. Keeping software updated, training personnel, and keeping vigilant are always key components, also.

Dave

Quick Chip

Quick Chip.

NCR Counterpoint now supports “Quick Chip”!

What is Quick Chip?

Quick Chip for EMV allows customers to insert (dip) and remove their EMV chip card at checkout in about 2 seconds. They can even do so before the transaction is complete. This is similar to the “Swipe Any Time” feature in NCR Counterpoint.

Quick Chip is also meant to help the payment industry’s transition to EMV chip.

In order to use Quick Chip with NCR Counterpoint, you will need to be running version 8.5.4.1, have an Ingenico ISC250 payment terminal with the required firmware version, and an account setup and configured with NCR Secure Pay.

So if you are already processing EMV chip cards through your NCR Counterpoint software, all that should need to be done is update your software to 8.5.4.1 and update your payment terminal to the required firmware.

With the update to 8.5.4.1, you will also be able to accept Pin Debit transactions using the EMV technology as well. There are some processor specific restrictions for Pin Debit, so be sure to ask CCS about your current configuration.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department at 800.672.4806 or email us at support.

-Bryan