Categories
News

Our Commitment to Climate Action – 2024 Update

Our Commitment to Climate Action - 2024 Update

23rd January 2024

Polar Moment and the Latitude 91 group continue to strive to meet demanding environmental, social, and sustainability commitments, aiming to be the best business we can be. As members of the SME Climate Hub (www.smeclimatehub.org), we are committed to achieving net-zero status by 2050.

 

In Spring 2023 we  calculated that our total emissions for the previous financial year were 23.1 tonnes of CO2e. This is a fifth of the average emissions for an IT industry company with a similar turnover. We reduced this in the last financial year to 12.3 tonnes of CO2e.

How Did We Achieve This Reduction?

In August 2023, we radically downsized our office space. This eliminated 3 tonnes of CO2e.

Our policy of increasing the use of teleconferencing and discouraging unnecessary travel resulted in another estimated reduction of 3 tonnes of CO2e.

Meeting and Exceeding Targets

In 2023, our target was to halve both direct and indirect emissions by 2025. Today, we proudly report a 47% reduction. So, we’re almost there, two years ahead of target!

 

This achievement clearly demonstrates our dedication to reducing our carbon footprint.

Categories
News

Polar Moment 2023: A Year in Review

Polar Moment 2023: A Year in Review

19th January 2024

As we bid farewell to 2023, Polar Moment reflects on a year marked by achievements, hurdles, and unwavering dedication. Join us in revisiting the key projects that have defined our journey throughout the year.

Payments Consultancy

Payments Facilitation and Cash Management Platform

Polar Moment developed a business transformation platform, enabling our client to become a total solution provider by expanding its cash management services to include payment card acceptance. Working alongside compliance advisor FSCom, we helped our client become an Authorized Payment Institution. We then developed a unique AWS cloud-based payments facilitation platform, including a market-leading web portal for our client’s merchant customers. Following the successful rollout of the solution, we were invited to develop their cash management platform to provide a unified cash and card solution. This encompasses the web portal, settlement, invoicing, and transaction monitoring.    

Acquiring Services

A leading hotel operator sought Polar Moment’s expertise in securing cost-effective acquiring services. Leveraging our insights into market rates, we successfully assisted them in reducing costs, resulting in one of the most competitive acquiring rates in the sector.

Payment Systems Development - implementation

Public Transport Card Success

Polar Moment architected and managed the development of a public transport card payment solution. This card system, akin to London’s Oyster Card, enables users to purchase transport tickets and add funds to their cards through terminals located in convenience stores. The initiative has seen the sale of over six million cards, with more than one billion passenger journeys recorded to date.

Planet – Payment App Development

Polar Moment developed a number of innovative payment apps for the PAX IM30 Android-based payment terminal. These apps allow customers to make purchases using various unattended devices (e.g. vending machines) that use Planet’s payment SDK.

Payment Services

GPT’s PoolPay Innovation

Game Payment Technology (GPT) is the disruptive payments start-up in the amusement industry. Latitude 91, Polar Moment’s parent company, is one of the shareholders. This year, Polar Moment developed PoolPay – a groundbreaking solution enabling players to use a single payment terminal to pay to play any of the pool tables within a pub or similar venue.  

2023 has been a year of growth, collaboration, and impactful solutions. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our clients, partners, and the Polar Moment team, whose contributions made these accomplishments possible.

 

As we look ahead in 2024, exciting developments await. Stay tuned for upcoming projects and initiatives from Polar Moment!

Categories
News

Latest News from GPT – August

Latest News from GPT

August 2023

Game Payment Technology (GPT) is a joint venture between Polar Moment and JCM Global, a world leader in transaction and payment technologies, to drive the amusement and gaming machine industry forward with cashless payment solutions.

Here are the latest updates about Game Payment, the market-leading cashless payment solution developed and operated by Polar Moment.

Game Payment cashless payments

Play in July:

Although play on fruit machines reaches its lowest point at this time of year, Game Payment continues to grow. The amount deposited by players grew again in July and the number of machines played saw a very healthy increase. The growth in player numbers is remarkably consistent throughout the year – as the graph below illustrates.

