Cash Register, Point of Sale & Credit Card Information Central

Accepting Credit Cards on iPad Point of Sale Systems after the Introduction of EMV

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Tue, Feb 02, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

ipad_sales_floor.jpgBy now, most merchants are aware of the transition to an EMV enabled form of accepting credit card payments. The mandate has come and gone for the credit card companies to setup the infrastructure required to make chip technology work on their end. This shift in liability has hardware manufactures busy creating equipment that works with the new standard. Then these EMV readers need to integrate with existing POS hardware. And finally, updates have to be made to each POS software. It’s a lot of moving parts that all have to work together.

Some of the major point of sale app developers hit the challenges head on. Companies like Squareup and Shopkeep recognized the complexity of the situation and developed their own proprietary EMV card readers. Taking that approach made it easier to build a fully working system. These type of readers continue to use either the audio port or lightning jack and look similar to the previous swipers. They have the addition of another slot that holds a card in place throughout the transaction while the chip is read. These readers are also limited to signature verification and don’t have a way to input PINs.

z9-side.pngOther app developers like Vend and SalesVu have maintained a focus on software and left hardware development to established third parties. Equipment vendors like Ingenico and Dejavoo have developed PIN pads that can be used with a variety of apps. These kinds of readers are separate, stand beside units that connect though WiFi, Bluetooth or ethernet. The tricky part comes with the interactions between the software, the processor and the hardware. The software is usually configured to be used with a select number of processors. In turn, the processor needs to configure the card reader with their specifications. This setup offers more choices than a full proprietary system. You can run into situations where your software might dictate which processor and brand of hardware you can use or vice versa. While that was the case before the transition, it will be more specific going forward.

The main change the chip and pin enabled merchants will notice is some extra hardware. One of the nice things about the iPad as a POS system is its mobility. When a card swiper is attached to the iPad, it becomes very easy to go to your customers. You can check customers out on the sales floor or easily bring the system to shows or events.  With a stand beside terminal, there is a little more work involved keeping everything in sync. Without being able to access the cellular functions of the iPad, the credit card terminal will need a network. Depending on the model, you’ll need either a WiFi or hardline internet drop to get it to work. You will also need to be connected to the iPad through that same WiFi network or BlueTooth.

For many merchants, this stand beside setup is nothing new. Other than a quick software update and swapping out the table top card reader, business will continue as usual. Whatever your point of sale situation, we at American Metro are happy to help you find and keep a solution that’s right for you. For help going through your options or questions about EMV or any POS related matter, contact us at the link below.

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Technology Stand-off: Traditional Cash Register vs Tablet POS in the Event Industry

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Wed, Jan 27, 2016 @ 11:42 AM


While it seems everything is getting smaller, faster and more technologically advanced, you may ask yourself how these changes affect the point of sale industry. Does the traditional cash register still have a place in today’s business environment? Are iPads the solution everyone has been waiting for?


This might not be a big deal for most businesses, but for the event industry, portability matters. The nice thing about iPads is they are small, light and easy to pack. Compared to using a cash register, you can pack 10 times as many iPads in the same space. Granted, you need to be a little more careful in how you store them.

Where the portability factor balances out is in the extras that are used with the iPad. If you don’t plan on constantly holding the tablet, you will also need to pack a stand for each one. Plan on accepting cash? You’re going to need a cash drawer. Handing out printed receipts? Guess you’ll need a printer too. Once you add in all the other stuff, packing needs are much the same. For some instances, going cashless and only doing emailed receipts will work fine.

Setup time can vary between the options as well. Pull a register out of the box, set it on the counter, plug it in, and it’s ready to go. The iPad on its own simply needs to be placed on the counter and turned on. If printers and cash drawers are involved, it takes a little more time. Bluetooth devices need to be matched to the corresponding, pre-paired iPad, or will need to go through the pairing process for each device.


Portability is also tied into keeping your equipment safe. At most events, product and equipment is left in booths or tents. When a cash register is left out, it isn't necessarily a desirable item for someone to take. The primary concern would be someone wanting to take whatever cash might be in it. Since very few people actually leave money in a register when no one is around, it makes sense to leave the drawer open. Would-be thieves won't have to break it so see there is nothing in it, and they won't walk away with something as conspicuous as a big cash register.

