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

Staying Current on Your NCR Counterpoint Software

Staying Current on Your NCR Counterpoint Software.

With all the changes to security and PCI Compliance, it is a good idea to be and stay current on your NCR Counterpoint software. One example of why has just came to light recently.

To be PCI Compliant, the gateway which helps you process credit card transactions is being updated to support the latest encryption technology. With that update, your NCT Counterpoint software will also need to be updated. Not all version will be updated, but the latest version is almost always updated with a small patch or Service Pack which take only a few minutes to install. The older version of NCR Counterpoint (except two versions) will not be updated and will need to be brought up to a currently supported version of the software.

If you are running an older version of Counterpoint, there are a few things to consider. The first is to find out if your hardware and operation system will support both the updated version of Counterpoint and the new encryption technology being implemented. Second is time. Depending on what your current version is, the time it takes to upgrade can vary from 30 minutes to a few hours depending on how many workstations you have, how big of a jump from version to version you are going, and when you will be able to get the work done.

Although it is not always recommended to be on bleeding edge of technology, being somewhat current will save you time (and in return, money) on your next update.

-Bryan

Signature Capture Devices

 

 

Signature Capture Devices.

Would you like to have your customers signature show up on Invoices and Order printouts?

There are a couple devices that can be used to do this.

One is the Ingenico ISC250 Pin Pad, it combines a signature capture device, along with a Pin Pad and MSR for processing credit/debit card payments. It will capture the customers signature, which can then be used to print on receipts, invoice and order forms and also be looked up in ticket history without printing.

There is also the Topaz signature capture device. It will only capture the customer signature that can then be printed on receipts, invoices, and order forms.

The signature will not automatically print on the forms with these devices and will need to be added to the form of your choice.

The Topaz is a useful device if you are processing payments outside of Counterpoint (i.e. Standalone Credit Card Terminal), or would still like to capture signatures for A/R charge type sales/returns or any transaction that you set as requiring a signature.

There is a little setup required, and there are specific device models that can be used, so if you are interested, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support or Sales Department at 800.672.4806 for help determining the right model for your system.

-Bryan

Physical Count Procedures and Equipment

Distribution Systems

Physical Count Procedures and Equipment

It’s that time of year again, Physical Count Time, and having the right equipment will help with quick and accurate counts.

CCS used to advise using an Optimus SP5500 PDT to do counts. It is simple, quick, and easy to use. Unfortunately, it has been discontinued and although there are still a few out there, they are getting harder to find.

CCS has been testing many different devices and have finally found one that is even easier to use. It is the AML LDX 10. There are many features that can be used that the Optimus did not have.

For example, with the AML device, it can be programmed to only allow keypad entry only for quantities, which eliminates barcodes scanned in as quantities, the user interface is easier to read and bigger and brighter.

It runs a compact version of the Windows OS, so it will also be more familiar looking to your users. It also has a touchscreen interface with bigger buttons for ease of use.

It also has a programmable barcode scanner and is USB connected for easy installation. Downloading of the information is also much more user-friendly and intuitive and multiple files can be saved for downloading all at once or one at a time.

Reviewing your work is also much easier and intuitive with on-screen directions and buttons for deleting and editing.

If you are ready to get your Physical Counts done quickly, contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department at 800.672.4806 or email us for pricing. We also have units available to rent with advanced notice.

-Bryan

Customizing CPSQL

Customizing CPSQL

I recently had a user ask me to notify NCR that a certain field in the customer table should be added as a search field because of how technology is advancing.

When this Counterpoint user added customers to their system, they were using the customer’s landline phone number as the customer account number.  Fortunately, in Counterpoint besides having a landline phone number field there is a mobile phone number field.

With more people choosing to not have a landline anymore, this user wanted to use the mobile phone number as a lookup field and wanted to give their mobile technicians an easier way to look up their customers when away from the office.

This can be accomplished easily in NCR Counterpoint by adding the mobile phone number field as a “keyword” to be used during lookups. As a matter of fact, just about any field can be set as a keyword field to be used for lookups.  Keywords can also be configured for item lookups, ticket history lookups, and most other table/field combination you need.

If you are not familiar with using some of the more advanced features of NCR Counterpoint, give the CCS Retail Systems Support department a call at 800.672.4806 or email us to help you make lookups more useful for you and your crew.

-Bryan

Windows Domain Networking

Windows Domain Networking

I have recently run into a few customers network domain issues.  When their Internet goes down so does the customers’ ability to run some of their software.

The reason for this is they have set up a Windows Domain controller node. You would think that this should not make that much of a difference but how you set this up can make all the difference.

There are pros and cons to Windows Domain.  If you are thinking about setting up your network in this way, you should weigh both the positives and negatives before you implement.

Here an example scenario.

There are 3 stores in a Domain.  The Domain Controller is located offsite at corporate headquarters. All stores have a connection to headquarters via the Internet and VPN.

As long as there is an Internet connection networking is functional.  When the Internet goes down, at either the stores or at corporate, the networking problems start.

A Windows Domain requires managing user accounts, Windows Updates, security and permissions to be centralized.  Being centralized, you can add, update, disable many different settings from one Server instead of going to each workstation to make these changes.  In medium and large companies can be a big time saver. That’s one of the pros of having a Windows Domain.  The big con in this scenario is, if the Internet goes down, the workstations now cannot authenticate to log in or resolve hostnames resulting in cascading issues. One of the biggest issues is that the workstations no longer have a way to “find” your application server on the network, so the software will not run.

There are a few different ways to approach resolving the issues mentioned above.   When your connection to your Domain Controller (or Internet) is lost, you will still be able to do business and get your customers through the checkout line.

If you are thinking of setting up a Windows Domain, or are already set up in a Domain, contact the CCS Support Department to help with setting up a fallback resolution when your Domain Controller (or Internet) is inaccessible.

-Bryan

XR7 And XR5 Terminals

 XR7 And XR5 Terminals

Ready for a sleek new look to your retail cash wrap? Look no further, The NCR XR7 and XR5 Terminals are here!

Here are some of the features of the XR7

The NCR RealPOS XR7’s sleek, modern appearance—with its slim profile, zero-bezel design, and elegant styling—sets it apart from other point-of-sale solutions. Powered by 4th-generation Intel® Core™ processor technology, the NCR RealPOS XR7 delivers amazing performance and future-proofs your investment. On-board “odometers” capture vital health and usage statistics to help us keep you up and running.

The NCR RealPOS XR7with its rugged die-cast aluminum chassis, long-life LED display, projected-capacitive or resistive touchscreen, and enterprise class solid state drive (SSD) or hard disk drive (HDD), the RealPOS XR7 is built to last. Our comprehensive environmental and compatibility testing, along with stringent manufacturing standards, ensure years of dependable operation.

The NCR RealPOS XR7 represents the latest evolution of NCR’s design and usability thinking around point-of-sale terminals. The product form, materials and user interface builds on over a century of knowledge and global experience. The result is a culmination of design, functionality, and quality that goes beyond any point-of-sale solution in the market.

The XR7 comes Pre-loaded with Windows 7 Pro or Windows 7 Embedded (64-bit)

Here are the XR5 Features

The NCR RealPOS™ XR5 is powered by the latest Quad core Intel® Celeron® processor-based system-on-chip (SoC) technology to give you high energy efficiency, lower operating temperature, and uncompromised performance. This means lower power cost and higher reliability. The associate display provides support to boost associate productivity and lets them interact in a way that is familiar to them.

Like our NCR RealPOS XR7, the XR5 was With its rugged die-cast aluminum chassis, long life LED display, resistive touchscreen, fan-less design, solid state drive, and long life components, the RealPOS XR5 will provide years of reliable operation.

The XR5 comes pre-loaded with Windows 10 (64-bit)

Both terminals were designed to offer the sophisticated elegance of the latest consumer technology, but with the robustness and reliability of industrial grade, purpose built POS technology – giving you the best of both worlds.

Both terminals also offer built-in encrypted card swipes (P2Pe) to further enhance the security of your environment. Along with NCR Secure Pay payment gateway, your customers data is safe and secure.

For more specs and information, please contact the CCS Retail Systems sales department at sales

-Bryan

 

 

Are You Ready For EMV Security?

 

Are You Ready For EMV Security?

Before you start taking chip cards (EMV) with your NCR Counterpoint System there are a few thing that need to be done.

  • First, you must be on at least NCR Counterpoint version 8.4.6.18, although this version of the software will work with EMV, it is recommended that you upgrade to the latest version of 8.5.3 so you may benefit from any fixes and new features.
  • With 8.5.3 in mind, it is also necessary that your operating system is at least Windows 7, as of 8.5.2, Windows 10 is supported. Windows 7 and above support the latest encryption protocols to help keep your data safe. Windows XP does not have these updated protocols and will not be updated by Microsoft to include them.
  • If you are already taking credit cards but have not updated to NCR Secure Pay, that will need to be done as well. With NCR Secure Pay, it will protect you and your customers data as it is no longer kept on your system and is tokenized to further protect the data. You may also need to update your merchant account to support NCR Secure pay. CCS can work with you and your merchant services rep to get your account ready for NCR Secure Pay and EMV processing.
  • You must be using an Ingenico ISC250 Pin Pad that has the correct version of firmware to work with your software AND NCR Secure Pay EMV processing. Firmware will vary depending on NCR Counterpoint version. CCS can help find your current firmware version and update (if necessary) to the correct version.
  • Pay codes (Touchscreen and Regular ticket entry) – the following pay codes must exist and be assigned to the store setup (but do not necessarily need a button) VISA, MC (or MasterCard), DISC (or Discover), AMEX (or American Express). Also there must be an EMV pay code button to activate the chip reader when processing a chip card. Note – If a card has a chip, it must be inserted into the reader, if a card does not have a chip it may be swiped just like before. In the case of a chip that will not read, a Manual EMV button can be setup to allow the customer to manually type in their card information securely through the Pin Pad.
  • Once the above has been complete, CCS can test the setup in a test environment to be sure that all settings both on the bank and the software side are correct. Once confirmed working, CCS can setup a time to implement and go through a test transaction so you can see the flow of an EMV chip card transaction.

