Punctuating PCI

Pump-maker Gilbarco reveals retail data-security strategies at user conference

Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- In an effort to stay ahead of continually evolving data-security mandates for retail technology, Gilbarco Veeder-Root engineers have reconfigured the basic make-up of its Passport point-of-sale (POS) register to reroute all systems that have to do with payment into an "enhanced dispenser hub" box, officials revealed at the company's annual user conference.

More than 150 retailers, distributors and technology providers, representing more than 50 c-store operators, assembled in Gilbarco's headquarter city of Greensboro, N.C., to learn about the manufacturer's [image-nocss] latest moves.

"It's like putting all your eggs in one basket and watching that basket," said Michael Symonds, manager of North American POS development for Gilbarco, adding that the strategywhile causing concern because it sends the bulk of critical payment processes through a single routing architectureallows technicians the ability to upgrade those systems when necessary without having to touch applications that have nothing to do with compliance to credit-card mandates."We know that PCI [payment card industry] deadlines are not changing, but the requirements have and will continue to change," said Vince Holbrook, a spokesperson for Gilbarco. The company is currently in testing phases with its concept, officials noted, and are addressing concerns involving everything from installation logistics to a transition "roadmap."

Other conference speakers also addressed the impact of the PCI mandates, which are backed by the major credit-card giants, primarily San Francisco-based Visa. Dan Glennon, senior vice president of marketing and strategy for Franklin, Tenn.-based Cybera, said that while evolving PCI rules have put a spotlight on payment systems, retailers should also be concerned about all applications that "touch" the credit and debit process. As an example, he said retailers sometimes connect digital video cameras to transaction activity as a way to link things like voided sales to a visual image of the event. "Those applications don't have to be PCI compliant," Glennon said.

"And a rogue employee could potentially get into [payment] data through the video [application]."

In addition to general sessions on technology trends, the conference featured trade-show exhibits for Gilbarco-certified technology partners and networking opportunities for retailers.

Keynote speaker Ira Blumenthal, a business consultant and radio talk-show host, highlighted the need for retailers to embrace change and deliver value to their customers, letting technology investment follow their strategic objectives.

"This conference provides a great opportunity for our partners to meet and exchange ideas in a highly interactive forum," said Richard Browne, Gilbarco's vice president of marketing for North America. "Many of our new products and services and their enhancements are a direct result of input received at our user conferences."

Angel Abcede, CSP/Winsight By Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP
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