Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Important MasterCard Mandate Deadline for Heartland Customers

Of note, I was actually onsite installing Card Defender for a customer here in Idaho when she received a letter from Heartland addressing the same card number issues noted below. It was very comforting for the retailer to know that Card Defender meets or exceeds industry requirements for payment processing. If you happen to be using Microsoft Dynamics RMS and have questions about these types of letters, please contact me. Thanks!
Dear Valued Customer,

As previously communicated, MasterCard cards are issued with account numbers beginning with a 5”. Beginning in 2017, MasterCard cards will also be issued with account numbers beginning with a “2”. 

The cards beginning with a 2 will be processed in the same manner as current MasterCard cards.

MasterCard requires that all point-of-sale systems accepting the current 5 series cards must also be able to accept the cards with the new 2 series number. Our records indicate that you process using a third-party system. Please contact your third-party provider directly to determine if any action is needed to ensure your system is in compliance and can accept the new 2 series cards.

Your failure to accept the new 2 series MasterCard cards after June 30, 2017 may result in non-compliance assessments being passed on to you – as well as potential lost revenue associated with not accepting customers’ cards. The MasterCard fee schedule for non-compliance is:

Up to $2,500 per occurrence for first 30 days
Up to $5,000 per occurrence for days 31-60
Up to $10,000 per occurrence for days 61-90
Up to $20,000 per occurrence for subsequent violations
If you have any questions, please contact
your third-party point-of-sale provider.


Martin Moretti
SVP Chief Card Service Officer

Monday, March 27, 2017

Cloud Retailer Point of Sale: Blending the Best of Cloud and Local

I've seen multiple articles on and Business Solutions Magazine over the last few months that are either very biased towards locally run point of sale software or very biased towards cloud based point of sale software. In most cases these articles have been written by companies in favor of the type of retail point of sale software that the company offers.

This got me thinking about the Cloud Retailer point of sale software which has been around for several years but recently gained a lot of interest due to a statewide contract being signed for a government entity to use Cloud Retailer at all of the state's park and recreation facilities. Cloud Retailer is also a direct migration path for Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software users so many of them are taking a serious look at Cloud Retailer as a replacement for RMS. RMS users already have potential replacement options like Retail Management Hero and Retail Realm Essentials but want options to consider what is best for them.

As I've been digging deeper into Cloud Retailer over the last 6 months, a few things came to mind that makes Cloud Retailer very unique in blending the best of what what cloud based point of sale systems offer as well as what locally run point of sale systems offer. Here is a bullet point list:
  • Cloud Retailer is Both Local and Cloud. The "cash register" part of the software that handles sales  transactions is actually run as local software on Windows devices. This gives Cloud Retailer a speed advantage over cloud based point of sale systems for retailers with a large number of sku's/plu's and/or heavy transaction volume. The manager part of Cloud Retailer is run via a web browser which gives Cloud Retailer the "access anywhere" ability that locally run point of sale systems generally lack.
  • Scalable. Unlike point of sale software that is limited to one location, or maxes out at 14 locations, Cloud Retailer has already been tested for use at up to 50 locations and can easily be updated to handle more locations as needed.
  • Pricing. While locally run point of sale systems normally have a price structure that requires full payment up front, and cloud based point of sale systems normally have an on-going monthly cost, Cloud Retailer has a partial upfront licenses cost and then a monthly (or annual) fee that covers support and updates. What this means is that you pay around 65% less for Cloud Retailer when it comes to upfront licensing plus the ongoing monthly fee is around 50% less then other point of sale software programs. Much easier on the budget when it comes to both upfront and on-going costs.
  • Latest in Payment Processing Security. Cloud Retailer includes Card Defender which offers the latest in payment processing security and technology and can be updated as new payment security requirements are introduced.
  • Customizations. Cloud Retailer is a RITE product so customizations are pretty darn easy via RITE's programming team. I bring this up as a typical point of sale system can only perform about 90% of what you want it to do. Not so with Cloud Retailer. If needed, RITE can (and has) modified Cloud Retailer using it's Application Program Interface (API) to include the exact functionality that your business or organization needs. 
  • RMS Discounts. OK - this doesn't apply to everyone but Cloud Retailer is a direct migration option for RMS users. What I mean by this is that your existing data from RMS can be transferred from RMS to Cloud Retailer plus the initial license cost of Cloud Retailer is discounted up to 100% for RMS point of sale software users.
All in all, this makes Cloud Retailer a pretty cool retail point of sale software program. Obviously, there are discussions to be had about features and functions but I've seen a noted increase in Cloud Retailer interest and look forward to some site visits with retailers wanting to take a deeper look at Cloud Retailer.