Tablets, on the other hand, are more of a temptation. They are easier to stuff into a jacket and no one would think twice about seeing somebody with one walking down the street. That means that each night, you'll need to take more precautions to keep them safe. Whether you hide them under the counter, lock them in a secure cabinet or room, or take them back to the finance office, they are going to get moved. 

Power Independence

One of the great things about mobile payment platforms is the freedom to go to your customers. That includes not being constantly tethered to an electric outlet. A cash register doesn’t have that luxury. In outdoor environments, where running power to remote locations is tricky or costly, iPad have the advantage. The battery life on an iPad with moderate to heavy sales will last 6-10 hours. Be sure to take your hours of operation into account when making a decision about power.

Don’t forget that any peripherals you use will also need power or a place to charge batteries. Printers, barcode scanners, and the like typically have a longer battery life because they aren’t in constant use. However, these pieces of equipment will need a spot at a charging station, too. This can create extra work by requiring several items being moved from a charging location to sales area, especially if multiple terminals are used throughout an event.


Traditional cash registers rely on paper reports to convey information. Financial data, PLU data, time reports, clerk reports and more are all available in printed form. Tablet applications take full advantage of their connection to the cloud. Sales data is stored online and consolidated for easy access. Given the number of POS apps, these reports are represented in different ways. Colored graphs, tabular data, selectable date ranges all make sales data easy to read and sort.

Online reporting is also available with a cash register using a special wireless modem. The same technology that transmits credit card transactions can be used to send sales data to an online portal. This is a separate piece of hardware and therefore is an additional expense. Many point of sale apps also charge a small monthly data maintenance fee. This fee is assessed only if you require access to the data months after the event or sale.

Cool Factor

There is definitely something to be said for looking modern. Perception is a huge motivation for many events. Music festivals and youth oriented conferences in particular go to great lengths to achieve a specific aesthetic. The sleek, clean look of an iPad is a show of technological relevance and familiarity. This also makes it easier for cashiers to acclimate to the touchscreen interface.

While cash registers have made improvements to their look over the years, they focus on function over form. The commercial grade registers are built to withstand some harsh conditions. They can take a little more abuse moving from venue to venue.


Everyone tries to keep an eye on the bottom line. Juggling between price and value are a concern. You want to make sure your system does everything you need it to for the lowest price.

A standard cash register is about the same price as an iPad on its own. A little less or a little more depending on the model. The difference grows quickly for a full point of sale iPad setup. Add in the software, a stand, cash drawer and printer, and the cost jumps up.


What features are most important to you? How do each of these factors influence your decision? Here’s how we ranked each system per category.

  Cash Register Cash Register
(with Online
(no peripherals)
(with printer &
cash drawer)
Portability ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Security ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦  ♦ ♦  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Reporting ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Durability ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Visual Effect ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Price $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

Tags: Events

EMV and Credit Card Processing Changes

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Fri, Mar 06, 2015 @ 10:10 AM

EMV_chip_closeupThere is a lot of buzz going around concerning the changes in credit card processing procedures. Beginning in October, the U.S. will adopt the  standard used by the rest of the world. This process is designed to clarify who the liable party is when fraudulent credit cards are presented. As a result, the technology required will shift the way credit card readers interact will cards. This transition may seem uncomfortable, so let us try to ease your mind. Here are a few key points on what this new regulation entails with further explanation below.

  1. The U.S. implementation only requires compliance by the credit card processor.
  2. The regulation DOES NOT require individual merchants to upgrade equipment.
  3. It is estimated to take credit card issuers up to 3 years to complete the replacement of all 2.1 billion credit cards in circulation in the U.S.
  4. You have time to figure out when is the best time to upgrade.

In an effort to reduce the amount of credit card fraud, the U.S. is adopting the same credit card technology used throughout most of the rest of the world. First introduced in 1995, EMV was named for the three companies that developed the technology; Europay/Mastercard/Visa. Since that time, there have been a total of six credit card networks to share in the ownership. The new system uses a microchip to create a dynamic verification code for each transaction processed on the card.

