E-Receipt system stops paper waste
Written by Craig W. Anderson
The Business Journal The Business Journal Cashier Karina Perez of Baby Nutritional Care WIC stores, uses the new E-Receipt system.


Ayman Sulaiman is already a successful businessman whose 45 Baby Nutritional Care stores provide food for the Women Infant and Children (WIC) state-based nutrition program, a retail niche that generated nearly $30 million in 2009.

Sulaiman studied computer science at UC Berkeley and Heald College and as the success of his WIC-only retail chain burgeoned, he realized that receipt machine paper tapes comprised a huge portion of his overhead costs. His stores were "going through pallets of paper receipt rolls costing three-dollars per roll," he said. "I realized there had to be a better way to issue and store receipts."


A better way


The "better way" concept developed by Sulaiman is E-Receipt which is, he said, a multifaceted use of a unified, digital receipt option that will provide customers with receipts via electronic medium. No paper.

"There have been attempts to develop a solution for this issue such as cloud computing, email, credit cards, scanners and other receipt receiving options," he said. "However, our invention uses unification, simplicity, and practical organization to help people manage their spending habits."

E-Receipt springs from the need for consumers and businesses to electronically store and catalog all receipts for bookkeeping and later use. "Our product blends hardware and software based devices to merge a physical, unified card reader to virtually any cash register using current USB technology," explained Sulaiman.

About his system, Sulaiman said, "There's nothing out there like it. E-Receipt provides several options and will work with multiple platforms because with the technology we can go into any store and it will work. The platform is universal."


What it does, how it works


When the cash register recognizes the reader software it is instantly ready to accept the unified storage card which, when inserted, provides consumers with receipt uploads to their card, thus the name: E-Receipts.

E-Receipt holds information such as transaction dates, UPC, quantity, price, and taxes and is platform independent, portable, and can be installed on any operating system.

And for traditionalists who feel the need for paper, a paper receipt can be produced.

Sulaiman had the idea in 2005 when he realized he needed a method to track the data from his WIC-niche stores and initially "found a top programmer after a three year search" to begin the research to bring Sulaiman's idea to fruition. "The brainstorming really began in 2009."

The idea eventually became a patent-pending invention, an electronic receipt system that holds the promise of world-wide use with a value that could be astronomical.


In-place systems used


The system uses existing point-of-sale card scanners and Smartphone readers to send receipts to the "cloud," computer servers that gather data accessible by Internet-connected devices such as Smartphone, computer, iPad, and others.

This business solution permits single and multiple store receipts to be held in one unified storage card with information retrieval limited to the store itself – retailers cannot access the data of other retailers, e.g. a Subway card reader is prevented from reading Starbucks data and, "our system will not only save retailers money, it will also save forests of trees and is environmentally sound," said Sulaiman.

In short, businesses using E-Receipt can eliminate paper receipts and their concomitant costs along with having all daily receipts on one easily accessible card; an easy return and exchange process; effortless receipts management; full spend analysis and financial reporting; data retention such as warranty ID numbers; simple and easy tax bookkeeping; reduced expenses; and lifetime storage.

"The system allows customers to verify, review, and calculate their daily receipts anywhere, anytime," explained Sulaiman. "This represents the essence of our invention which is the ability to have one unified card for multiple and unlimited retailers."

Customers will use the E-Receipt home kit comprised of a reader, a CD containing software as an exe application, and an installation wizard to install the system on a PC. Once installed, the program will allow the customer to download receipts onto their PC; the kit will also include spend analysis and dynamic reporting tools.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of the system is its ability to aggregate receipts from all retailers who download the E-Receipt proprietary, patent-pending software.  This also allows the business to access its account and transfer information into a spreadsheet or Quickbooks.

Concord test bed

More than a year ago the senior programmers for the Baby Nutritional Care WIC stores were tasked with building the system which is installed in a few of Sulaiman's stores. "Only a few of the stores now use the new cloud receipt system, with the nearest one in Concord," he said. "That store is my 'test kitchen' because the innovations are real-world-tested in the location" which is managed by his brother Ibrahim.

E-Receipt will be promoted to small to medium size retailers due to their comprising "a huge market" and, he said, "A venture capitalist will be needed to take us to the next level."

That level should be of interest to venture capitalists because, said Sulaiman, the system will track Europe's value added tax, is useable by governments worldwide to follow a multitude of government functions, and "a new generation of tech savvy travelers and businesses will jump on this because it is great for expenses reimbursement."


The future is now


"This is the future. People don't want to carry paper receipts in their pockets," he said. "It shouldn't be a difficult transition for most people or businesses as no one carries cash anymore, either. This is the entrepreneurial path into the future."

Sulaiman has reached out to banks and credit card companies which have expressed interest in the system due to its affordability and the fact that "we have covered all scenarios, including various security checkpoints for each user and an internal system component at each level including communication, hardware, operating system, and software."

Security is vital in today's high tech realm of hacking and electronic compromising of information but not to worry, said Sulaiman, E-Receipt is rife with security sufficient to ease the concerns of those using the system.

The end consumer will use a "unified storage card" to hold all sales transactions from different retailers in a secure, encrypted manner, with no one other than the owner able to access the information.

"The security pass code can be a one time insertion used to activate the license to protect the component from being hacked or stolen," Sulaiman said.

"I'm a retailer," Sulaiman said. "And in E-Receipt, I have everything needed and wanted by a retailer and it can be tailored to their specific needs."

In these days of being "green", Sulaiman said, "Consumers can officially 'Go Green' with E-Receipt." The system should also bring more "green" into the retailers using it and in today's challenging economy, that's always good for business.

Read 1012 times Last modified on Wednesday, 23 November 2011 10:19