Working in charity retail, one of the biggest and, sometimes, most frustrating challenges we face is tackling the paperwork involved in registering donors and the sometimes tediously long queues they have to endure at the till to make a Gift Aid declaration. All they came into the shop to do was kindly drop off some bags of clothes but, for charities to ensure they get the most out of that donation, the processes required in getting there could put some people off repeating charitable acts.  

Nisyst, the developer of charity retail ePoS software CHARiot, has created a mobile app to solve this very challenge.

Available to CHARiot users, QBuster is an app which is genius in its simplicity. Removing all the complications which come with standard donor forms, QBuster can be used anywhere in the shop – allowing you to be on the move and take the pressure away from the till point when people arrive with donations.

Sound good? The ability to accept donations and optimise Gift Aid contributions from anywhere in the store alone sounds great, but there’s plenty more ways this new app could be making a difference to charity retailers. What other challenges on the shop floor can the QBuster literally bust?

  1. It’s all digital

The app delivers an integrated postcode lookup as well as replacing standard donor forms with a digital donor form and can register donor signatures which means its all much more streamlined and easy for you, the charity retailer, and your customers to complete a donation quickly and effectively meaning all Gift Aid opportunities can be maxmised. It’s completely paperless too and everything is stored all in one place – the app. Think of all those trees you’ll be saving!

  • It’s secure

Any data recorded on the app is automatically transmitted to the till using industry standard encryption to make sure the information is completely secure. The digital forms used on the app can be customised to feature your branding which will give additional peace of mind to donors when you capture their details on the shop floor.

  • The app loves generating reports

And we love a good report! For example, QBuster can monitor non-Gift Aid donations and provide information on how they compare to the Gift-Aided items. It can also process donations from existing customers allowing you to update their details or retrieve a suspended donor declaration from the app no matter where you are in the shop.

  • The bag is literally just a bag drop

Donors want to be able to drop their donations off quickly and don’t always want to hang around. QBuster is literally busting that queue as the app provides quick and easy bag drop processing functionality.

  • You can capture Gift Aid on Rags

CHARiot is actually the first HMRC recognised solution for processing Gift Aid on Rags in the sector and the app includes this functionality from anywhere in the store.

  • Customers and donors will feel the benefits

From your perspective, QBuster will make both you and your team more efficient, but, most importantly, people coming into your shop will have an improved shopping experience. Donors may never need to stand in a till queue again with the QBuster app.

As a charity, being able to collect Gift Aid is a significant revenue stream for retailers. An extra 25 pence for every pound donated can be claimed through Gift Aid which is estimated to be worth over £48 million to the charity retail industry according to Charity Finance in their most recent annual Charity Shops Survey.
The three most important things charity retailers want to achieve when processing Gift Aid are:

  1. Control and accuracy
  2. Ease of use
  3. Optimise revenue

Sadly, this is not always easily delivered for many charity retailers. Sometimes paper driven, inconsistent or slower processes can result in customers or those making donations being put off and, ultimately a loss in that all-important Gift Aid revenue stream.
When we are talking about millions of pounds worth of potential charity revenue, retail teams want to know that Gift Aid is being captured accurately and efficiently. This control can be found in a new single scan barcode software module created by Bolton-based retail software developers and Charity Retail Association members, Nisyst.
These multi-award-winning technology wizards are the brains behind charity retail ePoS software CHARiot and have collaborated with their charity retail clients to tackle the big challenges facing the industry, developing an innovative and more streamlined way to capture Gift Aid to ensure not a single penny is missed.
“We designed this new functionality in conjunction with HMRC and our charity retail clients so we’re 100% confident that our charity clients can be sure they’re getting the most out of Gift Aid contributions and HMRC can be 100% confident that all the claims are correct,” Dave Chunilal, Technical Director of Nisyst, explained.
“The most important part for us has been creating a software that made the day to day working life of volunteers easier which, at the same time, offers pinpoint accuracy and tighter control for retailers when processing any Gift Aid. Our Single Scan Barcode update does just that, and our clients’ retail teams already love it.”
It’s not just about driving an improvement to their customer’s bottom line for Dave and his technical team. They also value the importance of putting people at the heart of their service. “We have always measured the success of our service by how happy our clients are,” Dave continued. “Offering hands-on in-house support 7 days a week is something that our clients really appreciate and which we are more than happy to deliver. Even those who avoid new technology at all costs can be provided with user-friendly training so everyone on the shop floor can get the most out of the software.”