The magnetic stripe found on the back of most cards contains the credit card number, customer name, address, zip code and a static 4 digit verification (CVV1) code that the point of sale system uses to authenticate the card. There is also a 3 digit code (CVV2) printed on the back of the card that can be used to verify hand entered transactions. The problems involved with this type of system occur when the data on the cards is intercepted or hacked from a store’s database (like what happened to Target) and all that information can be recoded or cloned onto another card. After all, it is the same technology as an old cassette tape and it was easy enough to record over those.

With the addition of a microchip, a new verification code is generated for each transaction. This virtually eliminates the possibility of cloning a working card. In addition to the built in safety measures of the chip, there are also customer verification methods (CVM) available. These options include entering a PIN when using the card, requiring a signature or enabling Near Field Communication (NFC) for paying with a fob or smartphone. These options are programmed into the chip based on preferences set by either the card issuer or card holder and can vary based on total transaction amount, location, etc.

creditcardfraudchart_1The Electronic Transaction Association (ETA) has compiled the following concerning credit card processing. In the U.S., credit card transactions comprise $1.2 trillion and there are a total of $8 billion of fraudulent charges. While that number comprises only 0.67% of total credit card revenue, $8 billion is still a lot of money. In fact, 47% of all credit card fraud occurs in the United States. EMV implementation could eliminate 78% of US fraud cases by eliminating cloned cards.


Since most of the rest of the world is already on the EMV system, the primary reason for delay in the U.S. conversion is due to the infrastructure. The US was a very early adopter of credit card technology and right now there are approximately 8 million merchants using the swipe style card readers. To force that many merchants to switch over involves a significant investment in technology upgrades on the processor side as well as hardware upgrades for businesses.

emv_card_readerThe new hardware will require the card be inserted into the reader for the duration of the transaction. This is because the microchip doesn’t have a battery and therefore has no method of transmitting data on its own. The gold casing over the microchip is powered through induction by the card reader. This will have the most impact on the restaurant and service industry. When a card requires a PIN or signature for confirmation, a mobile reader will be necessary or the customer will have to accompany the card to the host station.

Starting in October, the credit card processors are required to have the infrastructure in place to accept EMV payments. So, how does this affect liability? After that time, liability will be split between the card issuer and the merchant and will fall to the party responsible for not allowing the EMV transaction to take place. For Example:

  • If a merchant has the EMV reader in place, but the customer has not receive a card with the chip from their bank, the liability for a fraudulent transaction is on the issuer.
  • If a customer attempts to use an EMV card at a merchant who has not upgraded to the EMV reader, the liability will be on the merchant.

There will likely be an overlap of technologies for quite a while. Many card issuers will wait until the expiration of their current cycle of cards until they upgrade. There are a total of 2.1 billion cards in the market at the moment, and to replace them all is expensive. Cards with just a mag stripe can be produced for about $.10 per card while cards that have the EMV chip in them cost between $1-2 to produce. New cards issued will continue to include magnetic stripes for several years, knowing not every merchant will upgrade equipment right way.

There are also some exceptions to the liability rule. Gas stations have been allowed more time to implement the conversion. Most card readers are built into the pumps and require a complete replacement. ATMs will also have extra time to upgrade for the same reason.

As you consider the options indicative with upgrading, you may come up with more questions. In such cases, American Metro is happy to help you find answers. Use the button below to contact our resident credit card expert or email your question to
Ask a Question

Tags: Credit Card Equipment

Remote Reporting at Events: What's It Worth?

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Fri, Feb 20, 2015 @ 02:23 PM

ipad_wIcons_SMOne of the great things about technology is the time saving capacity associated with automating mundane tasks. Everyone is looking for ways to squeeze as much time out of the day as possible. As most event coordinators know, time really is money. When you rely on making your money over the course of a single week or maybe just a weekend, you have to breathe productivity. It has to be second nature.

When you’re up against the clock, every minute of the day, what are your options for saving time? At the end of a 14…15…16-hour sales day, the last thing you need is to spend hours going from register to register, stand to stand running reports, hand entering data into a spreadsheet, and calculating inventory numbers to do it all again tomorrow. That seems like the perfect place to implement a time saving, technological advancement.

