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Serving Retailers since 2000                       Newsletter
 

August 2015 

In This Issue
Quick Label
EMV
Windows 10
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This month, we have information about a recent feature addition, as well as the upcoming EMV liability shift and the release of Windows 10.

Quick Label

 

In version 3.5.4, we've added a Quick Label option, allowing you to print labels and barcodes for things that are not in your inventory and are not customers.

 

 

 

This function, found under tools -> Quick Label from the invoice screen, allows you to either print one line of text and a barcode, or two lines of text, in a variety of font sizes.  You can randomly generate a barcode to use for gift cards, serial numbering, or discount cards.

EMV
   

We've gotten a few questions about the upcoming changes regarding credit card processing and the upcoming EMV liability shift, and thought it best to address them.

 

What is EMV?

 

EMV is the term for the style of credit cards with a chip built into them.  While these cards as currently issued have magnetic stripes for backwards compatibility, if being used with an EMV reader they are simply inserted into the reader and information is read off the chip.

 

What is the benefit of EMV?

 

When used at the point of sale, with proper equipment, it is vastly more difficult to counterfeit the chip card in comparison to recoding a magnetic stripe.

 

What is the liability shift?

 

Unlike baseline PCI compliance, there is not a strict deadline for converting to EMV currently scheduled.  Rather, in October, there is what's being referred to as a liability shift.  
 

What this means is that if there is an incident that using EMV could have prevented, and the merchant does not use EMV, the loss of that transaction will fall on the merchant.  There are not fines beyond that loss of merchandise.  This can mean, if your merchandise and average sales are relatively low, that the increased time to do transactions and cost of the EMV do not make it worth the cost - it is not very likely that you will see roadside hotdog stands using EMV for credit card transactions in the near future.

 

When will an EMV solution become available within ExtremePOS, Musicware and Praiz?

 

The solution with Mercury Payment Systems and Datacap has very recently become available to developers, and we are working on integrating to it now.  We are anticipating an update including it becoming available at some point in September.

 

What will I need to use this solution?

 

First, you'll need to be using, or start using, integrated payments.  If you're using a separate terminal for your credit cards, you'll want to contact the provider for information about their EMV solutions.

 

Second, you'll need to be on the upcoming version of ExtremePOS, Musicware, or Praiz.  If you are not on support, you'll need to purchase an update.

 

Third, you'll need to get the relevant hardware, most notably an EMV pin pad that has been prepared to work with your processor.  Information on pricing and models will be forthcoming.  The devices we will be selling will be serial port devices; you'll need to check for an open serial port on each computer you want to have an EMV pin pad.

Windows 10
   

Windows 10 is available, and those of you on the more recent versions of Windows - 7, 8, and 8.1 - are probably seeing the option in your system tray to update to it.  Should you?

 

Well, we would recommend against automatically installing Windows 10 right off the bat on a work computer.  While test builds of Windows 10 have looked okay here, any operating system upgrade carries a certain amount of risk, and the free upgrade is available for one year.  We would recommend waiting until the kinks have been ironed out, and then proceeding at that point.

 

If you've decided to ignore this advice, at least keep the following in mind:

  • Make certain you have a database backup that is not on the computer you are updating.  You should be doing this anyways, but make especially certain any time you're doing major software or hardware updates.
  • Double check that your hardware has windows 10 compatible drivers available.  Particularly, if you are using a serial to USB cable, or a PCI expansion card, many of these will not have compatible drivers; you'll need to have a plan in place for the devices using these.  In some cases, this may include replacing a receipt printer.
  • If you are going to do this, you should aim for a day when you are not busy and support is available.  If you bring your system down with an update at 6:00 on a Friday, you are likely to regret the decisions that have brought you to this point.
If you are looking for a new PC, a Windows 10 computer should be fine, assuming it has appropriate ports for the printer you're using.  However, upgrading in place carries a number of risks, and we recommend holding off to see how severe they might be.
Version 3.5.4 is currently available to supported users.

We will be closed on Monday, September 7th in observance of Labor Day.

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You may view an archive of our emails here! 

Sincerely,
 

Jeremy Spencer
Support Manager
Extreme Point Of Sale Inc
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