Contactless NFC payments are here with May 2020
While this spring has been anything but normal, summer is on its way – and we’ve been preparing for sun. Our team has put in a lot of work (at home) into the May 2020 version of Ascend and we’re excited to share it with our retailers starting May 20th, 2020.
However, we’ll be doing things a little differently this time. So, keep reading for details on how to get it! For a full list of work we’ve done, check out the release notes.
Guided update: As you’ll see below, we have several exciting changes coming…but some of them are a bit complex and we want to make sure everything goes smoothly. Instead of delaying the update, we decided we could provide interested retailers with the new features now – with a bit of help from our support team. For that reason, we’re asking that you use the link below to request your update and schedule a time for us to guide your team through the process.
We’ve got some highlights listed here, but scroll down for more in-depth info on these upgrades:
- Contactless NFC payments (US only)
- Detailed transaction details for Ingenico payment terminals
- New rules for active work orders
- Upgraded e-commerce platform for increased speed and stability
- Ascend HQ: Category Analysis report + Retail Profit Machine metrics
Easy pay: We’ve heard your requests loud and clear! Unfortunately, both near-field communications (NFC) and overriding the default payment choices sent by EMV cards required recertification processes that take a very, very long time.
We’ve now simplified the choices customers see on the Ingenico payment processing terminal – they’ll only be presented with options for Credit or Debit, regardless of the card issuer.
- If the card can be used as either Credit or Debit (like most personal ATM/bank cards), Debit is listed first and on a green background. This saves both customers and cashiers time and frustration, and saves your business money on payment processing costs.
Near-field communications (NFC) technology allows your customers to load their credit card information onto their device (phone, smart watch, fitness device, etc.) so they can make contactless payments – some credit cards also offer this option.
- Your customers can rest assured that they can pay using methods like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Android Pay, Fitbit Pay, Chase Pay, PayPal, VISA payWave and reduce the need to touch a high-traffic payment terminal. Click here for more information and a list of exceptions.
- Samsung Pay does not use NFC technology – but this remains an option for your customers, and follows the same process as a non-EMV physical card.
eCommerce stability: We’re moving our eCommerce integration over to a new platform on the back-end of things (but there’s no change in website provider options). While there aren’t any new features associated with this change – yet – this gives us a springboard for future changes and gives you a faster and more reliable experience.
Category Analysis: The Category Health Summary report on Ascend Analytics was an integral part of your business analysis. The Ascend HQ platform now gives you many more options for reporting on that same data in near-real-time.
- Use the Category Analysis report to compare sales and inventory performance from year to year. Check out our Ascend HQ Category Analysis metrics knowledge base article to learn more about the metric measurements.
- If you’re not already using Ascend HQ, check out our Ascend HQ FAQs knowledge base article to learn more and get started.
Retail Profit Machine: The Retail Profit Machine (RPM) metric on Ascend HQ Analytics gives you a quick view of the most important data for your business.
- We’ve recently included Av. Work Order, Av. DIS, and NPS to add even more value to this metric. Check out our Ascend HQ Analytics metrics knowledge base article to learn more about what’s being measured.
Ingenico sales summary: This one’s a small-but-mighty upgrade – at the end of a sale, your customers can now see a summary of their transaction right on the Ingenico payment terminal screen.
- We’ve added subtotal, shipping, total savings from discounts (including promotions and manual discounts), tax, and total due. Use this feature alongside emailed receipts to save physical contact and paper!
Work order retention: To prevent work from falling through the cracks, we’ve made a couple adjustments to Work Order transactions:
- If there are any active Work Order Details associated with the transaction that haven’t been checked as Completed, the transaction can’t be closed as a sale (even if it’s paid in full). This also ensures your service technicians can add any additional charges the customer authorizes without starting up a new transaction (and gives you accurate reporting).
- If there are any active Work Order Details associated with the transaction, the Work Order button on the transaction toolbar can’t be toggled off.
- If the customer changed their mind and you no longer need to do any work on their repair item, simply check Hidden on the Work Order Detail.
More Customer Query filters: Email (and postal) marketing is key to getting customers to continue purchasing from your store (whether that’s online or by appointment in the store).
- Targeted marketing (tailored to your customers’ interests instead of just a “blanket” approach) increases customer engagement – but you’ll want to make sure you’re only sending to customers who’ve agreed to receive marketing materials so you don’t erode their trust in you.
- We’ve added the Include in Communications filter to the Customer Query utility so you can easily select only those customers (you can also use this filters to send one-time invitations to customers who asked not to receive communications, if appropriate).
Better user management: We added a Products/Vendor Products – View Only user permission to allow employees to view product information – without editing it. We also ensured:
- The Work Order Scheduling Override permission is required to authorize using an over-booked date for repairs in all situations.
- If you’re using the Force Login feature, users must log in to access the Inventory Center screen or add a Payout from the Ascend Desktop.
COVID-19 resources: It’s a strange time to be a small business. We get that. And we’re here to help you – check out our COVID-19 retailer resources to see all the features we offer so you can save the season with everything already at your disposal.
TCRM campaign updates: In light of the ongoing pandemic, Trek has reworked the Trek Connect Retail Marketing calendar for the next few months. Check out the 2020 retail promotion calendar: May to July B2B article to learn more (you’ll need to be logged into Trek’s B2B site in order to view the article).
Memorial Day support: The Ascend office will be closed for the US Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 25th. This includes the support line – however, emergency support will be available from 8:00 am-5:00 pm US Central time. Emergency support will also be available on Saturday and Sunday, like normal.
- For non-emergency issues, please submit a ticket and we will get back to you ASAP on Tuesday (May 26th) during normal support hours. We also have a plethora of self-help resources to help you solve common issues right away!
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