Nisyst, the Bolton based multi-award-winning developer of charity retail ePoS software (electronic point of sale) CHARiot, has launched a series of new software modules designed to help charity retailers extend and grow their marketplace easily and while also making their internal processes easier and more resource efficient.

The two new modules open up charity retailers to eBay as a channel to market, and the second, a single scan barcode functionality, gives charity retailers additional peace of mind when processing HMRC’s Gift Aid reclaims. Gift Aid is worth an estimated to be worth over £48 million to the charity retail industry according to publisher Charity Finance in their latest annual Charity Shops Survey. The new integrated eBay link has been developed in response to demands from charity retailers to help them more easily tap into the eBay online marketplace which has 23 million unique visitors in the UK and Ireland every month and is a growing channel for the industry. The new software solution, which is now available to all of Nisyst’s CHARiot software users, enables retailers to immediately reach eBay’s marketplace of 23 million users with minimal resource investment.

Dave Chunilal, Technical Director of Nisyst, explained:

“Nisyst prides itself on continually improving our CHARiot EPoS system and, thanks to an open and collaborative approach to working with our clients, their valuable input has led to these new developments. Managing retail via eBay can be a very time consuming and a resource intensive process, with head offices needing to keep manual records of Gift Aid and manually trace those records back to the respective shops where the donations were made. Our new integrated link automates all these processes for charities and enables them to sell on eBay at either shops or their head office. Unique barcodes allow gift aid to be fully auditable by HMRC, freeing up our customers to maximise the retail value of their stock donations, use their resources appropriately while also maintaining maximum control over any Gift Aid on donated goods.”

The second module, Single Scan Barcode, offers charity retail teams heightened levels of control and accuracy when pricing stock and processing gift aid, as well as stock management information on donated and non-donated sites. Charity gift aid claims are an important revenue stream for charity retailers and Nisyst’s technology has been designed, working in conjunction with HMRC.

Dave continued:

“The single scan barcode offers even tighter control on managing stock donations, with both modules making processes easier and more efficient for both shops and head offices. The other major benefit of the single scan barcode is the ease of use at the point of purchase, along with the speed of through-put which further enhances the customer experience. Nisyst is committed to delivering software solutions that makes the day to day working lives of volunteers and charities easier, while also delivering tight commercial control and efficiency to the charitable organisations and hospices so that they can use their limited resources as wisely as possible.”

Both new modules are now live on Nisyst’s CHARiot EPoS system. For more information on CHARiot, visit www.charityretailsystems.co.uk

While we could describe the technological age we are living in as interesting and some may even say challenging. This is certainly the case for non-profit organisations and charities. It can be easy for organisations to stay in a mentality of ‘old ways work’. However, the uncertainty of a financial storm can affect the way in which charities use technology or should be using the technology.

Building the Big Society
From a recent survey, Lasa – a social welfare law and technology charity – asked nearly 160 charities and not-for-profit co-workers about how they currently use technology. From the 160 surveyed, 8 out of 10 said that technology could help to build the ‘big society’, however 1 in 3 said that they don’t the time or even the confidence to try out new tools and technology, such as cloud computing. It can seem daunting to an organisation who were otherwise stuck in more traditional ways. Charities that are willing to be innovative and try new technologies such as cloud computing can significantly improve their services and even save money

What is Cloud Hosting?
Cloud hosting provides hosting on what we like to think of as ‘virtual’ servers. These servers pull their resources from an extensive networks of physical web servers. Since the cloud enables businesses and charities alike to use resources online, this means time is saved. But many charities will understand that time does equal money.

Chance UK
One charity which has taken to cloud hosting is Chance UK. They have 15 staff operating out of 2 offices – which has a very slow and unreliable connection between them. Their solution was to move their technology to the cloud. Cloud hosting achieves better connection and communication, which can allow them to deliver their services more efficiently.

So How Can Cloud Hosting Save Money?
Cloud computing has little to no setup costs and you will only pay for the resources you use. Hosting everything yourself can be stressful, time-consuming and expensive. It can also consume a lot of IT Resources. Placing everything on the cloud can certainly cut down costs as you won’t have the cost of running hardware or even maintaining it. All these things will also be reflected in the electricity bill. Organisations can tap into their cloud services as much as they require, dependant on their requirements. Because you can access it at any time, you don’t need to pay for additional capacity, meaning extra savings! While saving money is vital, one major benefit of using cloud hosting platforms is their flexibility. You can scale up or down the infrastructure at any point; as you grow, so can your technology.

