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PCI compliance dominates talk at NACStech
At this year's NACStech show, a conference that focuses on technology for the convenience and petroleum retail segment, PCI compliance was certainly top of mind for attendees, exhibitors and show management. Indeed, seven of the show's workshop sessions pertained to PCI.
 
When PCI is mentioned, people typically mean compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard, or PCI DSS. Retailers, including convenience stores, have been scrambling for months to understand the PCI DSS and make sure they are compliant.
 
PCI compliance is mandated by the payment card brands, such as Visa and MasterCard. In simple terms, the standard exists to protect consumers' credit card data and prevent fraud. Secure networks, encryption, restricting access to cardholder data and having a security policy all are involved in compliance efforts. According to the PCI Security Standards Web site, "All entities that transmit, process or store payment card data must be compliant with PCI DSS."
 
Jeff Lenard, vice president of communications for the National Association of Convenience Stores, or NACS (which produces NACStech) said one of the themes of the show was "making scary go away" and focusing on how security breaches can do serious damage to a retailer's brand.
 
When asked about the impact of digital signage at c-stores, Lenard said, "Signage at the pump is huge. Changing a sign manually takes time and money." Also, you can "show in-store promotions and boost sales."
 
When asked about kiosks, he commented that using "kiosks for ordering food takes labor out of the question." In terms of other advantages, Lenard pointed out that younger people are used to self-service technology, retailers can offer service in multiple languages and "kiosks always know to upsell."
 
From the show floor
 
At its booth, Citizen featured one of its latest products, the CT-S2000 Memory Printer with 32 MB of memory. It can print out journal data on-demand, is six times faster than impact printers, has fewer moving parts, comes with a three-year warranty and doesn't require the purchase of ribbons.
 
Dresser Wayne, a manufacturer of fuel dispensers that rolled out pay-at-the-pump technology in 1986, also is focusing on security. On May 15, the company announced the iX Pay Secure Payment retrofit kits for Dresser Wayne and Tokheim fuel dispensers. The kits help retailers comply with the PCI Encrypting PIN Pad (EPP) requirements.
 
Gilbarco Veeder-Root also had several interesting products on display:
  • An Express Ordering food kiosk, using IBM Anyplace Kiosk hardware.
  • Intelligent Device Management (IDM), which consolidates remote monitoring of all devices and gives a retailer the ability to monitor anything in the store, including heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, even the back door. One can track how many people are coming and going, manage lighting levels and generate alarms when something's amiss.
  • Applause Media System, a screen housed within the fuel pump itself, rather than on top, featuring rich content and the ability to print coupons on demand. New to the Applause system is the addition of video and audio.
NEC featured several products, including its Twin POS 5500, which comprises digital signage and tablets for mobile communication between stores and within stores. For example, headquarters can notify stores if a product has been recalled using the product. In addition, the tablet serves as an inventory-management tool. NEC also promoted the fact that it provides business and IT consulting.
Working with Ingenico, show exhibitor Orpak makes retrofit pay-at-the pump devices for PCI compliance.
 
The Pinnacle Corp., which makes automation technology for c-stores, had a clever sign in their booth that read: "There are only three certainties in life: Death. Taxes. PCI Compliance." What also caught my eye was a food-ordering kiosk. Pinnacle makes kiosk software to back-end software so it ties into the POS.
 
Radiant Systems, a manufacturer of hardware and software for POS, had on-hand a new 17-inch, all-in-one kiosk terminal featuring an encrypted magnetic card reader and dual core chip. James Hervey, in global product marketing, also pointed out that the unit is passively cooled. Radiant has a solid-state version and makes an outdoor version, as well.
 
Also in Radiant's booth was Intelio, demonstrating its activation unit for car washes. At $12,000, John Carroll, president and CEO, said that his system was the same cost as a typical car wash-activation unit but features full-motion video and remote management for the operator.
 
VeriFone's MX800 series standalone terminals and PIN pads can be used for various applications, such as movie rentals, price checkers, applications for credit and surveys. All terminals are PCI-compliant, and the MX870 combines color, video and digital sound with secure payment capabilities.
 
Wincor Nixdorf showcased its cash-management systems on the exhibition floor. Chad Wagner of Wincor pointed out that their product offers cash recycling, a fast bulk note acceptor and one slot for checks and cash, giving the operator convenience and security. The machine can be configured to face the customer or the employee. By having a cash recycler, Wagner said, a retailer can reduce the amount of cash kept in the store by as much as 60 percent. "It could eliminate the cash drawer," he said.

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