W. Capra at Upcoming Conferences

Conference season is fast approaching. Below are the sessions where you can find W. Capra. Come stop by for a visit!

At the MAG

Merchant Advisory Group

Session: ACH: the Path to Lower Cost Payments

Capra Resource: Jim DuBoyce

Role: Moderator

General Session on 9/28

Merchant Advisory Group

Session: How EMV Has Changed Retail

Capra Resource: Clint Cady

Role: Moderator

General Session on 9/28

For further information on the Merchant Advisory Group’s Annual Conference, click here.

At NACS

NACS

Session: Technology Edge CIO Panel

Capra Resource: Loren Allston

Role: Moderator

Tuesday, Oct 18, 3:05pm – 3:55pm

NACS

Session: Mobile Commerce – Let’s Get Real

Capra Resource: Ed Collupy

Role: Moderator

Tuesday, Oct 18, 4:10pm – 5:00 pm

NACS

Session: Customer Engagement Technologies to Enhance Sales and Profitability

Capra Resource: Ed Collupy

Role: Panelist

Wednesday, Oct 19, 8:00am – 8:50am

NACS

Session: Group Forum: EMV

Capra Resource: Terry Mahoney

Role: Panelist

Thursday, Oct 20, 9:05am – 9:55am

For more information on the NACS Show, click here.

Please reach out to payments@wcapra.com if you would like to touch base before the conferences. We hope to see you soon!


An Engaged Think Tank

The following is re-posted from NACS Online.

The objective was simple: Bring together a few IT leaders from the convenience retailing industry and let attendees at the Conexxus Annual Conference in May hear what was on their minds. The aptly named “Think Tank” came together, and quite surprisingly, the three panel members brought forth people- and process-focused thoughts—rather than technology topics—as issues most important to them.

As we reflected on this, we acknowledged how IT organizations in progressive companies across industries have transformed, and thankfully, our industry was keeping pace on this front. Today, the role of IT leaders is now more focused on business matters and how technology will play a role in delivering marketing, operational and other business unit programs that will drive revenues and results to the bottom line.

The Engagement Gap

Ric Spargo, vice president of information systems & technology at Couche-Tard/Circle K, talked about the gap between what IT people want and what they actually receive. He wants to close that gap by increasing engagement. For Spargo and his team, they are working on getting the basics right—setting goals, being approachable and employing positive leadership. This approach will not only benefit staff, Spargo said, but also benefit companies with greater productivity, higher earnings per share (EPS), lower turnover and absenteeism, higher customer ratings, and more.

Business Alignment

Doug New, CIO at Tedeschi Food Shops (now part of 7-Eleven), discussed the interaction with internal business partners. To help his IT department and his company achieve business alignment, the following were important:

  • Learn and know the processes and requirements of your internal business partners.
  • Consistently and actively work with your peers within IT and in other departments.
  • Understand the pain points of your business partners.
  • Bring proactive ideas and solutions to those pain points to the table.
  • Be engaged—above all.

New pointed out that along the way, his IT group evolved from an “order taker” to a trusted business partner, and the company was better off as a result.

Governance

Engagement and governance are processes that Hubert Williams, vice president of technology and development at Maverik, has discovered to be key in building stronger and healthier IT and business relationships. He outlined for attendees his thoughts on formalizing a process to allow business partners to help govern discretionary projects. He assigned liaisons from his technology group (called the CONNECT Team) to each of the company’s business units as a “go to” person to discuss problems and ideas. Along with empowering his people this way, Williams guides his team with questions rather than directives.

Williams summed up the overall session well: “As a technology leader, it is not about you: Empower your people. Be humble in light of their talents and marvel at their accomplishments, for your success is nothing more than a reflection of your team’s successes.”

Ed Collupy is an executive consultant at W. Capra Consulting Group. He is active with Conexxus working groups and is a former Conexxus board of directors member. Engage with Ed at ecollupy@wcapra.com.


EMV – A Journey to Learn From

The C-Store Industry Isn’t the Only One Struggling to Rollout EMV.

The following is re-posted from Convenience Store News.

Clearly there are more places where your EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa)chip card is being accepted, but there is still quite a road to travel before it is fully implemented.

Convenience petroleum retailers aren’t alone with so few stores live—card brands and issuers report only seeing 15-20% “chip-on-chip” transactions; the hospitality industry (lodging & restaurants) has many operational challenges to figure out, while the ATM industry—which has thousands of ATMS in c-stores—has its own liability shift approaching for MasterCard (Oct. 1, 2016).

The EMF

Although the EMV Migration Forum (EMF), formed as an independent, cross-industry organization to successfully introduce EMV, is changing its name to the US Payments Forum with an expanding charter to address the ever growing payment technologies they too recognize the need to still get EMV right.

For example, there is an active working group amongst EMF members preparing a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) specifically for the convenience petroleum industry. (I’ll keep you posted when it’s available). And, there will be much discussion about NFC (Near Field Communications) type transactions, which will be an important consideration as fuel dispenser upgrades are considered.

Learnings In Progress

At a recent EMF meeting, I heard about the real life experiences of the retailers who have implemented and gone live with EMV. One industry association leader called the PINPad prompts a “disaster” while several retailers responded and said they wished they had spent more time on this to talk through and understand all options with their point of sale system providers and acquirer/processors.

One retailer said they put too much reliance on an implementation technician for configuration options. Business teams learned, on the spot, at some retailers that “fallback” was no longer when the primary data communication connection to the network went offline, but rather when the chip isn’t read and you have your customer revert back to the mag stripe swipe.

Another association representative called chargebacks “contentious” while the cross section of payments stakeholders each have their own perceptions; from a surprising amount of small ticket fraudulent transactions that the card brands addressed but are curious to understand more about, to issuers who are happily passing on the liability, to merchants that have developed new systems and work processes to monitor, analyze and challenge chargebacks.

The Evolving Conversation

What prints on receipts, how much education employees need, the customer experience and perception of a slower checkout process, the certification process and its waiting queue, along with scope increases to help offset the cost of EMV-related upgrades are other areas that I heard the stakeholders talk about.

To work through some of these realities, another EMF working group has set out to clarify receipt printing requirements and the card brands have their ‘faster EMV’ plans with the distinct programs to improve the checkout and certification processes. Retailers have come to realize that their tactics need to be first business focused supported by technology.

Many of the things I heard at the EMF were new and important considerations that haven’t been part of discussions I’ve been in regarding EMV with convenience petroleum retailers. There’s a lot to be gained by listening and talking to others and as importantly ensuring your plans take into account the experiences others have been through. Reach out, by posting a comment below, if you want to continue the dialogue, and I will continue to brief you here and in other forums on developments as more c-store retailers implement EMV inside the store and begin developing plans for the liability shift on at the pump transactions in October 2017.

Ed Collupy, executive consultant at W. Capra Consulting Group can be reached at ecollupy@wcapra.com. Collupy has IT leadership and business team experience directing and supporting retail systems for store operations, merchandising, fuel and accounting teams in the c-store industry.