Granted, the technology to perform remote reporting has been around a long time. A system that allowed inter-terminal communication was first implemented by a chain of department stores in 1973. The earliest microprocessor used in a point of sale system was developed for McDonalds in 1974. This allowed for price changes and reports to be performed from any terminal if changed to manager mode.  After several iterations, POS systems became much more accessible when they were integrated into a Windows platform in 1992. Until very recently, all these options required a great deal of infrastructure to operate. This left short-term, pop-up retailers with no alternatives in locations that didn’t have the necessary hard lines already in place.

In the last few years, cellular data transmission and cloud based storage have leveled the playing field for the event industry. Now, connecting a compatible wireless router to a cash register can facilitate sales data transmission. Tablet-based POS software offers an even more mobile option for making sales and consolidating sales figures in the cloud.


Now, let’s do a little real world analysis of what using a technology like this does to the bottom line for a few sample events.  These examples represent a events of differing scopes.

Scenario #1 – Merchandise sales at a 3 day conference.  Eight cash registers are used to keep track of the sales of 450 items that include clothing of various sizes and styles, reference materials, books and CDs or digital download cards. All the terminals are set up in the same store area.

Scenario #2 – Concession sales at a week-long festival. In this instance, there are a total of 120 registers in 30 locations spread out across the fair grounds. Each stand has between 10 and 50 items they are selling, with an average of 24 items. There are also 18 different vendors, some overseeing multiple stands, which need to receive their own reports as well.

To collect and record the information from paper reports, here are some reasonable estimates on the time it takes for each step.

The average travel time between locations is 2.5 min.

Printing, gathering and organizing the reports at each stand can be done in 5 min per stand.

Entering the data from each report into a spreadsheet takes about 2 minute per report.

The item report takes time to find each item on the spread sheet, match it to the printed report and record the number of items and dollar amount. Short lists mean items are easier to find and take less time, around 18 items per minute. Long lists take more time to match items and cuts productivity down to 10 items per minute.

Scenario 1  

To gather the reports, here is the time required. 2.5 min to get to the register area + 5 min to run/collect the reports + 2.5 min to get back to the office = 10 min
To enter the data from the financial reports; 2 min x 8 registers = 16 min
To enter the data from the item reports; 450 items/10 items per min x 8 registers = 360 min or 6 hours
In total, that’s 6hr 26min per day x 3 days = 19.3 hours of time spent.

You may have someone to do the running around and entering data for you, for maybe $15-20/hour. More than likely, you would want a trusted individual on the financial team or even yourself doing this type of work.

aerial_veiw_of_festival_SMScenario 2     

To collect reports for the festival, here is the time involved. 2.5 min x 30 locations + 5 min x 30 locations = 225 min
To enter data from financial reports: 2 min x 120 reg = 240 min
To enter data from item reports: 24 items/20 items per min x 120 registers = 160 min
When we total this time, we get 225 min + 240 min + 160 min = 625 min or 10.4 hours per day
Over the full 7 days of the event that comes to 72.8 hours spent on reports.

Again, who is designated to perform these tasks? To make sure they are done in a timely manner, it may take several people.  There are cases where the festival organizer needs to know overall totals and each vendor wants to know their own sales numbers. In this instance, data entry efforts would be doubled, or one party is stuck waiting for the other to pass the info along. There is also a good chance you will want to know what the sales are after the lunch rush or after a certain session lets out. That means another round of running and collecting reports.

How much more could you get done if you had an extra 6 to 10 hours a day? How much could you save if you could reduce payroll by one or more people per day? How beneficial is it to you not to add a few more hours to your already long day waiting for reports? Consider the value in tracking your inventory, and verifying you are getting paid for each item.

laptop_wBridge_SMThe alternative is using electronic data transfer and cloud based reporting. This all but eliminates the time spent collecting reports and manually entering data. At any point during the day you can get an up-to-the-minute snapshot of your sales, segmented however you like; by vendor, stand, register or the entire event. The only time involved is in pulling up the website and selecting the type of report you want to see.