Questions about Cloud Retailer or retail point of sale in general? I can be reached at or 208-340-5632.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

More Shout Outs to New or Upgrading Customers

OK - looks like these are going to be monthly posts as we are adding around 1 new customer per week. Its pretty cool that I've been able to meet in person (or will be meeting in person) with many of these retailers!

A heads up that I am also working on a fairly in depth video explaining options for RMS users as I am now booked through July with face to face meetings with Microsoft Dynamics RMS software users who have between 1 and 40 store locations.

Now on to the welcome shouts outs:


Great group of folks to work with and there are several more projects we are working together on.

Trouts Fly Fishing

Added our Card Defender EMV system for Microsoft Dynamics RMS at 2 stores in conjunction with Gravity Payments.

Bird House Habitat

Added Card Defender EMV system for Microsoft Dynamics RMS at in conjunction with Gravity Payments.

OK - I realized that I've missed a few here but will try and catch up in a few weeks - thanks again for selecting me as your point of sale system solution partner!

Friday, March 10, 2017

The True Cost of Stand Alone Payment Terminals

Over the last couple of weeks I was asked to meet in person with retailers that are concerned about costs related to using stand alone payment terminals versus payment terminals that communicate directly with their point of sale software. To keep things simple, we only looked at the numbers and ignored other factors like reconciling two close out reports each day or whether the stand alone payment terminal was customer facing or not.

To "set the scene", each retailer is using the Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software and has a single check out lane. The average transaction amount across all stores is $48.00. They are averaging two errors per month with the typical error being that the total is entered as $4.80 instead of $48.00 on the stand alone payment terminal. None of the merchants are contacting the cardholders to ask for the $43.20 difference due to the error being the employees fault and/or not having any way to track down the cardholder. They are not experiencing over-tendering costs as the cardholder does notice this and contacts the store for a refund.

So, here are the 5 year costs for a stand alone payment terminal:

  1. Average purchase transaction amount: $180.00
  2. Loss due to average error of $43.20/twice a month x 12 months x 5 years: $5,184.00
  3. Total 5 year cost for stand alone payment terminal: $5,464.00
Now compare that to an integrated solution like Card Defender for RMS:
  1. Single lane Card Defender typical complete upfront deployment cost: $1,350.00
  2. Card Defender $10/terminal monthly support charge x 12 months x 5 years: $600.00
  3. Total 5 year cost for Card Defender: $1,950.00
Wow - I've spent a lot of time checking and re-checking the numbers above but they are true and correct. While retailers may scoff at the up front costs of Card Defender, they fail to see the true long term costs of using a stand alone payment terminal.  

Of course each retailer is different but the above information combines data from multiple very different retail stores. Note that some of these retailers have had their stand along payment terminals in place for several months so the errors are not a training issue - just an ongoing human factor issue.

This demonstrates some of the hidden value in Card Defender that many retailers may not be aware of. If you would like more information, or for me to run through the numbers based on your store, please contact me at 208-340-5632 or

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

RITE Trade Show and Travel Schedule

Putting on my travel planning hat today - some details on the trade shows and cities that RITE team members will be at over the coming months. I'll post more details about the trade shows once we know our booth number information.

Trade Shows:
Malt Beverage Distributors Association: April 21st - 24th, 2017.
Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, Pocono Mountain, PA

Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association: April 29th - May 2nd.
Alexandria, MN

Beverage Alcohol Retails Conference: June 12th - 14th, 2017.
Minneapolis, MN

City Visits:
Seattle WA: March 12th - 16th, 2017 (schedule is full)

Baker City, OR: March 28th, 2017 (schedule is full))

San Antonio, TX, Austin, TX and Houston, TX: April 9th - 13th, 2017 (schedule is full)

Central Idaho (Twin Falls, Ketchum, Hailey, Burley and Sun Valley): April 25 -28th, 2017

Eastern Idaho and Western Wyoming (Jackson, West Yellowstone, Pocatello, Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, Rigby and Rexburg): May 9th - 12th, 2017

Seattle, WA: May 17th - 19th

LaGrande OR and Ontario OR: May 22nd - 24th

Greater Salt Lake City area (Ogden, West Valley, Lehi, Provo, etc) and Park City, UT: June 4th - 8th, 2017 

Twin Falls, ID: June 25th and 26th

Denver, CO: TBD

Tuscon and Phoenix, AZ: TBD

Minneapolis MN: July 30th - August 3rd

MN, Northern Iowa, and Eastern Wisconsin: July 30th - August 3rd

RSPA RetailNOW® 2017 (Las Vegas): August 6th - August 9th, 2017

Obviously you will want to connect ahead of time to arrange a time to meet with a RITE team member so please contact me so I can provide you with more details. Fastest way for us to connect is via email ( or cell (208-994-9404). Thanks!

