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Is The Retail World Ready for Digital Receipts? Intuit & Others Primed For Paperless Checkout


During the checkout process today, consumers often leave the store with a paper receipt longer than their arm. Not only does this process fly in the face of the green movement, it is also inconvenient for consumers to store and manage reams of paper from different merchants.

Apple and a few other retailers have started to shorten the paper trail by encouraging consumers to have a PDF of their receipt emailed to them. However, the entrance of software giant Intuit into the digital receipt space could usher in a more dramatic shift to paperless checkouts. During this past holiday season, Intuit launched a pilot program in the Scottsdale, AZ market to test the waters for the launch of QuickReceipts.

The pilot, which is scheduled to run through the end of February 2010, is working with leading retailers including Best Buy, Cost Plus, World Market, Dillard’s, Smart & Final and Peek . . . Aren’t You Curious. Tapping into the product expertise and installed customer base from such products as TurboTax, Quicken and QuickBooks, QuickReceipts is designed as a hub to provide consumers online access to their electronic receipts from participating retailers via MyQuickReceipts.com. Based on the success of the pilot program in Arizona with major retailers, Intuit is planning for a national roll-out with additional retailer participants.

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Other leading solution providers in the digital receipt space are already planning to partner with Intuit’s rollout. afterBOT announced the commercial availability of QuickReceipts Connect at the NRF show earlier this month, a solution designed to provide the retailers with fast, efficient integration to the QuickReceipts centralized digital receipt repository.

“afterBOT’s digital receipt expertise gives retailers more advanced ways to serve and support their customers, increase loyalty and reduce shopping stress,” said Jim Nadler, VP of marketing, afterBOT. “We designed QuickReceipts Connect to be a flexible and scalable application that works easily with retailers’ existing systems or with our TransAccess applications.”

With afterBOT’s solution, retailers can implement QuickReceipts Connect, which is PCI compliant, and link to the QuickReceipts repository. afterBOT’s team uses the NRF  industry standard ARTS Digital Receipt XML (DRXML) format to enable QuickReceipts Connect to be fully functional quickly and enable participation in the next phase of the project.

afterBOT also offers services to integrate, maintain and manage the connection, allowing retailers to store data within their firewall and move data to QuickReceipts.

Going Green
The digital receipt trend extended beyond the QuickReceipts launch at NRF, with other solution providers introducing new paperless programs. Leading payment processing vendor Hypercom Corp. and TransactionTree, Inc. announced a “go green” initiative to give multilane merchants using Hypercom’s Optimum L4150 payment terminals the ability to replace ink and paper-based receipts with paperless email receipts.

“With TransactionTree’s application on the L4150, we are enabling major retailers to switch to electronic receipts, reduce the use and cost of paper and save our natural resources. This is innovative, go green technology that’s a win-win innovation for retailers and consumers that serves the common good,” said Lloyd Baylard, Vice President, Multilane Products, Hypercom Corporation.

To take advantage of green initiative, the cashier offers the customer the option of an electronic receipt regardless of payment method. If the customer opts to “go green,” the cashier or consumer validates an email address on the payment terminal and the receipt is instantly transmitted to the customer.

“Retailers spend millions of dollars annually on ink and paper receipts, almost all of which inevitably wind up tossed in the trash and destroying countless trees in the process. Hypercom’s L4150 with our solution gives consumers the option of paper or paperless, reduces the cost to retailers and protects our natural resources,” said Jason Shapiro, CEO of TransactionTree, Inc.

The TransactionTree technology integrates with electronic point-of-sale systems, and is designed to save retailers and consumers the cost and burden of storing hard copy receipts by providing secure online file backup. TransactionTree’s digital receipt solution is also designed to combine loyalty program data and transactional data in real time, and deliver the purchase receipt to consumers via email and also available through online receipt repositories.

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