If you need help with any of the above, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department @ 800.672.4806 or send us an email to get you started on your way to EMV processing

-Bryan

Be Proactive On System Problems

 

Be Proactive On System Problems

Are you experiencing an issue with your software? If so, don’t let it fester and create frustration for you or your team.

CCS Retail Systems is here to help, if you do not report your problems, they cannot get fixed.

I recently was speaking to a customer about a slow system, as we were going over some of the basic troubleshooting questions, the customer brought up another issue and was explaining how they were resolving it over the last few days.

If CCS was informed of the issue sooner, it would have been resolved in a matter of minutes. Now I understand, everyone is busy, sometimes calling right away is impossible or impractical, but reporting an issue in a timely matter will make those impossible times far less likely because the issue will be resolved, which will free your time up for more important matters.

When reporting issues, the more detail you can give, the better. Some of the basic information we can use is

  • Date and time the issue occurred – This information helps with looking at all the information log files keep and help narrow down issue to a few lines instead of hundreds (or thousands)
  • Were there any error or other messages presented to you – Try and get the exact and entire message, using your phones camera or taking a screenshot can be used. This also helps with log files in the same way as the date and time as well as where to look in the software.
  • What Screen were you in – Examples would be Ticket Screen or Purchase Request
  • What user and workstation received the message. – An example would be John was using the backoffice PC
  • Any information that may be helpful – For example there may have been network issue, we had a power outage, Internet was down.
  • Do you notice any pattern – An example would be, every time I click on the “Go” button an error comes up.

So, If you cannot call right away, the best thing to do is to jot down the information so when you can call you are ready for the any questions we may ask.

A good example of the above may look like this.

On 9/18/17 at 3:30PM John was receiving a “Not On File” error on the backoffice workstation every time he clicked on the Save button in the Inventory/Items screen. We were having power issues earlier in the day and the Internet went down twice.

With the above information, CCS has a good starting point at where to look to resolve the issue quickly.

You can call CCS directly at 800.672.4806 or email us.

-Bryan

Migrating To NCR CPSQL

So you have decided to update your V7 Counterpoint to CPSQL. CCS Retail Systems is here to help!

One of the first steps to a successful update, is to make sure CCS has all the data from your current version.

We will usually ask for a complete backup of your entire V7 Counterpoint installation. This can be from a tape backup, a USB flash drive, or even a copy of the installation directory to a Dropbox or Google Drive account.

Once we have the backup, we can start with a test upgrade that will give us a more complete picture of how much time it will take when the final cutoff date is agreed upon.

The test upgrade is an important part of the upgrade process. Not only does it give us a complete picture of what it will take to get you upgraded efficiently, it will also allow you to review the data and test your equipment and infrastructure.

For example, let’s say you have older receipt printer, this is the time to test them out to be sure your receipts look professional, your cash drawer opens, and the performance of this equipment is optimal for your business.

This is also the time to put the new system through its paces to iron out the little tweaks and changes that may need to be made so when the final upgrade is complete, we have all the settings that were made in the test to transfer over to your live database so you are ready to go on your first Live day of use. When I say “put the new system through its paces”, I mean do everything you would do in a normal day. Put a few tickets in the system, if you use orders, put a few of those in as well, test your printers, all of them, print/review the different reports offered, create a PO and receive it, add a new item, new user, new category. I think you get picture. Test, test and test some more until you are satisfied that everything is working as expected.

In the many upgrades that CCS has done, I find that the more people test the different function of CPSQL, the more the learning curve lessens, less issues with hardware and everything is in place for happy customers and a successful first day using the new system.

Are you planning on updating your V7 Counterpoint to CPSQL?

CCS has done many migrations to CPSQL, it is not an easy tasks and requires a significant amount of time to properly upgrade.

If CCS Retail Systems is helping you with your upgrade, we have plans in place to help make the process easier for you.

Part of our plan is to do a test upgrade and let you (our customers) see the end result and check that the all data that has been upgraded is there and settings are set for the way you do business.

This test upgrade is the time when you should test every part of your business in the new software, to be sure work the way you expect.

This would also include testing your hardware and your environment to be sure all your devices, network, and report printers will work.

Bryan