Stay Connected
Charities need to make sure they are advancing with the technology to assist them in delivering strategic objectives – and saving money is certainly a great benefit. You don’t need to be a technology expert to use cloud computing either – it can be used within any activity in an organisation, from campaigning to volunteering and training. hardware-banner If you would like further information about our secure and reliable managed hosting service for all our CHARiot customers, simply get in touch. We have processes and procedures in place to make sure you have the support you need, so you can concentrate on the important things – keeping your charity profitable.

One of the biggest challenges to any business is building a brand that customers are not only aware of but are also loyal to. With so much competition in all sectors of business, being able to retain customers once you have engaged with them is key to continued success. Not only will it mean they return but they will also be more likely to bring their friends with them – either in person or to shop virtually online.

How to Build
Customer Loyalty Many businesses spend a lot of time finding ways to encourage this kind of loyalty from customers. One way of doing this is to use the data that is naturally collected when consumers purchase items. This helps to target promotions or other products that they may be interested in. Another way is to use the technology available to run your own loyalty scheme for repeat customers. This could be something like rewarding them with points or money off their purchase each time they come in to buy an item. A favourite tactic for many businesses, this can quickly establish a large amount of goodwill between you and the customer to make them come back again. Some technology will also allow for retailers to create their own discount vouchers to hand out within the EPoS software.

Choose EPoS Software That Integrates Customer Loyalty
If you want an easy and fast way to introduce a customer loyalty scheme into your existing business then choosing the right EPoS software is key. If you get one with this facility built in, it will mean you can use it to give the enhanced customer service a quality loyalty programme can bring. The knock-on effect for your business is loyal customers who you can identify and also who appreciate you using the EPoS technology in this way to benefit them. mobile phone If you are looking for EPoS software that allows you to run a customer loyalty programme, contact us today! Our flexible and innovative products will allow you to build your brand and offer the best in enhanced customer service.

Both cloud computing and cloud hosting can offer a wealth of advantages to many charities across the UK. By now, you’re probably more than used to hearing about the ‘cloud’, which is another way of referring to the ability to store and host files and documents on a virtual platform – and retrieve them when necessary. Placing your important documents and client data on the cloud might be the solution you’re looking for, as you’ll be able to stay connected and safe – and will have more time to run your store without having the additional stress of running a server hanging over you. So, how exactly can your charity benefit from being on the cloud?

Save Money
Hosting everything yourself can be expensive and consume a lot of IT resources, so placing everything in the cloud will help you to cut down costs at the end of the month. After all, you won’t have to spend money running the hardware or maintaining it, which will be reflected on your electricity bills as well. You only have to pay for what you use too, so you don’t have to invest in a server that you might end up not using to its full capacity. Of course, if you do need a large server to store and host your information, you’ll find that the hassle and cost of getting a second or bigger server can become too much… The cloud solves that issue due to its flexibility. As your business expands or reduces, you can scale your hosting needs up or down, depending on your current needs and demands.

Improved Security
You might think your information will be perfectly safe in your shop’s system or computers, but the truth is that there are many cybersecurity risks out there that can damage your business. The security of your information when you host it on the cloud is handled by your provider, who has the necessary tools to minimise the risk of a security breach, ensuring that any important files, documents and data are not stolen by anyone or by malicious software.

Increased Peace of Mind
The day-to-day operations of your store are more than enough to keep you busy, so you don’t need an extra worry on top of that. Knowing your data is safe at all times will provide you with great peace of mind, especially because you also won’t have to stress about dealing with potential system failures – your hosting service will take care of that! This means you’ll have a support team on hand to help fix any issues that might arise. Nisyst has a process in place that will help you to identify and deal with possible issues so that downtime is reduced.

Improved Access
If you store your files on your computer, for example, you will be limited to the confines of your office at all times. However, if you place your information on the cloud, you will be able to access documents from anywhere you want, as long as you have an internet connection. You can work from home, monitor your business while you’re abroad, and easily work with several colleagues as everyone can access the information at the same time. We want to help you run a successful business, which is why we provide reliable cloud hosting services that will keep your information secure and your mind at ease! Feel free to contact us at any time to book a demo or ring us on 01204 706 000 to learn more about what we can do for you.

Technology is an incredible tool, both for businesses and for charities. It can be a vital component to achieving success or a goal and, with new apps being created rapidly, these can be highly beneficial for businesses of any size or nature. What does technology offer charities today?

