The Future of Self-Service Kiosks — Pt. 3

Our previous blog discussed how digital kiosks are impacting health care, and detailed the way that self-service registration kiosks in particular are helping move the medical industry forward. This week, we’ll talk about what other ways kiosks are driving change in this sector; ways which only a few years ago, would have been unlikely or even unheard of.

The technology age has affected almost every industry, and the kiosk industry is no different. Once simply transactional and able to provide only the most basic services, like the PIN-based ATMs of the 1980s, self-service kiosks now include the integration of complex hardware and software, such as fingerprint scanners, iris cameras and facial-recognition technology; in other words, biometrics.

Why are biometrics important? Because the type of services now available via digital kiosks have become increasingly sensitive in terms of user privacy, as well as financial security. Therefore, these higher-dollar, more complicated transactions don’t just require a PIN for approval; instead, they necessitate a truly secure environment, one that can only truly be guaranteed via the use of biometric capture technology. This gives patient, doctor and hospital a level of comfort in transmitting sensitive medical information, while ensuring that only the intended recipient has access to the goods and services these kiosks are capable of providing.

So what kinds of medical kiosk deployments are beginning to be seen at market? One type stands out in particular: those that are capable of dispensing prescription medicine and medical supplies in a verifiably secure manner. There are two forces at work that will continue to make these types of dispensing devices relevant. The first is the dawn of medical marijuana as a legal alternative to traditional drugs. At this point in time, most dispensaries are cash-only businesses, which can create several different issues, including an increased potential for employee theft as well as a greater threat of robbery. Medical marijuana kiosks are able to offer a secure way to both dispense medicine and store cash collected, while also protecting the product itself.

Second is the aging population of Boomers. This cohort will continue to place a strain on the medical system and associated institutions, such as pharmacies. As a way to streamline the dispensary process, large companies such as CVS and Walgreens will look to self-service pharmacy kiosks to lessen demands on their workforce and help keep costs in check. This also allows the pharmacist to focus on filling more complex prescriptions, such as those for controlled substances, while the automated kiosk takes care of filling simpler orders like those for antibiotics.

It’s not just the healthcare industry that’s integrating self-service kiosks. Many other business sectors are finding success in improving both performance and customer satisfaction with kiosk deployment. Keep following RedyRef as we continue to explore the future of the industry next week. Already know that you want to be a part of the automation movement? Our experts are available to assist organizations of all sizes; just give us a call at (800) 628-3603 ext 525 or submit a request for proposal online and our team will be with you every step of the way.

The Future of Self-Service Kiosks — Pt. 2

Last week, we began a discussion on the future of self-service kiosks.  Much has been written about the topic, and consumers’ feelings about them certainly vary, but every indication still points to the fact that digital kiosks are here to stay. This means that the question isn’t if kiosks will be relevant; instead, it’s what the next wave of applications will be, and in what capacity are they most likely to be deployed.

Interestingly, one of the biggest markets for self-service kiosks is the medical industry.  As Boomers age, it is becoming an accepted fact that there will be many more patients in need of care than there will be doctors available to treat them.  Therefore, hospitals and medical facilities are looking for ways to more quickly move patients through the system, while reducing costs at the same time. An innovative way to make this happen is via self-service registration kiosks, which create efficiencies in several ways:First, they get rid of pen and paper forms, which are often redundant, and generally viewed by patients as inconvenient or a waste of time. Decreasing the amount of time required to fill out paperwork increases the chance that patients will matriculate to an exam or treatment room faster, allowing doctors to stay on schedule (keeping patients happy), and potentially see more patients per day, contributing to a healthier bottom line. Second, digital registration kiosks decrease the need for human labor.  While there will most likely always be a need for front-desk associates to assist patients to some degree, that need will decrease greatly if manual entry and organization of patient information is no longer required. This leads to labor cost savings for both private practices and medical systems, which in turn frees up monetary resources that may be better allocated toward hiring additional clinicians. Third, electronic records, in particular those that are input directly by the patient, are more likely to be accurate than those entered by a third party.  Records mistakes that are the result of hard-to-read handwriting, an incomplete understanding of the patient’s medical history or even just simple human error, can be dangerous for patients, and therefore costly to practitioners who use this information to diagnose, treat and prescribe. So what else is on tap for self-service kiosks?  We invite you to follow RedyRef as we continue to explore the future of the industry over the coming weeks. Already know that you want to take the plunge into high-tech kiosk deployment? RedyRef’s experts are available to assist organizations of all sizes; just give us a call at (800) 628-3603 ext 525 or submit a request for proposal online and our team will be with you every step of the way.

