Interactive Kiosk and Digital Signage News

It is impossible to deny the growing popularity of interactive kiosks and the digital technologies that are playing a part in this trend, including digital signage. In fact, Zion Market Research recently published a report stating that the global self-service technology market accounted for $15.70 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach $37.75 billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of around 15.8% between 2016 and 2021. That’s truly exceptional growth. Today, we wanted to catch up RedyRef’s readers on some of the news we’ve come across as it relates to developments concerning the use of interactive kiosks and digital signage across several industries.

First up, the rapidly-growing use of self-service kiosks by state DMVs for driver’s license or car registration renewal. While the kiosks themselves are certainly more convenient than waiting in long DMV lines, better yet, they are being placed in areas such as grocery stores and malls, which means users can now combine errands in a much more convenient way.  Some of the states that are rolling out this technology, or already have it in place, include Georgia, North Dakota, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and California. Although there is always a learning curve when introducing a new self-service technology, most people believe that Gen X and especially Millennial users will take to this trend fast, allowing it to spread quickly over the coming years.

Next, it was recently announced that Saudi Arabian Bank has begun installing interactive kiosks with biometric technology integrations for their customers.  The use of biometrics, such as the retina and fingerprint scanners offered by RedyRef, gives users an additional level of safety and security, one that is much greater than a simple pin number or password.  Some of these technologies are already being integrated into cellular phones for an additional layer of security, so it makes sense that the use of biometrics is starting to grow for interactive kiosks, too.

Finally, Carnival Corporation (operator of multiple cruise lines, including Princess, Carnival and Holland America) is in the process of testing a form of RFID technology they hope will simplify and personalize their passengers’ experiences on their ships. The key lies in a small chip, encased in a medallion, that can be unobtrusively worn or stored in a wallet or handbag.  The chip will allow guests to unlock room doors automatically, or give them automatic entrance into different shows or entertainment venues onboard.  It can even store information about restaurant reservations, including food and drink preferences. The chip also lets Carnival more seamlessly communicate with passengers by sending personalized messages and recommendations to digital signage both in public areas and in their rooms, based on stored preferences.  What these chips will not do, however, is store sensitive information, such as room number or credit card numbers.  It remains to be seen whether customers will take to this technology or not, but it will be interesting to find out more once the results are in.

Think interactive kiosks and are right for your company? We’re happy to help you find out. Contact RedyRef today at (800) 628-3603 today or request a quote online and we’ll be with you every step of the way to ensure that your self-service kiosk program meets every one of your business’ unique needs and goals.

Visitor Management Software by RedyRef

Digital Visitor Management as a Best Practice: Part III

The ways in which organizations track visitors have become increasingly important over the last decade, and much of this has to do with security concerns.  Knowing who is in your facility or on your campus at any given time is a big responsibility to bear. That’s why implementing secure visitor management systems (SVMS), like RedyRef’s enGAGE VisitorCheck platform, is now often considered standard practice for many companies.  

Last week, we discussed some of the ways VisitorCheck works to facilitate the flow of guests and contractors throughout the workday.  Today, we’ll go into more detail about exactly what features have been integrated into RedyRef’s secure visitor management software to ensure both efficient visitor processing, and overall building, facility and campus security no matter who comes through the doors.

Let’s start with one of the most important features of VisitorCheck, which is its ability to offer a completely secure yet streamlined experience, facilitating communication between the visitor, security staff and the individual with whom the guest will be meeting. While this may sound simple, it’s one of the most important ways to prevent identity fraud or the admittance of those who should not be granted entrance.  VisitorCheck can be integrated with photo capture capabilities, meaning that the supermajority of people will be who they say they are, especially when that photo can be both printed on a badge and transmitted across departments.

VisitorCheck also allows for other relevant identifying information to be recorded that will help ensure a greater level of security than just a paper-and-pen sign in.  Besides integrated cameras for photo capture, signature pads can record names in the visitor’s own hand and fingerprint scanners can be added for those environments where very high-security requirements may be needed that go beyond simple identification. Information such as the reason for the visit, the type of visitor they are (guest, contractor, etc.) or the type of security clearance they have may all be relevant in certain situations.  

Once all of the identifying parameters have been selected and entered into the system, a custom, time-stamped badge can be immediately printed via a range of different printer options if desired. There are even time-limited badge stocks available that can be used for printing that will immediately identify expired badges in real time, so it’s easy to recognize individuals who should no longer be in the building.

Utilizing a self-service VistorCheck kiosk is also much more efficient and allows guests to be on their way faster than they would otherwise. Manual, paper and pen check-ins generally require a visitor to wait to be signed in by a receptionist or security employee, then cleared for entrance before notifying the on-location employee via phone call that their guest has arrived. VisitorCheck can transmit information about the guest’s arrival directly to whom they are meeting, eliminating the need to wait on a front desk employee to facilitate the meeting. Even if the employee is out of their office, they can still receive the message that their guest is waiting via email or SMS.

