Improve my POS experience - Stop giving me receipts!

29 October 2013

Brenton O'Callaghan

Brenton O'Callaghan

Global Head of SAP Innovation

In the past 10 years we have seen portable music players, smart phones, tablets and in-memory computing completely change our lives. We now have phones that can act as your credit card, 24 hours instantaneous access to all of our banking needs and the emergence of the always-connected society.

This evolution we have witnessed over these past years is incredible and yet I feel there is something we have missed, there is something that has not changed and that is the point of sale or POS experience.

About 50% of my personal transactions are conducted online and this includes my subscriptions to online services like Google music, Netflix and Amazon. The on-line-based purchase experience, to me, is vastly superior to anything I find when I physically purchase something in-store. Surely with the advances in technology and proliferation of cloud computing we can enhance our POS experience to be at the same level as our online experience.

Why does the merchant at my local supermarket still hand me a paper receipt when I have paid using a card that uniquely identifies me? Yes the act of the purchase has become easier, waving my card in front of a reader using contactless technology. But considering all the technological evolution we have witnessed over the past few years, surely we are beyond this.

The closest I have come to be best in-store experience would most likely be the Apple store. The purchase of physical goods in-store requires confirmation of your Apple account, a swipe of your card and that’s it. The receipt for your purchase is then emailed to you, which for me means I can store it somewhere and file it for use later – surely a much better plan that trying to hold onto a small piece of paper.

The solution to this problem is not easy and it raises questions like – who stores this data, what can they do with it and would the merchants be willing to part with detailed transaction information? I don’t have the answer to all of those questions but surely those challenges can be overcome.

I am really looking forward to the day where I know that all of my personal transactions are itemised, filed and easily accessibly without the need for me to worry about where I put that receipt.


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About the author

Brenton O'Callaghan

Global Head of SAP Innovation

Enterprise technology strategist and emerging technology evangelist

I'm a globally experienced SAP expert based in Ireland and I’m currently responsible for creating and bringing our SAP Innovation & Leonardo practice to market. My day job involves helping our customers to solve actual business problems in a rapid fashion using tools such as design thinking, SAP Leonardo and much more. I'm also responsible for exploring how emerging technologies and concepts can be applied within our customer base such as Machine Learning, Blockchain, DevOps and AI.
I've a background in computer science and have spent the last 9+ years in the SAP space across a wide range of industries across EMEA and North America. I'm a big believer that the best consultants have a mix of technical knowledge, industry experience and empathy and that is what I bring with my team to my customers. It's all about bringing about positive and relevant business change with the best possible technology.
Outside of work you can find me supporting the Irish Rugby team and the Boston Red Sox as well as my new found hobby - golf!


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