It’s an exciting time to be a part of retail at Microsoft. In the past two years, Microsoft has become a retailer with Microsoft Stores; continued to drive a thriving consumer business with amazing products like Kinect and Windows Phone; and launched Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail – a solution that addresses the key needs of retailers like nothing else on the market, and is taking the industry by storm with customers in over 30 countries. NRF 2012 is just one week away and will mark yet another milestone for the Microsoft Dynamics retail business as we showcase Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for retail. In the build-up to NRF next week we will be bringing you a series of blog posts from industry thought leaders inside and outside of Microsoft. We kick this series off with CEO of Cole Systems, Dave Weiner - here is what he has to say.

Wallet-less checkout - are you a Dynamic Retailer and are you ready for the NFC race? 

Your customers want it, in fact they demand it but can you meet their expectations around One-Click checkout online and swipe-less payment in-store? Today your customers do not even need to carry a wallet to buy from you! The race for mobile payments (now being referred to as m-payments) is on. At retail, mobile phones embedded with a new technology called Near Field Communication (NFC) can transmit data from your phone to a device which accepts your payment. Over the past six months, half a dozen different major payment-related companies have devised a smartphone application to enable NFC payments at the register.

With the right NFC enabled phone, consumers can simply "bump" (tap) their phone next to a payment-accepting pin-pad to complete their transaction. Since most consumers already have their phone in hand, checking out becomes quicker, while linking purchase activity into other mobile applications such as social media. Consumers get the benefit of saving time while having all of their charges consolidated via an online account. No more credit card in wallet – simply bump your phone! With all of the changes that m-payments have seen in the last six months, there is no doubt that the next six months will see even more progress. Our clients using Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail have been able to take full advantage of the changing "wallet-less" landscape given the openness and flexibility of Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail. This is giving them the ability to checkout customers more quickly than ever before, offering an enhanced in-store experience, and further bridging the gap between online and in-store.

About Cole Systems:

Cole Systems is a world-renown business consulting & technology solutions firm, specializing in the implementation and enhancement of Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail. Our team is made up of world-class business consultants and IT professionals with unmatched skills and experience in the retail industry. Our expertise enables us to effectively analyze your needs and deliver a single source retail ERP solution. To learn more about Cole Systems and our Retail Solutions, please visit www.colesys.com/retail. You can visit us at NRF, booth #259 or drink some tea from one of our customers DavidsTea at the Microsoft booth (#1337.) Davidstea will also be part of the following Microsoft BIG !deas session this year:

Monday, Jan 16 3:00 – 3:45 pm: Excellence through Innovation – Microsoft Dynamics Customers Tell Their Story (customer panel) on the show floor room #3D08

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