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Go Green: Ticket desmaterialisation

SGAIM launches a dematerialisation service for receipts, vouchers and tickets under its ‘Go Green’ concept.

Concept:

SGAIM began working on the electronic receipt in 2004; however, as of today, we can see that there are thousands of tonnes of paper receipts generated by the POS printers for food and non-food items from several retailers and supermarkets. Just one example of paper consumption; 450,000 tickets are equivalent to 135 kilometres of rolled paper. This estimation is equivalent to 20% of the receipts sent by a retailer in one year in France; no further calculations are needed on paper savings and the need to support the sustainability targets set by the EU and the global community.

The efforts made by a number of governments should be appreciated, in France for example there will be no printed ticket worth less than 10 Euros and more of these measures will be put in place to contain paper waste. If instead of printing purchase tickets, we send them by email or SMS, not only will paper consumption be reduced, benefiting the environment, but it also provides other benefits, such as finding the right products after the sale, integration with the CRM to get a real time indication of customers’ buying habits, and the most surprising benefit is customer satisfaction, as they have a better chance of returning their defective goods as they never lose a receipt. That said, to assimilate POS printers of all types that have their own POS controllers, different operating systems and devices, several payment gateways already integrated with the POS system required a thorough analysis of the business rules, including technical viability analysis.

Scope:

This article will present a generic analysis of limitations, restrictions, assumptions, objectives, strength, general application scheme; which is compatible with a broad technical scheme. For a quick view, you can watch the video here.

Constraints:

We perceive the solution set up in all legacy systems: proprietary POS system that includes different operating systems (Windows, Linux and Android), networks, computers and printers. However, hardware and software upgrade can be done if it is economically viable and ecologically sustainable in the long term.

Restrictions:

The following are the generic restrictions of the solution we have considered:

  1. The solution must support receipts in different languages in different countries.
  2. The solution must be compatible with all POS systems (traditional and self-service) and printers.
  3. All POS systems are supposed to operate behind a firewall and to connect to the Internet, the IP address must be validated by the firewall.
  4. Receipts are printed automatically if paid by payment gateway (either credit card, debit card or any loyalty card) and by keystrokes on the keyboard if paid by cash.
  5. The solution should consider compatibility with future self-care applications implemented on mobile phones and tablets.
  6. By law, tax receipts must be printed in some countries.

Assumptions:

We also assume the following, but not limited to:

  1. Retailers will provide API access to data on loyalty membership cards (L-Cards).
  2. The reception data depends on the POS software/printer API (subject to availability) and its responsibility to SGAIM.
  3. The team of experts from the retailers in the country and the corporate team (if they are separated from the country team) will cooperate and help while implementing the solutions.
  4. The retailer will provide the CRM API credentials (if applicable) for the integration.
  5. SGAIM’s engineers will provide assistance by email, video calls, remote desktop and, in exceptional cases, will travel to the countries at a mutually agreed cost in each case.

Objetives:

We consider the following general objectives to be subject to customisation, as we currently offer integration with Salesforce CRM but with JSON / XML, we can integrate with any CRM.

  1. The solution must be able to send receipts to the customer’s mobile or email as a link or attachment in real time (currently invoices are printed in seconds) in order to facilitate the return of goods (non-food items).
  2. The solution should be able to re-register “ghost” customers or register new customers through a URL link using a printed barcode / QR or by sending an email / sms / whatsapp link.
  3. The solution should be able to integrate with all types of CRM.
  4. The solution must include the storage facility (we offer 6 months of free storage and after this period of time, the amount will be insignificant).
  5. The solution must include KPI tracking, which includes, among others, paper consumption, storage consumption, savings on electronic receipts, etc.
  6. The solution should be able to do the same (email and SMS) with gift vouchers, credit card bills, customer invoices (B2B, B2C).

Strength:

  1. SGAIM has over thirty years’ experience in document archiving, digitalisation, cognitive computing, OCR services, identity validation and authentication via ID card, passport (MRP and e-passport), processing of printed and electronic receipts in different languages, email, SMS, Whatsapp, Viber , Telegram, Line; social network links, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, notifications and acceptance, time stamping with block chain technology, AWS S3 bucket and immutable QLDB services.
  2. Our partners use our API by connecting various cloud-based services, e.g. Salesforce, SAP, etc.
  3. We are one of the first companies in Spain to suggest the e-coupon solution in 2004 to meet the UN’s sustainable goals.
  4. We have extensive experience through the services we provide to our clients to extract data from printers (LPT, COM) which contributed greatly to the development of our own solution for ESC / POS printers.
  5. We have our SaaS based customers who adopt our turnkey solutions with their CRM and ERP.
  6. We adopt the Agile / Kanban / DevOps methodology for software development depending on the customer’s need.

General Application Specification

SGAIM returned a customised solution based on the above limitation; limitations, assumptions, strength, including the fulfilment of all the objectives mentioned above in an SaaS model which supports all the possible business cases (approximately 20) in three use cases:

INFO-C: information desk, REG-C: registration desk, L-Cards: loyalty cards

We suggest only sending an SMS link to customers at the traditional (manned) POS counter unless the CASE-TO-WORK-3 checks the email: from the REG-C (registration counter) to reduce the POS transaction time. For non-food items, which can be returned at the INFO-C (information counter) for which a return validity date and time must be mentioned on the receipt and validated via CRM and then the POS inventory must be updated. But if the size of the shop is small, for example a grocery shop; INFO-C and REG-C can be integrated as a counter. If the retailer has already developed their own self-care solution, they can use our API and use the service. Or even, if the retailer wants to get only JSON / XML data by our API and then can use their existing system for SMS, Whatsapp or email notifications.

Technical specification:

Below is the extensive technical scheme: