And in other RILA news – staying a step ahead of the bad guys

Mobile payments and technologies such as near field communications are a double-edged sword. The source of potential improvement to store experience, competitive advantage and efficiency, emerging point-of-sale technologies also create new opportunities for bad guys to steal. That’s why the University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) have joined forces on the issue.

The University and RILA with support from Checkpoint Systems and Ernst & Young plan to study emerging POS technology such as self-checkout, mobile coupons, touchless payment, mobile POS and mobile self-checkout with an eye toward evaluating the loss prevention risks posed by each and identify possible preventive strategies.

“Retailers need to understand this emerging technology and its implications for loss prevention now so that they can proactively address any challenges that lie ahead rather than just reacting to them after emerging POS technologies become the norm,” said Lisa LaBruno, RILA’s VP loss prevention and legal affairs.

 “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. “Given the retail focus of the Walton College, we look forward to discovering what this impact will be and to helping our industry partners.”

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.

 “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.

The research findings will be compiled in an industry report so retailers can build a risk-assessment checklist for use at store locations to mitigate theft-related risks

 “The speed at which mobile technology is affecting and reshaping retail is dramatic. The importance of understanding the risks such advancements have on a retailer's business cannot be underestimated,” said Dan Valerio, Ernst & Young's Americas Retail Sector Leader.