Continuous data exchange
Four important organisational divisions are connected to the cash registers. When a customer pays for their items, all the data involved goes to a central data warehouse. At the same time, all payment transactions are logged centrally by the main register. The merchandise management system is also involved, with the stock figures being updated and new stocks being ordered. And last, but not least, the customer management division requires some information. Customer discounts are based on the sales already effected, for example. This information is likewise continuously updated and compared.
Should someone modify any cash register data, either accidentally or intentionally, the data records at various levels will suddenly no longer tally. This is what’s known as data inconsistency: invalid inventory data crops up in the merchandise management system and the daily takings logged by the main register are incorrect. The customer management division also quickly sees errors appearing in its discount or bonus system. In other words, cash register manipulation does not go unnoticed for long in such a well-connected system landscape.
METRO AG makes use of similar systems at Real and also at Media Markt and Saturn. Other major retail chains likewise have closed systems that prevent cash register transaction data from being manipulated. As such, Germany’s major retailers are well equipped both technically and financially to combat data manipulation. More than anything else, new cash register retrofitting or upgrading requirements would be costly and would not increase security or tax revenues.