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Initiative to study risks of emerging POS technology
Jul '12

While consumers may look forward to mobile coupons and touch-less payment, researchers at the University of Arkansas are examining these new technologies to address the potential for theft and fraud.

The Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas has partnered with the leading retail trade association on a research initiative to address risks associated with these emerging technologies.

“Retailers are quickly adapting to customers who are increasingly wired, self-sufficient and seeking convenience,” said John Aloysius, associate professor of supply chain management in the Walton College. “Mobile point of sale is a technological innovation that we think will roll out over the next few years. This innovation may significantly affect the retail supply chain due to the impact on malicious theft and changes in operational processes. Given the retail focus of the Walton College, we look forward to discovering what this impact will be and to helping our industrypartners.”

Viswanath Venkatesh, Distinguished Professor of information systems and holder of the George & Boyce Billingsley Endowed Chair in Information Systems, will work with the team to evaluate risks posed by new and emerging technologies, including self-checkout, mobile coupons, touchless payment and mobile self-checkout. The project will also identify and evaluate possible loss-prevention strategies.

“It is exciting to be looking at the new frontiers in mobile technologies,” Venkatesh said. “This work is the cutting edge of loss prevention.”

Aloysius and Venkatesh will collaborate with the Retail Industry Leaders Association to accomplish these objectives.

“We need to get out in front of this emerging trend now to position ourselves so that we can proactively address the challenges that lie ahead rather than reacting to challenges once these emerging point-of-sale technologies become the norm,” said Lisa LaBruno, vice president of loss prevention and legal affairs at the association.

The researchers will compile their findings in an industry report and then build a risk-assessment checklist that retailers can use at store locations to mitigate theft-related risks. LaBruno said the project has the potential to deliver tremendous value to the retail industry.

The research is supported by Ernst & Young and Checkpoint Systems.

The U.S. News & World Report 2011 America’s Best Colleges ranked the Walton College supply chain management/logistics specialty in the top ten among the public undergraduate schools. The college’s information systems department consistently ranks in the top ten worldwide for articles published in top information systems journals.

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