There are additional considerations that should be weighed when deciding which secure visitor management system to deploy. Come back next week when we’ll continue this discussion and learn more about the VisitorCheck platform. Meanwhile, if you’ve already decided that digital guest management is right for your company, the process does not need to be as difficult or complicated as it may first seem. The key to success is partnering with an experienced, vertically-integrated manufacturer like RedyRef. Contact us today at (800) 628-3603 today or request a quote online and we’ll be with you every step of the way to ensure that your program meets every one of your business’ unique needs and goals.

Kiosk Lobby Visitor Check

Digital Visitor Management as a Best Practice: Part II

This digital world of ours is changing quickly, and that more often than not means figuring out how to adapt to these “new rules” just as fast so as to not fall behind.  RedyRef’s team of industrial and computer engineers has spent countless hours immersed in figuring out what’s next for interactive kiosks, and one of the most important concepts on the horizon — and one that’s being adopted quickly — is digital visitor management. Last week, we discussed why visitor management programs well on several levels, but the most significant aspects we covered are how they work to improve the first impression given by a business or other organization, while increasing the security of a building or campus. Today, we’ll talk a little more about exactly how digital visitor management systems achieve these things by taking a closer look at RedyRef’s in-house solution, the enGage platform.

enGAGE visitor management software is typically installed on a self-service kiosk at reception, and registration can be initiated by either an employee or by the visitor, depending on the type of installation that is chosen. This software automates the entire registration process, and can handle anything from a simple “sign-in” to more complex processes such as printing badges with scannable barcodes or notifying employees via email or SMS when a guest has arrived.

enGAGE secure management software is not just effective, but also easy and quick to use, enabling visitors to get what they need and be on their way to their appointment. For most transactions, it takes less than 30 seconds for guests or contractors to register with their information, print and receive their badge or send a text to whomever they are meeting.  This is a marked improvement over almost any other analog system. It’s also a massive step forward in terms of security and accuracy.  Visitors can be tracked from the time they register until the time they leave, and because the system can be setup to require an ID at sign-in, it is much easier to ensure that those on the premises are who they claim to be.

There are additional considerations that should be weighed before making a decision to move to a digital visitor management system like the one we’ve developed at RedyRef.  Come back next week when we’ll continue this discussion and find out more about the enGAGE platform. Meanwhile, if you’ve already decided that a digital lobby is right for your company, the process does not need to be as difficult or complicated as it may first seem. The key to success is partnering with an experienced, vertically-integrated manufacturer like RedyRef. Contact us today at (800) 628-3603 today or request a quote online and we’ll be with you every step of the way to ensure that your program meets every one of your business’ unique needs and goals.ay to ensure that your program meets every one of your business’ unique needs and goals.

Visitor Management Software by RedyRef

Digital Visitor Management as a Best Practice

We live in a digital world.  RedyRef has played an important role in creating digital signage and interactive touchscreen kiosks solutions in multiple environments, from retail to restaurants to travel hubs like airports. What we’ve found is that while humans do like to interact with other humans, we tend to prefer doing it when it suits us and our own timeline, and mainly when it involves people we already know and like.  If we can limit interactions at checkout, or find out about a product while shopping without having to find an employee?  That’s often what we choose. We prefer to do what we can ourselves, and this is especially true from a generational standpoint. Millennials, in particular, are not just comfortable with self-service technologies, they seek it out.  With so many of this generation already in or almost ready to enter the workforce, it makes sense to consider adapting any processes that could be made digital to fit this technologically-savvy mindset.

One area undergoing a digital sea change are lobby environments. And sure, this may not sound as thrilling as discussing the next big thing in self-driving cars; however, it’s something that can be hugely impactful to a business that chooses to implement more technology into their lobbies.  Why?  Because a lobby area is often the first physical touchpoint — the physical “first impression” — visitors have. Just as having the right website is a powerful tool to reach customers and gain that invaluable first impression, a lobby can do the same in the physical realm.  In other words, if you are still having people sign in and out with a paper and pen?  You are likely losing image points at the same time.

There are other good reasons to move to a digital visitor management system like RedyRef’s than just enhanced image.  There are also security issues to consider. For example, forcing people to physically write in their names means the names are often illegible; that is, if they even bother to use their real name in the first place. A digital system helps ensure most people can be identified correctly, especially when that system also prints a visitor badge. Not many people are likely to want to walk around all day with a badge that says Foghorn Leghorn or Mickey Mouse all day, so it’s safe to assume that digital systems force a certain level of accuracy, and therefore increase the level of building security since everyone who is or has been in the building during a given timeframe can be identified. There are other factors to consider in regard to public safety, including potential fires, robberies or other similar situations where being able to track and account for visitors is incredibly important. Doing so with a paper log is nearly impossible; digital visitor management systems make it easy.

There are additional considerations that should be weighed before making a decision to move to a digital visitor management system like the one we’ve developed at RedyRef.  Come back next week when we’ll continue this discussion and find out more. Meanwhile, if you’ve already decided that a digital lobby is right for your company, the process does not need to be as difficult or complicated as it may first seem. The key to success is partnering with an experienced, vertically-integrated manufacturer like RedyRef. Contact us today at (800) 628-3603 today or request a quote online and we’ll be with you every step of the way to ensure that your program meets every one of your business’ unique needs and goals.