Multi-Machine Use:

Game Payment is quickly becoming the preferred way of paying in the pub. For instance, before and after playing ten games of pool, a Wolverhampton player took a few spins on the nearby King of Games fruit machine. Some players in Andover have two favourite pubs and play pool using GPT in both. It’s all about convenience and fun with Game Payment!

Reflex Game Master 2:

Exciting news! Reflex have recently launched their Game Master 2 cabinets. Game Payment is now available using either hardware or software solutions on the following machines:

  • Game Master 2 – EVO Cat C Menu
  • Game Master – EVO Cat C Menu

Our software-based solution uses the GBG EFT protocol, allowing cashless play without needing to install any hardware. Alternatively, you can use a TP-SLU to connect to Game Payment.

 

For players, the main difference between these options is how they connect their app to a machine. The TP-SLU will allow the player to find the machine using Bluetooth (see screenshot to the right). Both solutions allow the player to scan the QR code presented on the machine. Otherwise, the player experience is the same.

Cash Vs Cashless:

Research shows that for small retail businesses, the cost of an average transaction for cash is 9.1% (1). These costs factor in cash management and reconciliation costs as well as back-office and banking charges. Card payments are at least 50% cheaper than cash, on average.

 

The bigger picture though, is that arcade operators are losing revenue from the cash-averse. A nationwide study on behalf of Samsung found that only 14% of people in the UK always carry cash – and just 8% of 18-to-29-year-olds (2). Even a handy ATM won’t necessarily appeal to these people.

 

References:

  1. https://squareup.com/gb/en/townsquare/the-cost-of-cash-versus-credit-for-small-business
  2. https://news.samsung.com/uk/cash-is-checking-out-as-more-than-half-of-brits-dont-carry-it-according-to-new-research
Categories
News

The Expert’s Playbook for Payments System Implementation: Best Practices and Insights

The Expert's Playbook for Payments System Implementation: Best Practices and Insights

21st August 2023

Having spent 26 years working with payments projects across the retail sector, I’ve seen first-hand how challenging it can be to implement payments systems. There are many factors that can impact the success of a payments project. In this blog post, I’ll share my expert playbook for implementing a payments system, including best practices and key insights.

John Rozek

John Rozek

Polar Moment director

Understand clearly what you are trying to achieve:

Do not start by designing the solution. Start by establishing what you need to achieve as a business, and what the customer experience should be. Do not restrict this just to payments: this is only part of the story. Consider the whole user journey.

Bespoke Software Development - Tailored Solutions
Payment Processing

Define your project scope and requirements upfront:

Once you are clear on the desired customer experience, then you can define the project scope and requirements. Do not try and design the solution at this stage. There are many approaches for delivering payment solutions. Working with payments experts will help you understand the options available and the implications of each.  

Choose a development partner with practical experience:

Payments is a complex world. Look for a development team with practical experience in working with a broad range of payment solutions. Weigh up the benefits of developing bespoke solutions against adapting existing software solutions. Work with the development team to decide which technologies are most appropriate considering your organisations standards. Also, consider cloud-based options.

payments consultancy - Training
Bespoke Software Development -Industry Expertise resized

Take a phased approach to development:

Payments system implementation is a complicated process that requires careful planning and execution. Taking a phased approach to development will help to minimise risk. Establish how your team will work with your chosen development partner. Decide how you are going to review the outputs throughout the development project. Set your testing strategy and agree your acceptance criteria. Know how you are going to implement the solution. Consider the benefits of piloting before rollout.

Prioritise resilience, transactions speed, ease of use, security and compliance:

Payment systems are the heart of your business. If your system is down you cannot trade, revenues are lost, and customers walk away. The user experience must be intuitive and transaction speeds need to be fast. Payment systems are a high-value target for cyber criminals. A data breach will have a massive financial impact and damage your company’s reputation. Consider how to design your system to minimise the costs of complying with  PCI:DSS (payment card industry – data security standard), the standard used within the payment industry to protect cardholder data. Ensure these features are built into your solution’s design from the project outset.

Bespoke Software Development - end to end service
Payments Integration

Test rigorously:

Payments systems must be tested thoroughly to ensure that they work as intended and are free from bugs and other issues. Plan for comprehensive testing throughout the development process, including functional testing, performance testing, and security testing. Polar Moment’s customers welcome our advice on test environment set up and management using both virtual and physical servers. We recommend development, test, pre-production and live environments. We are expert in the leading payment test tools, including T3 from Iliad.

Plan for ongoing maintenance and support:

Once your payments system is live, it will need ongoing maintenance and support. Work with your development team to plan for ongoing maintenance and support, including software updates, bug fixes, and customer support.

Payments Integration - streamlined

Conclusion:

Implementing a payments system can be a complex and challenging process. With the right development team, you can ensure success. At Polar Moment, we have a team of developers with practical experience in working with some of the world’s leading payment vendors and processors. With ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 accreditations, we can take full end-to-end responsibility for your payments software delivery. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you implement your payments system.

Categories
News

Latest News From GPT

Latest News from GPT

31st July 2023

Game Payment Technology (GPT) is a joint venture between Polar Moment and JCM Global, a world leader in transaction and payment technologies, to drive the amusement and gaming machine industry forward with cashless payment solutions.

Here are the latest updates about Game Payment, the market-leading cashless payment solution developed and operated by Polar Moment.

Game Payment cashless payments

Play in June:

The very hot weather clearly affected play on fruit machines: the hottest days saw significantly less play than the more temperate ones. Despite this, the daily average spend in June was the same as in May, so the underlying trend is still firmly upwards. Interestingly, the average deposit per player rose by 13% last month as the most dedicated players were less distracted by the heat.

Growth in Cashless Payments:

The popularity of cashless payments is growing across the world. Mobile wallet payments accounted for 35% of transaction values in 2022 (up from 32% in 2021). GlobalData predicts this will carry on and that mobile wallet payments will be used more than cards by 2026.

100% Uptime:

Game Payment has been running continuously without an interruption in service since its launch. That’s now 40 months!

Player Analysis:

Data analysis is one of the many added-value features of Game Payment. Here’s some of the surprising facts it reveals.

Players aged 30-40 spend the most, though there are more players aged 18-30.

However, the 60-70  year olds are the biggest individual spenders, spending more than three times as much, on average, as 30-50 year olds and more than six times as much as 18-30s!

That’s not due to one or two high-rollers – there’s a large group of them.

Inspired Machines:

We are pleased to announce that the following Inspired machines can now be Game Payment-enabled:

  • Prismatic
  • iPub2
  • iPub3
Categories
News

The Roundup: Highlights from Q2 2023 at Polar Moment

The Roundup: Highlights From Q2 2023 at Polar Moment

27th July 2023

As the second quarter of 2023 comes to a close, we are excited to share the progress we’ve made in delivering software development and consultancy projects to some of the world’s leading organisations. Let’s take a look at some of what we’ve been up to over the past few months.

New Customer: Axcel Group

We’re delighted to announce that we’re working with Axcel Group, a prominent player in the hospitality industry. With 12 hotel chains, most operating as franchises under major brands, Axcel Group sought our expertise to achieve the best pricing for their acquiring services. It’s been a rewarding journey so far, and we are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead.

Axcel

Game Payment Technology

Following JCM’s investment in the first quarter, we’ve been working on GPT’s technical roadmap and development plans. The focus is on exploring  markets beyond the UK.

We’re thrilled to share that a 6th major UK pub chain has come on board to trial Game Payment in two regions.

For the latest news on Game Payment, be sure to check this latest news post.

Our Other Activities This Quarter Include:

Enabling Ticketless Bus Travel in Ireland:

We've been diligently working on systems to support the seamless rollout of ticketless bus travel in Ireland. One vendor processed 300 top-up transactions in a single day in April!

Instavolt EV charging solution

Exploring Innovations in EV Charging:

Our team has developed a proof of concept for a payments app integration with Instavolt's electric vehicle charging solution.

Payments Centre of Excellence:

John Rozek, one of our directors, has been leading the creation of a 'payments centre of excellence' within a major UK supermarket. This initiative aims to revolutionise the organisation’s payment landscape.

As we head into Q3 we look forward to more payments projects . Are you looking for payment industry specialists? Contact us today to explore how Polar Moment can deliver exceptional payment experiences to your customers.

 

Categories
News

Latest News from GPT

Latest News from GPT

27th June 2023

Game Payment Technology (GPT) is a joint venture between Polar Moment and JCM Global, a world leader in transaction and payment technologies, to drive the amusement and gaming machine industry forward with cashless payment solutions.

Here are the latest updates from Game Payment, the market-leading cashless payment solution developed and operated by Polar Moment.

Game Payment cashless payments

Introducing Evgeny Shulyak:

GPT is thrilled to announce that Evgeny Shulyak, of JCM Global, will be working closely with the GPT team. In addition to his current role as a sales manager, Evgeny has taken on the position of head of business development for JCM Cashless Solutions. With extensive experience in the gaming industry and deep knowledge of payment technologies, Evgeny brings valuable insights and expertise to further propel the growth of Game Payment Technology.

Evgeny emphasises the importance of payment choice in today’s fast-paced world, stating, “By offering a secure cashless payment method, Game Payment enhances convenience and accessibility for players. We understand the significance of integrating cashless payment options alongside existing methods, providing a seamless and versatile experience for operators and players alike. Together, we will enhance the gaming experience for players and drive profitability for our customers, solidifying GPT’s position as the leading provider of secure and convenient cashless payment solutions. I look forward to forging strong partnerships and contributing to the continued success of GPT.”

Rapid Growth for GPT:

The value of monthly payments through the Game Payment app has more than doubled over the last eight months and is projected to have more than tripled over the course of a year. This growth is driven both by an increase in the amount played through each machine as well as more machines using Game Payment.

Positive Feedback on the TR-SLU Solution:

GPT’s TR-SLU solution, which allows players to use the Game Payment app for pool table transactions, has received outstanding feedback from operators. One notable feature of this solution is its ability to monitor the voltage of the batteries that release the balls. By providing real-time alerts when batteries are low, GPT ensures minimal downtime and maximises operational efficiency.

Cashless gaming

Operators have praised this functionality, emphasising how it eliminates unnecessary disruptions and enables proactive maintenance, as expressed by one satisfied operator: “That’s a great system, by the way. This will save unnecessary downtime.” Another operator stated: “It’s brilliant that this has happened, so I know to change the battery when I visit the customer on Sunday.”


Such positive responses demonstrate the tangible benefits GPT’s solutions bring to operators and players alike.

Categories
News

Our Commitment to Climate Action

Our Commitment to Climate Action

May 2023

Polar Moment and the Latitude 91 group has a dedicated strategy that focuses on our environmental, social, and sustainability commitments. All this ensures we are being the best business we can be. This includes everything from reducing business travel to supporting local schools and charities. We are members of the SME Climate Hub, committed to halving our emissions before 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.

SME Climate Hub

The SME Climate Hub provides tools and resources to enable SMEs to make a climate commitment, take action and measure their progress. Over 4,100 SMEs across 104 different countries have made the commitment to reach net zero by 2050, with key sectors including retail, energy, manufacturing, agriculture, technology. Learn more at: www.smeclimatehub.org.

Paul Deed is the Latitude 91 group’s sustainability and climate lead. Our estimated emissions for the last financial year were 23.1 tonnes of CO2e. Paul commented “This is a fifth of the average emissions for an IT industry company with a similar turnover. We are therefore already in pretty good shape, but we aren’t stopping there! The important thing is that we have a recognised and repeatable process to measure and report on going forward”.

Climate action lead: Paul Deed

What we are doing as part of our commitment to climate action:

Climate action: travel
Travel

We have set up a scheme for staff to lease electric cars. Staff are encouraged to use public transport when travelling on business. We have reduced business travel by more than 75% in the last five years, using teleconferencing and similar tools instead. Staff work principally from home and have done so for more than five years now. 

Office

The office is equipped with movement sensors and lights are automatically switched off unless there are people in the office. We have operated a recycling scheme for over 10 years with numerous bins for this purpose around the office. Printing is discouraged and has reduced by more than 80% over the last five years.

Climate action: office
Climate action: servers
Servers

Over the recent years, we have almost eliminated the need to run our own servers. Although data centres do consume significant amounts of energy, running systems within the cloud is still significantly more efficient than using dedicated servers.  

Community

We provide support to the community in a variety of ways. For instance, we provide office space for one of the local schools to hold interviews and management planning days. We have provided work placements for local schools on a regular basis and for university students, both on a short-term (usually summer holidays) and long-term (one-year industrial placement) basis. We have employed several apprentices over the last 10 years and currently have one training within our development team.

