On this episode of The DroidDevCast podcast, Esper Platform Evangelist Rin Oliver spoke with POSBANK Senior Global Project Manager Steve Kwon to discuss Android-based kiosk solutions, the evolution of contactless payment solutions and kiosks during the Covid-19 pandemic, and touched on Esper and POSBANK’s partnership which helped a US-based retail chain to bring BIGPOS kiosks into their stores.

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With headquarters based in Korea, POSBANK provides a variety of kiosk-based solutions for businesses seeking to leverage the power of Android devices in settings such as healthcare, retail, and the restaurant industry, manufacturing and selling over 130,000 units worldwide as of 2019. Kwon went on to note that in his role, he manages OEM and ODM businesses, partnering with solution providers such as Esper to bring those solutions to POSBANK customers. 

While the majority of the point-of-sale solutions available today are based on Windows hardware, there is a growing need for Android-based point of sale solutions for a variety of use cases. Rapid adoption has been seen in both US markets and European markets, with end-users demanding cloud-based solutions and operating fleets of Android devices. “In terms of the trends that we’re seeing, the first is to provide solutions with the same interface as Windows-based POS hardwares to meet various requirements for customers adopting Android systems,” said Kwon. POSBANK is currently working on developing a 15.6” full HD screen POS system with an ultra-slim, modern design to help meet the ever-increasing trend towards HD kiosk displays that also save retailers valuable floor space. This new system features an optimized interface, with options including a camera, scanner, micro SD slot, various magnetic stripe reader fingerprint modules, and a secondary display.

While sales from industries such as hospitality may have dwindled during the Covid-19 pandemic, Kwon noted that other industries are trending upward in their adoption of point-of-sale kiosks. This is especially true in POSBANK’s domestic market of Korea, where contactless marketing efforts and Covid-19 safety efforts are extensive. “Basically, this is where brands are utilizing technology such as kiosks to reduce person-to-person contact while providing consumers a way to connect with brands and communities safely. We’ve also seen high demands and offerings of temperature-measuring kiosks. I’m sure you see them all over the place here in Korea. You go anywhere, you go watch a movie at a movie theater, it’s right there, restaurants scanning you. And so, a lot of customers are adopting this kind of technology. We’re also seeing digital signage products with hand-sanitizing options as well.”

Image Credit: POSBANK, POSBANK BIGPOS 2700 Model, showcasing a 3/4 front, side, and back view of the kiosk.
Image Credit: POSBANK, POSBANK BIGPOS 2700 Model

What to Consider When Building Custom Kiosks

Entering the custom-built point of sale and kiosk space is an endeavor that businesses should not undertake lightly. Kwon went on to explain that POSBANK is interested in providing these solutions to its customers, encouraging those that are exploring the option of custom-building their own kiosk-based solution to make note of both current and future trends. “Design changes pre-launch, after the initial investments would be an absolute nightmare to change at the end. Definitely evaluate potential manufacturing partners early on in the process. Definitely learn about their quality system, because at the end of the day, it will affect you. Some basics are: how are they sourcing products? How do they evaluate suppliers? How do they implement changes within the manufacturing process? How do they manage product complaints and support? What quality process do they have in place, because this will affect your product at the end of the day,” said Kwon. Evaluation of a custom-built kiosk solution should also be extended to a manufacturer’s current range of offerings, taking care to note the failure rates for a particular product. Having these conversations, ‘early on,’ Kwon explains, is key to successfully building out one’s own custom kiosk. “We’re quite proud to announce that our failure rate for systems are at 0.4%, and this was confirmed by our largest system integrator program partner in the US as well,” adds Kwon.

POSBANK is known for its quality kiosk solutions, having been in the market since 1994. In 2004, they began manufacturing kiosks, with stringent Quality Management Systems (QMS) processes and regulations in place to ensure high-quality products. On the manufacturing line itself, Kwon highlighted that POSBANK reduces dust levels via implementation of a no-carbon box rule, and that their storage location has dust-free Electrical Overstress (EOS) and Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) prevention systems, in addition to being temperature and humidity controlled.

“We have stringent incoming inspection standards and we have more than 60 inspection points before releasing products out to the customer. And these inspection points are all recorded into our QMS system. So for example, we have a BIGPOS kiosk, one of our own kiosks, set up at the manufacturing line, and this shows daily manufacturing output levels for each customer with percentage of defects found throughout the approvals process, and these are tracked real-time, again, reported, and changes are implemented in accordingly. So this really helps improve our quality.”

How Esper and POSBANK’s Partnership Brings Kiosks to Retail Markets

POSBANK has partnered with Esper to help retailers, restaurants, and other customer-facing businesses speed up mobile modernization. POSBANK kiosks with Esper’s custom Android operating system, Esper Foundation for Android (Foundation) can be shipped directly to the storefront for remote deployment, management,  and monitoring via Esper’s cloud console. Recently, Esper and POSBANK teamed up to help Parker’s Kitchens, an award-winning convenience chain, rapidly deploy self-serve loyalty program kiosks at locations throughout the Southeastern United States.

You can read more about Parker’s successful launch of POSBANK kiosks with Esper Foundation for Android on Kiosk Marketplace

“I’d say the biggest benefits would be shortened time to launch. You’re already hearing about how fast retailers need to implement change. Customer-facing businesses are looking for ways to increase service levels, increase sales while keeping costs low, and while providing convenience. The hard part of the hardware and solution selection has already been done and optimized. We let the customers focus and shorten their launch and focus more on their kiosk launch strategy. Basically, the hard part’s already done so you can concentrate on more important things,” said Kwon.

Image Credit: POSBANK, POSBANK BIGPOS 2700 Model

In this Episode of The DroidDevCast: 

00:34 – What is POSBANK?
01:27 – What are some of the Android hardware trends that you’ve been seeing lately?
02:48 – How has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted the kiosk and point-of-sale market?
05:23 – Exploring POSBANK’s manufacturing quality assurance standards
07:39 – How Esper and POSBANK teamed up to help an award-winning convenience store in the Southeastern US deploy BIGPOS kiosks
08:56 – What are some of the unique benefits of POSBANK’s partnership with companies like Parker’s and other customer-facing businesses?
09:38 – What do customer-facing businesses need to know before they deploy self-service kiosks?
11:10 – Steve’s final thoughts on POSBANK’s solutions