The reality is, during your event, there simply aren’t any “extra” hours. Therefore, it either becomes someone’s full time job to enter all the inventory data overnight or the next day, or it doesn’t get done. The ability to continuously check your sales, see what your top sellers are and preemptively coordinate restocking means you greatly reduce the risk of customers not getting what they want. It also speeds things up when they don’t have to wait for product to be delivered. Selling more items, and selling them faster means an increase in revenue. The bottom line, you’ll save on staffing and increase sales.

For a complete analysis of your specific event, contact American Metro for a  Free Point of Sale Project Profile . With just a few simple questions, we will provide you with a cost/benefit comparison and help determine the ideal point of sale solution for you.

Tags: Events, M-Box, iPad

Online Tee Sheets: When Free Isn't Really Free

Posted by Warren Bailey on Thu, Feb 05, 2015 @ 10:16 AM

As golf courses close all around, the ones that remain must work harder and smarter to make sure they are maximizing all potential income and revenue sources. Many golf courses make the mistake of cutting or slashing payroll, forcing fewer people to do more work, to maintain a level of service previously expected from the golfers who play at your golf facility.

proshop-SMIt’s amazing how many golf courses that are still using cash boxes or cash registers to take in money. Using stand-alone credit card terminals that are so old, they are most likely no longer PCI compliant and now your customer’s data is more susceptible to a breach from hackers.

With the advent of PC-based point of sale systems, the ability to track customer/member information improved, inventory received and sold is more accurate, ringing food and drinks, plus keeping bar tabs became easier, and golf courses had a better way to track revenue.

But along the way, it was pointed out that the main way a golf course receives revenue is tee times. Tee times in the form of green fees and cart (pull or power) fees. A golf course has a fixed number of tee times each day, each week, each month, and each golf season. Barring bad weather and of course, the geographic location of a golf course, each golf facility needs to make as much money as possible by filling those open tee times.

How Do Third-party Online Tee Sheets Work?

With electronic media integrating into the golf world, the 3rd-party online tee sheet company was born. Simply go to a golf course website, pick an open time, enter in your e-mail address, contact information, and your credit card number, and the time is reserved. Easy, right? But did that information go only to the golf course or did the 3rd-party tee sheet company also receive access to that golfer’s information? And what are they doing with that information? Why, sending that golfer e-mails about other golf courses, not yours, that are offering discounted pricing. Or where to purchase merchandise at a lower price than what is offered at your pro shop.

How is this on-line tee sheet software being paid for by the golf course? Well, you only need to provide them with one or two tee times a day that are sold by the 3rd-party company, posted on your tee sheet and their own website, at a discounted price, and the golfer(s) show up with a coupon or printout saying their golf (and cart) are paid. The only chance the golf course has of generating any revenue is to sell food and beverages at the snack bar or the grill. The 3rd-party tee sheet company is likely “giving” golf courses the software in exchange for those one or two times per day.

How Much Does "Free" Cost?

sunrise_golf-SMWell, let’s do some simple math. The average round of golf with cart fee runs $40 per person. The third-party company offers these times at a discounted rate of $25 per person. They fill two time slots with four players each. That means 8 golfers x $25 equals $200 per day.

Suppose your golf season runs about 200 days each year. For reality sake, say 50 of those days are washed out due to weather or maybe the tee-times were not filled. That leaves 150 days where two tee times a day were filled and sold. 150 days x $200 equals $30,000.

Your “FREE” software allowed $30,000 of revenue not going to the club. Oh, and for this “FREE” service, you are being asked to sign a multi-year contract. No wonder a golf course does not have to pay much up front. The really sneaky part is how virtually invisible the whole process is for a golf facility. The golf course does not see money not coming in; they only have a bottom line report of sales. Who sees that revenue in their reports? The 3rd-party tee sheet companies.

And just how good is the point of sale system?  How many buttons and menu screens are needed to ring up a single item? Or a series of items? Ringing through golfers should be as fast as checking out at a Target or Walmart. See how fast they scan products, or touch a button to ring in a non-scannable product? Your pro shop or snack bar should be doing the same speed. Faster rings means more golfers moving through the line.