Climate action: community
Climate action: Charity
Charity

We support a variety of charities, principally by donating for each customer representative who responds to our annual survey. This year we donated to the Basingstoke food bank – a charity working towards stopping hunger in our local area.

In conclusion

We are dedicated to reducing our carbon footprint and have implemented various strategies to achieve our environmental, social, and sustainability commitments. As members of the SME Climate Hub, we have committed to halving our emissions before 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050. Overall, we strive to set an excellent example for other companies to follow and are committed to sustainability.

Categories
News

The Roundup: Top Takeaways From Q1 2023

The Roundup: Top Takeaways From Quarter 1 2023

April 2023

In the first few months of 2023, the team at Polar Moment have been delivering software development and consultancy projects to some of the world’s leading organisations. Here’s a round-up of what we’ve been up to in the first quarter of 2023.

JCM Global Acquires Shareholding In Game Payment Technology

Top Takeaways From Quarter 1 2023
John Rozek, Polar Moment and Payam Zadeh, JCM Global

JCM Global have acquired bacta’s shareholding in Game Payment Technologythe cashless payments company. Latitude 91 (parent company of Polar Moment) will continue to co-own GPT and has not sold any of its shares. Polar Moment developed and continues to operate the Game Payment system, and provide technical and customer support. Read more here.

Our other highlights this quarter include:

Payments Consultancy

Technical consultancy for a mergers and acquisition specialist.

Top Takeaways From Quarter 1 2023

Software development for ticketless bus travel in Ireland.

Top Takeaways From Quarter 1 2023

Payments terminal supplier selection for a major UK supermarket.

Top Takeaways From Quarter 1 2023

Buy now, pay later services for a finance software provider.

Top Takeaways From Quarter 1 2023

Payments consultancy for a pharmacy chain.

Top Takeaways From Quarter 1 2023

Integration of a PAX IM30 terminal into vending machines.

It’s been a busy start to the year for Polar Moment, and many more exciting payments projects are on the horizon.

Categories
News

JCM Global Acquires Shareholding In Game Payment Technology

JCM Global Acquires Shareholding In Game Payment Technology

April 2023

Game Payment Technology is pleased to announce that JCM Global have acquired bacta’s shareholding in the cashless payments company. Moreover, Latitude 91 will continue to co-own GPT and has not sold any of its shares.

 

Polar Moment developed and continues to operate the Game Payment system, and provide technical and customer support. You can find out more about Game Payment here.

Driving the amusement and gaming industry forward

The buy-in is a significant move by JCM Global to drive the amusement and gaming machine industry forward with cashless payment solutions. Notably, the integration of Game Payment with JCM’s Ticket2Go system was demonstrated at ICE in February. 

 

Payam Zadeh, general manager EMEA & managing director UK, JCM Global: “There is no doubt that the need for cashless solutions is growing. Therefore, this investment in Game Payment Technology is strategically very important for JCM Global and an extension of the market-leading service our customers have come to expect from us.”

 

“These are exciting times for JCM Global. We anticipate that players in jurisdictions around the world will soon be able to pay and collect winnings via Ticket2Go using the GPT app. Therefore effectively replacing cash-handling with a simple, ticket-based solution. The combination of the two systems means that operators can offer cashless payment without needing to alter individual gaming machines. Furthermore, the solution incorporates social responsibility measures and opportunities for precisely targeted marketing initiatives,” added Zadeh.

Looking to the future

Subsequently, Robert Gibb, head of finance and operations at bacta, added: “It has been a pleasure working with the team at Latitude 91. We set out to deliver a reliable solution to address growing concerns about the decline of cash within the amusement and gaming machine industry. I believe we have taken great strides toward this goal. I am extremely positive about the future of Game Payment Technology. Now, with the backing of JCM, GPT will be able to expand its payment solutions for the benefit of operators and players around the world.”

 

Tim Stratton, chief executive of Latitude 91, commented “This is clearly an exciting development for GPT. The joint venture with bacta achieved such a lot but working with JCM literally opens up a world of new opportunities. I’m confident that you can look forward to a long series of exciting developments in the near future.”

John Rozek, Polar Moment and Payam Zadeh, JCM Global.