Tested by a Global Audience
Providing a cashless self-service checkout solution for the DAA was an exciting project for our Engineering team, due to the sheer magnitude of system usage by passengers all over the world with varying levels of exposure to technology.
Transforming the Clover POS to a Self-service Kiosk
The challenge was to utilize the existing Clover POS devices contracted by the DAA and transform them to passenger facing self-service kiosks. Using Clover and its extensible inventory system we managed to subsume our Self-Checkout app, that would help passengers avail of Dublin Airport’s Fast Track service on the kiosk within the airport premises. This app could accept payments and print tokens (aviation standard compatible QR codes) that could be validated at a later stage in the passenger journey.
How does the app work?
Our app required an initial one time set up by the DAA. A staff member opens Clover’s inventory app and specifies which product they would like to sell via our Self-Checkout app, simply by placing it in a special Category within Clover’s Inventory management. Any items in this Category would display as “For Sale” in the Self-Checkout app. After adding all the required products, the DAA staff then places the POS in a locked-down Customer facing mode, which can only be unlocked using a unique combination that is not known to the passengers. We added this Security authentication since the Clover Mini is perpetually in an ‘Always On’ state which could be a potential security concern.
Now, when a passenger arrives at the kiosk (specially mounted Clover Mini display), they select the item(s) and modifiers that they would like to purchase and then proceed to pay using NFC Google / Apple Pay, or a conventional credit / debit card. On successful completion of payment, a receipt is printed which contains a unique QR code granting them Fast Track access to Dublin Airport. We modified our source code to accommodate aviation standard compatible QR codes which are different from the regular QR codes we normally provide. The app then resets itself for the next customer. And the best part, this entire flow takes less than sixty seconds to complete.
Engineering a Printing Solution
DAA wanted to limit the number of QRs sold every 15 minutes. LoyLap created an intelligent system to replenish the items stock using Clover’s API.
We also modified our Self-Checkout app, to monitor the print roll levels and display paper states such as “Low on Paper” and “Out of Paper”. In case of an “Out of Paper” event, the kiosk would temporary lock itself down until a member of staff replaces the paper roll and unlocks the device.
An additional challenges was that the default printer with the Clover Mini is perfect for Businesses who have the time to train their staff. However, this printer was not ideal for Passengers who are in a hurry to get their Fast Track tickets and do not have the time to learn how to tear off their own QRs / receipts. The reason here being that the default Clover POS printer does not have a guillotine, and when not properly torn makes it susceptible to paper jam. Also, the default printer does not support larger print rolls. A larger print roll was essential to allow the DAA to service larger number of passengers with comparatively lesser downtime for roll replacement.
The answer to this printer challenge was to reconfigure and use an external printer (a Star Micronics TSP-143LLL printer) which featured a robust guillotine, faster printing speed and houses larger print rolls thus allowing the DAA to sell more fast track tickets before running out of print rolls.
Scalability based on estimated footfall
The biggest of benefit of a cloud-based solutions is their ability to scale up based on requirements. Like most of our solutions our Self-checkout app is completely cloud based, which meant that the DAA could choose to add/remove more self-checkout kiosks based on estimated footfall (as per travel seasons) at a fraction of the cost compared to Standard self-checkout solutions that operate independently.