What is the Alternative?

The other option is to use a golf course managment software with built in tee sheets. The software we use is called AIMsi, but there are others. Using a point of sale software like this allows for a great deal of flexibility.This is because we build customized point of sale programs for your specific facility. All golf courses are similar in many ways, but also very different. Do you sell green fees/cart fees as a combo price? Do you offer multiple prices based on a golfer’s specific membership or patron type? All customer/member data is yours to keep. All your inventory tracking is yours.

How are online tee sheets in golf course software different?

The difference is you set the price for all the tee times and sell those times as you see fit. What the golf facility pays for is the hosting fee for the online tee sheet and the web security from data breaches. Hosting fees start at $6 a day or the price of one pull cart. Adding the ability to book times on a smartphone or tablet means your cost is $10 a day or about half a power cart rental. That means your cost for hosting an online tee sheet, which the golf course controls ALL the times, is roughly 200 days x $10/day or $2000 per golf season. 

What causes golf courses to pause is that the cost is NOT invisible. You are being asked to pay a monthly fee. But again, the bottom line is by controlling the price on all your tee times, the golf course earns all the revenue. The next trick is having a person control marketing those tee times. This is where an updated website, using Facebook, Twitter, and all forms of social media come into play. It costs a golf facility ZERO to market your golf course with social media, and yet it barely gets used.

Call American Metro to learn more about the AIMsi software. American Metro is ready to handle your software, Hardware, and integrated credit card solutions. Cost-effective and with a strong sense of customer service.

Call us at 651-645-2005 or use the button below, to receive your free quote. for more information, you can also download the AIMsi product brochure.

  AIMsi Quote Request  

  - AIMsi for Golf Courses




Tags: AIMsi, Golf, Online Tee Sheet

The Science of Waiting (or Tips for Enduring the Point of Sale Line)

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Tue, Jan 06, 2015 @ 10:03 AM

standinginline_dv1954040-SMHave you ever thought about how much time you spend waiting in line? Think of all the restaurants, cafeterias, grocery stores, retail establishments, amusement parks, concerts, bathrooms and everyone's favorite place to wait, the DMV. In a study conducted by MIT Professor Richard Larson, the average American spends 2 years waiting in line over the course of their lifetime. Of course we’d like the ability to eliminate lines altogether, but we realize that just isn’t feasible. In the immortal words of Lucy Van Pelt, “Charlie Brown, you’ve got the opportunity to be a Hero or a Goat.” You too, have the opportunity to be a hero and give your customers the best experience they’ve ever had in line. Here are a few things to consider when you are in the event planning stage.

1)   Occupied time feels shorter then unoccupied time

  • You’ve heard the phrase, “A watched pot never boils.” The same is true for standing in line. If all you have to do is stand still in a line that feels like it isn’t moving, the only thing reaching a boiling point is your mood.
  • If customers are kept occupied while they wait, preferably with something that benefits or entertains them, they will perceive a wait to be shorter.
  • It’s no coincidence the “tabloids” are front and center at the grocery store checkout. Scanning the covers of those magazines gives your eyes and mind something to keep occupied with instead of watching the line.

2)   Anxiety makes waits seem longer

  • When waiting in line, the obsession is all about getting somewhere sooner… and fretting that someone else will get there before you do. Nobody wants to be in the “Slow Line”.
  • The best way to combat that fear is to begin with just one line and have it feed all the point of sale stations.

3)   Uncertain waits are longer than known ones

  • When the nurse says, “The doctor will see you soon”, it means very little. If the nurse were to say, “The doctor will see you in 20 minutes” now you’ve got something you can lean on.
  • This is a great time to under-promise and over-deliver. Let people know they can expect to be at the front of the line in 25 minutes. When they arrive there in 15 minutes, they’ll be thrilled.

Tips for a successful line experience!

Give them something to do or look at while waiting

  • Digital signage is a fantastic way to both entertain them and promote your company
  • Play uplifting and happy music (know your audience; Frank Sinatra may not entertain the 20-30 year old female demographic)
  • Put up displays along the way – Highlight a new line or product category

Place signage in the line, stating “Expected wait time from this point is “XX” Minutes.

