Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Newsagency of the Future: In the wake of the Touch decision

Mark Fletcher
February 17th, 2020 · 6 Comments

I’ve had calls from newsagents following the announcement by AfterPay last week that they were closing the Touch business. It’s got people thinking about their newsagency of the future.

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Category: newsagency of the future

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Graeme Day // Feb 17, 2020 at 9:13 AM

    Spot on. Well constructed and well based.
    Yes we will have to change with times whether it be from lotto or newspapers other services and especialy products as demeand changes and new markets created. That’s retailing.
    I also believe each store (newsagenct) must have an on line presence. This way they can keep minimum range in less space (saves in occupancy costs) and show the full range on line with pick up from store facility.

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  • 2 Sunny // Feb 18, 2020 at 12:41 PM

    Why we lost Touch Service and what we can learn from this event.

    From our experience, Touch is one of great partner to work with, and usually $20000 to $30000 sales from Touch per year.

    In late 2017, Touch has provide early warning that POS machines need to be upgraded to Windows 7 or above.

    On March 2018, Touch disable our sales apps as we didn’t upgrade POS’s operation systems. It happened to many of my friends. Upon request, Touch also kindly provide additional time period for old apps to be used and for us to arrange upgrade our systems.

    One of follow newsagent take quick response and brought a new Windows 10 PC, and with assistance from POS supplier, he upgrade the apps from Touch and continue to retail recharge products via Touch apps.

    Other follow newsagents take no actions, to upgrade POS machines, due to the following reasons,

    1) Upgrade to Windows 10, means
    1.1 new computers and possible new accessories (as old printer and customer display using serial and parallel ports, and new computers might only have USB ports)

    1.2 reinstall special utilities and softwares, such as Windows Office, XchangeIT, Email, Banking and account software,

    1.3 migrant all setting and passwords to new internet browsers to access supplier websites

    That means a lot of investment and business distributions.

    2. Many newsagents are not on current POS support plans

    3. Newsagents has other easy solutions, such as EPAY Apps in the POS (which has been disable after 3 months), EPAY apps in bank Eftpos Terminals….

    Therefore, we didn’t not upgrade our POS as requested, and using Easy solutions.

    What lessons we learn from this event?
    1. A service of upgrading newsagents’ old PC to new PC, with migrating all old apps, old software setting, and user data is needed.

    2. In case of software change, newsagency channel need to negotiation with major suppliers to buy some time, and provide favorable solutions, not the existing easy solutions

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  • 3 Mark Fletcher // Feb 18, 2020 at 4:34 PM

    I disagree Sunny. The need to upgrade was announced with plenty of warning.

    This is not a supplier issue to address but a retailer on.

    On the broader issue of Touch, the trajectory was clear.

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  • 4 Sunny // Feb 20, 2020 at 8:04 AM

    Mark. I completely agree with you.

    The need to upgrade is a must, as XchangeIT and other service providers might ask for the same requirement for their future versions.

    This is not a supplier issue to address but a retailer should take action to upgrade their systems.

    What I want to say that, as a retailer I am looking for a solutions in last 6 months, asking many computer shop owners, how to do in-place upgrade from Windows XP/Vista 32-bit to Windows 10 64-bit with keeping all the applications, user account setting and data. No solution has been found yet.

    If anyone has any idea, please let me know, if I find some solutions, I will let my colleagues know.

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  • 5 Mark Fletcher // Feb 20, 2020 at 8:46 AM

    Sunny, it’s pretty simple. Install hardware that will run the current release of Windows. That was the advice mid last year. This is what I did in my shops without hitch and I know of hundreds of newsagents who have done it without hitch.

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  • 6 Jonathan Wilson // Feb 21, 2020 at 10:06 AM

    If you are not running Windows 10 on a PC connected to the internet, you are exposing that PC to an increased risk of being infected by malware through security holes that have been discovered but that Microsoft hasn’t patched. Even if you run a good anti-virus you are still at increased risk.

    I have seen what things like ransomware can do to a system (and don’t assume backups will save you, its entirely possible the backups could become affected too, seen it happen before).

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