The Resuscitation Council (UK) have recently released their new interactive life-saving app,Lifesaver VR. This app aims to teach people what to do when someone suffers a cardiac arrest, inviting people into a time-critical situation to make decisions while learning to save a life.

How the App Works

Not only is this app helpful for all those who get it, it is also free! Lifesaver VR is designed to teach effective CPR skills whilst providing individuals with the confidence to use them should an emergency situation arise. The app is an engaging and immersive virtual reality film-in-a-game, allowing the viewer to step into a life or death situation and learn essential and crucial life-saving skills.

The Lifesaver VR provides CPR instructions and feedback, encouraging those who use it to learn. It also shows how to use a defibrillator, which boosts learning and increases the confidence in helping to save lives.

To play the game on the app, you interactively control the reactions of Harry’s friend, Chloe, using your VR headset. The game begins in VR cinema format, entering full 360° video as you perform CPR by pushing down on a firm cushion. As the VR headset senses your movements, it gives you feedback on your performance. This means it is up to you whether Harry survives his cardiac arrest.

The Benefits This Will Bring

Every year, around 60,000 people in the UK have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, so the introduction to this app can help to save lives in these situations. A great benefit is that the app is suitable for everyone, and it will appeal to young people through the teen-based scenario.

Those who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests have less than a 10% chance of surviving but, if CPR is started early, it can double their chances of survival. Also, the more who are educated with these life-saving techniques can increase the chances of survival in the future.

How to Get the App

This unique and incredibly helpful app can be downloaded for iPhone and Android, alongside a linear version for browser use that makes it highly accessible. The Lifesaver VR app is available through iTunes and Google Play, with the option for the non-virtual Lifesaver.

This new scenario has been added to the original Lifesaver app, now hosting four different linear scenarios, including choking. The original app has trained over 700,000 people in CPR since its launch in 2013.

Technology is creating a huge diversity of learning through apps such as these, which can have a huge impact in the future. Learning life skills like this can increase chances of survival for those who suffer a cardiac arrest.

At Nisyst, we aim to ensure that our technology works with you for the benefit of your business; to find out more about our services, get in touch with a member of our team today by calling 01204 706 000 or book a demo, and we will be happy to help.

Contactless is a form of payment that has gained increasing popularity in recent years. It uses radio-frequency identification, or near field communication technology, and allows for secure payments. The user only needs to hold their card near, against, or over the reader at the point of sale terminal.
It might seem like contactless is not as safe as the chip-and-pin alternative, but the truth is thatthere are measures in place because of this. Transactions tend to be small in nature, with bigger amounts needing further verification to avoid fraud. This form of payment has allowed for easier, faster and more secure transactions, which is why many customers and retailers alike are opting for this method.

A Poll by Nationwide Current Accounts

And, according to a Nationwide Current Accounts study, charities should follow suit. Not only because it can facilitate transactions, but also because it can boost your income.

This poll highlights the way the UK is changing, with mobile and contactless payment overtaking cash – just in 2016, there was a 365% increase in the use of mobile payments. It would be a missed opportunity for charities to pass on contactless because of this, especially with a third of people surveyed by Nationwide saying that their phone was their most important item on their day-to-day lives. This equated to 54% of 18 to 24-year olds.

In addition, 525 of the people surveyed said that they wanted to give cash but didn’t have any loose change with them – by opting for contactless, then, both cash and card payments can be accepted.

Benefits of Contactless for Charities

This research found that people gave an average of £5.47 when donations were made online, compared to just £2.4 when it was a cash transaction. This means that charities could potentially double the donations they receive by switching to contactless payment.

The director of payments at Nationwide, Paul Horlock, said that “mobile phones are increasingly becoming our go-to devices for living out our day-to-day lives, helping us to navigate, keep abreast on social media and make quick and easy payments.” And Brits believe that smartphones will replace cards in the next few years, so it’s important for charities to keep on top of current – and future – forms of payment.

This short video featuring Peter Andre showcases how mobile payments can be used to help both street artists and charities. Nationwide partnered with Shelter, a housing and homelessness charity, to create this video, and had Peter Andre busking in the street with a contactless payment option that gathered £260 in 15 minutes.

When applied to charities, contactless payment technology allows people to quickly and easily donate money to their chosen cause. In order to not miss out on donations because you don’t have the latest form of payment available, make sure to obtain the latest in technology for your charity, be it retail software or EPoS systems for newsagents, for instance.

Give us a call on 01204 706 000 or book a demonstration to see how our products work and how you can benefit from them.