  • Don’t give them false hope, remember under-promise and over-deliver.

Make sure your cashiers are keeping busy

  • All the strategies for “Happy Lines” can be sabotaged if you’ve got cashiers standing around or moving at a snail’s pace.

For more tips on creating a successful event, check out our blog post on The Worst Advice on Event Planning. You can also request more information on how to improve your specific event with the right point of sale technology with the button below.

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Cash Register Training: Equipping Cashiers for Success

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 @ 08:30 AM


Is your staff going to be ready to handle the rush of customers when the doors open? When it comes to making sure customer interactions run as efficiently as possible, the majority of the work falls to the cashier. When working events, the cashiering staff may include dozens or even hundreds of people over the course of a multi-day event. It makes sense to give them every advantage available in order to prepare for the sales situation they are facing. This is where training plays a key role. There are several pieces that can affect how well trained your staff will be when the doors open.

1. Programming - The first line of defense against frustration at checkout is to make sure the register is programmed logically and efficiently. Translating the sales elements needed for each transaction to setting them up on the system can be a tricky procedure. It helps to have someone with plenty of experience on how to best utilize things like employee sign-in, discounts, vouchers, size modifiers, etc. 

2. Keyboard Layout - One of the things that takes the longest to learn is where each item is located on the keyboard or screen. The more items you are selling, the bigger the keyboard gets and the more time it takes to learn. On more complex touchscreen applications, you may be looking through multiple tabs to find the correct item. After your point of sale system is programed, you can provide your cashiers with the keyboard layout or screen shots. If they can have a couple days to familiarize themselves with what they will be looking at, they will be much more prepared for actual sales.

youtube3. Video Training - It seems just about everyone has a smart phone or tablet these days. With YouTube just a button away, another pre-emptive measure you can take, is to share our online training videos. Since the basic functionality of the Sam4s line of cash registers stays consistent across most models, these training videos will cover about 95% of what the cashier needs to know to run a register.  

4. Cheat Sheets - Much like a security blanket, a cheat sheet with written instructions covering everything you may have forgotten help you feel safe. These short instruction guides are provided with each event rental. They will often get emailed ahead of time and are included with each register.

5. Phone Training - After your equipment arrives, and you've had a chance to press a few buttons and perform a few test transactions, you may still have some questions. Calling the support line will get you the help you need, anytime of day. 


6. On-site Support - Nothing beats the personal touch. When the cashiers are finally able to stand in front of the equipment and try it out, they move from knowledgeable to comfortable. An on-site technician will cover everything from the basics of processing transactions, to specialty programming and is available to answer any questions along the way. Whether you want this service just for setup and the first day of sales or throughout the whole event, the service tech will be there to keep you up and running.

At American Metro, our training and event services can to increase your event's profitability. Being prepared is a great way to start. If you have questions on how much time and preparation is needed to get the staff prepared on your cash registers or POS systems, we would be happy to assist you.

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Tags: Training, Event Planning, Cash Registers

A New Partner in Mobile Point of Sale Solutions

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Fri, Oct 24, 2014 @ 02:30 PM

It's amazing how fast technology changes the landscape of certain industries. The point of sale world is no different. Smart phones and tablets have been transforming into their own method of commerce. In order to continue to provide our customers with the latest advancements in point of sale solutions, American Metro has partnered with Global Storm POS, an App development company with a background in and passion for point of sale. 


Global Storm has three branches in mobile pos tree, each focusing on a particular sales structure; Grocery, Retail and Restaurant. All three are feature rich, easy to use and look great. The Grocery side runs on a Windows tablet and focuses on robust inventory tracking, extra peripheral support for flatbed scanners, integrated scales and the Merchant Warehouse Genius™ keypad. The Retail/Quick Serve application is iPad based and designed for speed with quick access menus and barcode scanning. The Restaurant app also runs on the Apple platform and combines server tracking, table service, remote printing and custom branding options.

The really exciting thing for us is the customization. With the number of years we have spent in the cash register business, there certain features that consistently remain very useful and things we have wished were available. Other pre-packaged software we have looked at and used have been missing some of those key ingredients. With Global Storm, we are able to put our expertise to good use and become part of the development process. As a result, it strengthens their product and keeps their customers happy. It also means that we get access to a custom software build with features that fits our specialized business model of renting equipment.