The Future of Self-Service Kiosks

Ask any ten people how they feel about self-service kiosks, and you’re likely to get a range of answers.  Some of this depends on the age of the consumer — Millennials are far more likely to have a favorable impression of them than Boomers, for instance — but other factors are important as well, such as the type of kiosk and the environment in which it has been installed. However, while potential users’ feelings toward self-service kiosks may vary, one thing is certain: they are here to stay. This means that the real question isn’t if kiosks will play important roles in transactional and service environments; it is, instead, where and when. If recent trends continue, the truth may very well be that digital kiosks will be able to find a place in almost any industry where human interaction often hinders the process (via a combination of inefficiency or inaccuracy) more than it helps — especially if the real costs of the human resource are, in the long run, higher than that of the machine. Also important to note is that as the market for digital kiosks broadens, often into unexpected areas, the technologies being incorporated into them are becoming increasingly high tech in order to take full advantage of the range of opportunities for their deployment. Rather than simple barcode scanners or limited touch screens, we’re now seeing biometric integrations, high-resolution displays and touchscreens with pressure-sensitive capabilities. Some of this is the result of demand for additional security during financial transactions, but it is also due to the unique needs of some kiosks, such as those dispensing expensive items or controlled substances. On the flip side, because self-service kiosks are more common than ever before, it means that pricing continues to fall, making less-complex machines more accessible to smaller companies. Small businesses may not need biometric-enabled kiosks, but they certainly stand to benefit from some of the more basic technologies available, especially as the minimum wage continues to rise. Excited to get a glimpse of what’s next for self-service kiosks?  Us, too.  We invite you to follow RedyRef over the next few weeks as we explore the future of the industry. For those who already know they want to take the plunge into high-tech kiosk deployment, RedyRef’s experts are available to assist companies of all sizes; just give us a call at (800) 628-3603 ext 525 or submit a request for proposal online and our team will be with you every step of the way.

White Paper: Calculating the True Total Landed Cost

In terms of the supply chain, businesses need to be concerned with many different factors. Speed, efficiency, quality of services provided and costs involved are just a few of the considerations that require scrutiny when deciding how to manage and deploy the many moving parts of a typical supply chain.

Of the myriad issues, it’s impossible to say which is most important; they all play significant roles in the success of a business. However, each factor will still ultimately be more affected by one aspect than any other: the controlling of costs. Because there are so many variables that can come into play and influence costs, businesses often fail to recognize that one of the biggest contributors to projects going over budget can be seen well in advance, and that’s Total Landed Cost (TLC).

Ready to learn the real costs of doing business both on- and off-shore?  Download our white paper now!

White Paper: Assessing Potential Kiosk Industry Partners

So, after months of research and analysis, you’ve looked at all the options, and decided that deploying self-service kiosks is the best way to save your company money, while still serving your customers’ needs. Excellent! Take a moment to pat yourself on the back; you’ve likely earned it. Don’t worry — we’ll wait.

All set? Great. Because now that you’ve taken that much deserved break, it’s time to get started on the real work — figuring out who you can trust to design, engineer, fabricate, assemble and install your kiosks on time, within your stated budget, using high quality materials and components while providing excellent customer service.

Okay; we realize it may sound like we’re dreaming the impossible dream, here — but trust us, we’re not. That’s the entire reason we’re taking the time to write this paper: to offer professional guidance for those who may have never before sourced a kiosk manufacturing company, and to make it easier for those who have gone through the process in the past, but are hoping to make a more informed choice the next time around.

Ready to get started?  Download our white paper now!

EMV 102 — Advanced Studies

In last week’s blog, we covered the basics of EMV.  This week, we’ll take a look at some of the most important factors to consider for those affected by the Great Liability Shift of 2015, with a particular focus on our speciality: kiosk systems. As we said in our EMV 101 blog, the reason banks and card issuers are now able to shift liability for fraudulent activity to merchants is because chip systems and cards are supposed offer a much greater level of security than those with traditional magnetic stripes. This liability is essentially a penalty for not upgrading to an EMV-capable, “chip and pin” POS system.

Although much of the discussion around this shift has been from the perspective of retail merchants, kiosk operators must also comply with the new EMV standards. In fact, there are a number of factors that require consideration when choosing a fully EMV-capable device for kiosk integration. Rob Chilcoat, President of North American Operations for UCP Inc., a leading manufacturer of EMV-compliant hardware and payment gateway solutions for unattended card payment terminals like those used in kiosks, talked about these “levels” in a recent guest blog for

  1. Device physically meets EMV specs for chip and/or NFC processing
  2. The device’s firmware performance meets EMV processing specs
  3. The now EMV-ready device is “married” by a developer to compatible software and commits to certifying it with a processor and card brands (Visa, Mastercard, etc.)
Beyond these initial levels of EMV compliance are two more hurdles to overcome, according to Jeremy Gumbley, CTO of CreditCall, UCP’s recommended vending machine and kiosk payment services provider.  In a 2014 interview published on KioskMarketplace he stated that:
  1. Hardware and software must be continually updated with the latest EMV standards.
  2. Kiosk operators need to ensure that all card transactions are secure.

Gumbley also suggests that kiosk operators utilize point-to-point encryption technology (P2PE). This allows for immediate card number encryption, and therefore secure transmission over the network to the processor for decryption.

Feeling more knowledgeable about EMV?  Better prepared for The Great Liability Shift?  We hope so.  But if you still have unanswered questions, RedyRef is here to assist companies of all sizes that are undergoing the EMV transition; just give us a call at (800) 628-3603 and we will be happy to help.  Already know what you need and are ready to select a kiosk hardware solution?  Simply submit a request for proposal online and our team will be with you every step of the way.