Technology has become an increasingly versatile tool for many businesses. Not only can EPoS Software aid in keeping track of stock, it can also help to improve your efficiency and even assist in marketing your business (and give you a competitive edge). This is true for businesses of any size; from large corporations to local newsagents. So why should a newsagent care about investing in technology, and how can it benefit them?

Save on Time Consuming Tasks

If you are a newsagent using outdated technology, you may find that much of your time is spent on menial tasks such as entering in details of discounts and vouchers into your till system. Investing in specific technology would automate tasks such as these, increasing efficiency.

Improve Accuracy

Of course, when you are running a business, it is important that you maintain accuracy. This accuracy can help to ensure high levels of everything from customer satisfaction to financial efficiency. With features that help you to keep up with pricing, invoicing and subscriptions, to name but a few, our NPoS software is there to help you maintain accuracy.

Develop Customer Relationship

Each benefit you receive from the investment in technology can ultimately lead to an improvement in the relationship you have with your customer. As you improve accuracy, customers are shown that you are reliable and trustworthy, encouraging them to return as a customer. Likewise, if you can save time on menial tasks, you have more time to communicate with your customer, encouraging a relationship.

The Features of Our NPoS Software:

  • News module and customer accounts fully integrated within the software
  • Purchase order identification for public sector and corporate customers
  • Automatic news account adjustments for vouchers – simply put in the start and end dates
  • Manage news wholesaler short and late deliveries by customer with integrated bill adjustments
  • Adaptable news round management including cost vs delivery charge analysis
  • Facility for news customers to set up starts/stops, adjust orders and pay online
  • Consolidated billing and alternative delivery address facility for multi-site customers
  • Sub-wholesaler discounts by title with accounts automatically adjusted for returns
  • Email bills to save time, uncertainty and expense

Each of these features can be incredibly valuable tools for newsagents to improve the day-to-day running of their business. If you have problems with accuracy, time-consuming tasks or even productivity, our NPoS software could help to improve the way you work.

If you would like to find out more about our software and how it can help your business, you can book a demo with a member of our team by calling 01204 706 000. Alternatively, you can request a call back by filling out our online contact form.

In the meantime, make sure to check us out on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn where you can find out more about us and keep up to date with all our latest news and updates.

Even with today’s technology and ever-advancing levels of security, cyber-attacks can still occur. And now, more than ever, charities are being urged to protect themselves against a specific type of cyber-attack; ransomware.

The ‘WannaCry’ ransomware, in particular, has been targeting Microsoft Windows since Friday, 12 May 2017. More than 230,000 computers in 150 countries have already been affected. WannaCry demands ransom payments in bitcoin, a type of digital currency, in 28 different languages.

This highlights just how important it is for charities to be protected.

Are Charities at Risk?

It’s not clear yet whether charities are affected by WannaCry, but the truth is that IT systems and existing protection need to be kept updated at all times. After all, according to James Mulhern, chief information security officer at Eduserv, “charities are a big target for cyber criminals because they have valuable data, including personal information which is of huge value to attackers.”

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017 also reveals that almost seven in ten companies identified a breach or attack. Businesses that hold electronic personal data were more likely to suffer from breaches (51%) than those that don’t (37%), which showcases the severity of this issue and why charities need to be protected against cyber-attacks.

The most common attacks occur through fraudulent emails, which try to get staff and consumers to reveal personal information, as well as passwords. Malware and viruses in attachments and links are also common, as is ransomware.

How Can Charities Remain Protected?

Charities can protect themselves by using donated security software, according to Richard Craig, CEO of charity software specialist Technology Trust:

“A lot of the problems have been caused by organisations using legacy systems, predominantly Windows XP, which is no longer supported by Microsoft. It’s understandable that charities try to send as much money through to their cause but this shows what can go wrong if you postpone upgrading. Microsoft donates Windows operating systems to charities so that at least takes a lot of the cost away.”

Backing up systems, having an up-to-date antivirus in place, and investing in high-quality technology can minimise the risks of cyber-attacks. It is also important that staff have the necessary skills to identify an attack or to respond to it, so make sure everyone is trained in cyber security (or has enough knowledge of it).

At Nisyst, we strive to make charities safer than before, be it to prevent ransomware or any other security breaches. We have extensive experience in the way volunteers work and have worked closely with many charity IT departments to advise on and implement best practice at the retail point for greater security. So book a demo or call us on 01204 706 000 and we’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about our technology and to discuss how we can help you to become a safer charity.