The other impressive aspect is the back office suite. Adding or changing items is a snap. The fact that the whole database is stored on the cloud, means updates to each terminal are instantaneous. The same goes with reporting. Through the either a cellular or WiFi connection, sales are recorded and can be accessed in real time from anywhere. 

For more information on the Global Storm suite of apps, or to request a quote, click on the links below.

                                    Get a Quote

Tags: Point Of Sale, iPad

Is Your Seasonal Business Ready for Holiday Shopping Season

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Mon, Oct 20, 2014 @ 04:00 PM


‘Tis the Season—the shopping season that is. With the holidays right around the corner, now is the time when retailers start gearing up for their busiest time of year. For some business owners, it might be the only time of year in which they focus on selling their product. For the mall kiosks, holiday boutiques, photo opportunities with Santa Claus, Christmas tree lots, etc., there is a lot riding on these crucial few weeks of sales. Figuring out the features of a point of sale system that maximize the speed, simplicity and profitability can have a dynamic effect on final sales numbers.

Here are a few factors to consider when looking for a short-term point of sale solution.

icon-costCost – Often times it is the first thing someone will look at and the last thing they come back to. For temporary sales situations, renting a cash register is almost always going to be more economical than purchasing. In situations where multiple registers are used in a location, or several locations will be spread out over a large area, the savings can really start to add up. There is also a time cost associated with programming the registers. Renting a register or point of sale system that comes pre-programmed and ready to use out of the box can save hours of time better spent elsewhere.

icon-simpleSimplicity – It takes time to learn the intricacies of a new system. Time is a luxury not afforded during a short selling season. Finding equipment that is straight forward and easy to use is a huge benefit for both management and any seasonal employees. The true balance comes into play when choosing which register features are required and how easy they are to access.

icon-speedSpeed – Being prepared to handle the expected traffic flow is another instance that can increase sales. If you are likely to face periods where a large number of customers will be shopping at once, a machine that can reduce the time spent per transaction means more sales per hour. Faster lines also means customers will be much less likely to abandon a purchase because they don’t feel like waiting.

icon-reportReporting – You can sell all the product in the world, but unless you have a way to verify you collect the correct amount of money for what is sold, you may be wasting your time. Whether you are looking for just a quick financial summary, or specific details on what was sold, by whom and at what time, you have options. Getting these reports sent to you electronically can save hours of time compared to recording everything off of a paper copy, especially if you have multiple locations.

If you are serious about maximizing the efficiency of your entire transaction process, look for help from a company with extensive experience with point of sale event rental. For more ideas on what to look for in a cash register read the following blog post. Contact us today for a FREE evaluation of our business transaction needs and receive recommendations on how you can get the most from a point of sale system.

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3 Reasons Why We love Events (and you should too!)

Posted by Bryan Mueller on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 @ 01:34 PM

The Event Experience:

Breaking new ground with Tomorrow World, EAA and iPad POS softwareYou really can’t beat the excitement that is infused in a gathering of people who are all passionate about the same thing. An entire stadium thunders with cheers as their team scores. The dedicated followers who become immersed in a world they could only imagine while at a theme convention. Witnessing a once in a lifetime opportunity like a presidential inauguration. Being caught up in the energy surrounding these events drives us to make them successful. We want the attendees to have a positive experience.

Our Clients:

We love working with our wide variety of clients and assisting in making their many different events a success. We truly appreciate working with all event individuals and making their lives easier. After all, event planning is one of the most stressful jobs out there, so when we can take some of that burden off we are eager and happy to do so.


We are involved in an industry and live in a world that revolves around technology. We love it, especially when it works. Technology has made our lives easier and faster than ever. Tasks that once took days now take only minutes, and its right at our finger tips. It can be challenging to keep up with technology as it constantly changes, but we will never take it for granted. It has improved the events industry by a landslide. Plus, our company’s technology assists with some of the most important pieces of an event: finances and data collection.

Tags: Events, Event Planning, Rental