Valero Meets VeriFone

Topaz/Sapphire POS added to 1,000 sites

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- VeriFone Holdings Inc., a provider of payment solutions, has installed more than 2,000 Topaz/Sapphire integrated point-of-sale (POS) systems for Valero Energy Corp., one of the nation's largest retail operators with more than 4,700 retail and branded wholesale sites in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.

"Valero's decision to implement Topaz represents a tremendous competitive win for VeriFone's integrated payment solutions," said Bud Waller, VeriFone executive vice president of integrated solutions. "We designed Topaz [image-nocss] to be rugged, reliable and easy to use so our petroleum and convenience store customers enjoy maximum cashier productivity and efficient operations management."

The workstation enhances customer service because it allows Valero's customer-service representatives to not only perform multiple taskssuch as fuel-dispenser control, car-wash control and fast-food and merchandise transactionsquickly and efficiently, but also allows Valero to offer more convenience at the pump by customizing the system to recognize special discounts and customer loyalty programs, as well as accept the company's proprietary pre-paid gift card. Plus, the system's state-of-the-art credit-card-encryption technology increases security of electronic data.

VeriFone's Topaz system, together with the Sapphire site controller, acts as the command center, allowing Valero's customer-service representatives to view all the current activity with a few simple keystrokes on the 120-key keyboard or from the graphic-driven touch screen. The screen features a simple icon interface, customizable product screens for simplified training, and quick-response actions during peak sales periods.

"We are finding that the touchscreen is an ideal training tool for new customer-service representatives, but that after becoming familiar with the system, many of them migrate to the keyboard to speed up their work. They like the keyboard because it's quick and easy-to-use," said Tony Bartys, vice president of retail operations for Valero, San Antonio.

In addition, the system allows managers easy access to current store-activity data, which increases reporting and inventory control efficiencies. The platform, coupled with VeriFone's technical support, allows Valero to efficiently develop new software and new functionality, or change existing software to accommodate market innovations and changing business needs.

The 12-inch Topaz touchscreen workstations were installed at approximately 1,000 of Valero's company-owned stores throughout Texas, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana and California on an ambitious six-month timetable that included as many as 20 site installations daily. VeriFone is based in San Jose, Calif.