ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Version 2.0 of Conexxus’ mobile standard was released late last month, which means changes to the criteria the convenience-store industry uses to handle mobile payments, specifically in relation to loyalty programs.
Linda Toth, director of standards for Alexandria, Va.-based Conexxus, shared with CSP Daily News some important details to keep in mind when implementing the new standard. Here are three points anyone looking to improve their loyalty program or payment systems should keep in mind ...
1. Mobile payment system standards now factor in loyalty programs
Perhaps the most important issue addressed by Version 1.0 was consistent communication between mobile payment processors and site systems. “You can pick a mobile payment processing application and it talks to the various site systems, such as POS or EPS (electronic payment system), the same way every time, so it eliminates the need for vendors to write multiple implementations,” Toth said.
Such standards laid the foundation for incorporating loyalty programs in Version 2.0, allowing for minor tweaks to the mobile payment processing standards that ensure they work well with the new loyalty program standards.
2. Payment and loyalty processing can occur above site or at site level
The new standard allows operators the flexibility to process payments and loyalty above site or at site level. In other words, a purchase made through a mobile device can either seek approval directly from the payment or loyalty processor before notifying the site system, or it can go through the site system to get the approval.
Additionally, an operator’s decision to operate payment above site or at site level does not affect the way loyalty is processed. “If you choose above-site approval for payment you can choose site-level for loyalty. They’re not tied together,” Toth said. This way, operators can direct loyalty and payment to the cloud or to on-site hardware, depending on their needs.
3. More flexibility means more security
When a customer pulls up to a pump intending to pay for gas on their phone, they may accidentally pull up to the wrong pump or enter the wrong pump number into the app. Some operators may want the ability to confirm the customer’s location, and Conexxus has factored this scenario into its new standards.
“We’ve made allowances for entering in an identification code, QR code or barcode to make sure customers are really where they think they are.” Toth said. “There are a number of ways that vendors can, if they choose, verify the customer’s location.”
These changes mean not only added convenience but also protection: The chances of a customer falling victim to dispenser skimming falls to zero if they pay over the phone instead of at the pump.