Friday, March 3, 2017

What RMS User are Doing - Chain/Franchise Version

OK - I'm not sure if it is the economy, our new president, or just good planning, but I have had 8 retail chains contact me in the last week related to meeting to look at RMS replacement options. Needless to say, I will be traveling a lot over the coming months (I'll post my travel and related trade show schedule next week)!

So - to provide some perspective - these retail chains and franchises have the following in common:

  • Using Microsoft Dynamics RMS version 2.01 or higher
  • Have between 5 and 350 locations
  • Computers and related hardware in the stores is less than 5 years old
Here is what they do not have in common:
  • Some are using Dynamics HQ and some are not
  • Some are using Windows XP while others have Windows 7, 8.1 or 10
  • Some are current on their software maintenance agreement - some are not
  • Some have stand alone payment terminals, some are still using EDC in RMS, and some have a third party payment gateway or add-on for RMS
Based on initial conversations, here are the various courses of action - this is somewhat vague as you can always contact me for more information:
  1. If there is a lot of love for RMS (you want to keep using RMS as long as possible), then adding payment processing equipment like Card Defender alleviates worries about payment security in RMS. This is a very easy and low cost option since only the payment processing hardware is being changed out.
  2. If there is love for RMS and you already have payment processing terminals that exceed security requirements, then a simple refresh to the most current version of RMS is a great solution to keep things up and running for the next 4+ years. Also good to look at your hardware at this point and see what might need replacing.
  3. If the sentiment is that the time is now to look at a cloud based point of sale system with a lower up front investment cost as well as a monthly fee that covers support and software upgrades, then RMS users are looking at Cloud Retailer which offers data migration from RMS as well as discounted license costs for RMS users.  Cloud Retailer has been tested to work in chains with up to 50 locations and could likely scale even higher if needed.
  4. Feel like RMS is just great but you want a more updated look and feel? Retail Management Hero is a direct replacement for RMS but a multi-location "HQ" option will not be available until late 2017. Stay tuned.
  5. In the mood for something more complete that just POS? Maybe you need more detailed accounting integration or true warehouse management. Some chains also need transportation logistics and productivity management. Here are your "step up" solutions that are great RMS replacements:
    1. Retail Realm Essentials: In a nutshell this is Microsoft Dynamics AX with the non-POS modules turned off. Great for retail chains who want an on-premise point of sale system. Best suited if each retail store location is generating well over $1M in annual gross sales.
    2. Microsoft Dynamics AX: The "do anything" on-premise ERP solution. Modular based solution and device level licensing. Too many options and modules to list in one post. Generally, you need to be ready to spend over $500,000 when it comes to Dynamics AX. For example, I was working with a 47 location chain with a $2M budget and we could barely get one Dynamics AX Partner to even speak with us (one reason why I now work for a Dynamics AX Partner).
    3. Microsoft Dynamics 365: As Dynamics AX will not be around forever, Dynamics 365 is AX but as a cloud based and subscription as a service solution. Business and Enterprise level solutions are available as well as the different modules. Starting price point for the core module is around $210/month. Long term licensing costs are offset by no need for SQL servers and annual maintenance agreements. Limited feedback presently as Dynamics 365 was just made available for deployment.
OK - when it comes to chains and franchises using RMS, the situation and solution can be complex enough to require an onsite visit after an in depth conference call. With 18+ years of experience, this is something that I am more than happy to help with. My direct contact information is or 208-340-5632. If you would rather contact me via my employer, my work contact information is or 208-994-9404.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Using Dynamics RMS and RJ Reynolds Scan Data Reporting Program?

Many Microsoft Dynamics RMS point of sale software users sell tobacco products and thus have interest in the RJ Reynolds Scan Data Reporting Program which offers some rebates in exchange for tracking transaction level scan data.

To help with this, RITE is working on a way for RMS to fulfill the requirements of the Scan Data Reporting Program. More information can be found at or by contacting RITE at 888-267-7483 or