The Benefits of Self-Service Financial Services Kiosks

Self-service digital kiosks are rapidly entering different market sectors, in particular foodservice and retail. However, there’s a less-often discussed type of interactive kiosk that is also gaining steam, and that’s the bill-payment or financial services kiosk.  It’s understandable that billpay kiosks may not be getting the same amount of recognition that others kiosks often do; they certainly don’t offer the same opportunities for fun or innovative integrations that, say, a Wendy’s ordering kiosk or an automated Best Buy vending machine might.  What billpay kiosks do offer, though, is a solution to a need that is truly evergreen, one that is both desirable to consumers, and profitable for those who choose to install them.

Before making a decision to install a self-service billpay or financial services kiosk, the most important thing to do is to identify exactly what types of products you want to offer.  Are you a utility company and would like to give customers another option to make last-minute payments?  Are you a university that wants to allow students to make tuition payments on campus?   Or are you a retailer that wants to make it simpler for visitors to purchase, reload or check the balance of gift cards in-store?  Each of these scenarios requires different software, hardware and environmental considerations when designing, manufacturing and deploying the related interactive kiosk.

The first potential project listed above, the utility company, is probably the simplest in some ways. It will likely only provide a few options for its use, such as basic bill payment or checking an account balance.  However, because this type of billpay kiosk is going to deal in cash payments, much more so than other kiosks might, it also requires an incredible amount of security built into it in order to detect fraudulent currency (much like an ATM might), as well as the ability to dispense exact change if necessary.  

The second type of kiosk can be both stand-alone, or part of a more complex self-service system.  Universities have actually been amazingly progressive with their use of interactive kiosks on their campuses, using them to do everything from reload “campus cash” cards to pay parking fines and find directions around town.  It stands to reason, then, that these kiosks may require a broad number of different integrations, from receipt and ticket printers, to cash intake slots, to dual monitors that allow two different sets of information to be displayed at once.

Our final example is the retail financial service kiosk.  These, too, can, cover a broad range of opportunities for companies to interact with customers.  One of the primary uses is to allow visitors to purchase and reload gift cards, which means cash intake slots and a card dispensing system would both be necessary, as would a receipt printer.  However, retailers are now using the same kiosks to also allow customers to apply for store-branded credit cards, or even apply for jobs.  This means integrating a real keyboard — instead of just a keyboard on the touchscreen — may be optimal for encouraging the completion of either of these tasks. They are also combined with store information and directories, and even bridal or baby registries.

It’s clear that there is strong consumer interest in self-service kiosks, and now is the time to parlay this enthusiasm into a healthier bottom line for your business. And while there are clearly challenges to designing and deploying a new bill payment or financial services kiosk program, the process does not need to be as difficult or complicated as it may first seem. The key to success is partnering with an experienced, vertically-integrated manufacturer like RedyRef. Contact us today at (800) 628-3603 today or request a quote online and we’ll be with you every step of the way to ensure that your kiosk meets every one of your business’ unique needs.

Are Cash Collection Kiosks Secure

Cash Collection Kiosks: Are They Secure?


Self-service kiosks that handle cash collection have been around for decades, most notably in the form of automated teller machines (ATMs). However, in the years between the debut of ATMs and today, the need for new and more sophisticated cash collection kiosks has soared far beyond banking, and into such industries as gaming, medical marijuana dispensing and others where security is of paramount importance and average transactions are generally higher-dollar amounts.

So how are kiosk manufacturers like RedyRef responding to these high-security needs? By combining the best of new technology with old-school fraud protections. For example, a medical marijuana dispensary kiosk has to be able to handle cash deposits, as many dispensaries only handle cash transactions. So kiosks must be secure on not just physically, but also technologically.  The kiosk itself must incorporate levels of fail-safes such as shutters and other physical barriers to prevent theft; on the other hand, it must also marry these measures to modern fraud-prevention features, such as cash tracking sensors, bill counter/handlers and sophisticated software that is able to recognize counterfeit bills and coins. This last issue is one of the more difficult for those in the security industry to deal with, as it’s only become easier to create fake currency over the last decade. Therefore, security specialists have to constantly stay one step ahead of criminals, rather than simply responding to problems as they occur.

What are some of the technologies currently on the market that can help prevent fraud? There are devices available for use within cash collection kiosks that are able to analyze the UV signature of the ink on printed bills, or the precise density of accepted coins are two of the most common. There are also devices that can detect the metallic strip integrated into most American paper currency, analyzing its position and even chemical makeup.  This is truly an area of research that seems to have no end in sight at the moment, and with the self-service kiosk industry continuing to gain steam, it stands to reason that security advances like the ones listed here will only keep coming.

In all honesty, though, cash handling is never likely to be a simple process, but it is a necessary one for many businesses in this day and age.  Because it takes many levels of precise coordination in order to ensure transactions are secure, the key to success is partnering with an experienced, vertically-integrated manufacturer like RedyRef. Contact us today at (800) 628-3603 today or request a quote online and we’ll be with you every step of the way to ensure that your cash collection kiosk meets every one of your business’ security needs for its unique deployment environment.