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RetailNOW 2010 Recap

2010/08/19

 

At the RetailNOW General Session, I was excited to update the attendees on RSPA’s progress and plans for our industry initiatives. It was even more encouraging to see a packed house. The positive buzz within our industry was evident. A lot of times when returning from a show, there is so much to digest. I wanted to take a second to recap some of the initiatives you may have missed and if you don’t have time to read this and need a bottom line type summary – Let’s just say PCI – WTF is more important than ever (BTW – WTF stands for what are the facts).

Background

The strategies and initiatives implemented by RSPA are developed in collaboration with our Board of Directors.  At each board meeting we devote several hours to a strategic planning session. Over the past few years we have been able to prepare and execute of a very cohesive strategy to grow the association and most importantly help our members’ businesses. Once in place, the strategic initiatives are rolled onto RSPA’s operational plans. Again, all of these strategies and plans have one overarching goal – be good for our members’ businesses.

Education and Certification

Our core value proposition – Education and Certification. RSPA launched our Center for Industry Education at RetailNOW (www.GoRSPA.org/Education). We have on-line and on-demand education content for industry and business related topics. All of this education is the basis for our certification program. As an RSPA Certified member you set your company apart from the other technology providers. Our plan is to bring the value of working with RSPA Certified technology providers to the end-user community to provide you with a tool for differentiation.

Channel Sustainability

As mentioned in the July connect President’s Note, our industry’s distribution channel is going through a generational and a technological shift. RSPA’s implementing programs to grow and sustain the reseller channel through this time of transition. Our goal is to assist current resellers with the business transition and help them grow with new technology opportunities. We are also assisting new resellers to quickly become productive and profitable members of the reseller community by sharing best practices and knowledge with our education and networking events.

A by-product of channel sustainability will be membership growth and more importantly a very robust, productive, professional and profitable reseller community for retail technology.  RSPA has already implemented an Industry Advocacy Partnership program, which has been embraced by several vendor members. With the assistance of this program membership grew 11% year over year. Attendance at RetailNOW 2010 had a record number of resellers with many of those being first time attendees. All of these programs and actions work.  Since we launched RSPA as an inclusive Industry Association, membership has grown over 60%.

Payment Transaction Security (or the PCI Issue)

The PCI issue is a mess with no clear end in sight. Four years ago, this issue was just starting to hit our radar screen and today the core problem remains – criminals continue to hack into systems every day and steal card data. However, the problem grows more complex with updated standards from the PCI Council and each credit card company.  Merchants/end-users, Resellers and Vendors all have a morass of regulations to comply with, be fined or worse. The reality is that the majority of our customers and those providing the technology are confused and remain at risk even if they are compliant. The payment processing infrastructure is broken and a patchwork of compliance regulations are continually pushed on the merchants and technology providers by the owners of the broken infrastructure. 

It’s time to stop talking about the problem and do something to fix it.  RSPA has joined forces with several end-user based associations representing all vertical markets served by our technology – FMI, MAG, NACS, NGA, NRA and NRF.  Our goals are:

  • To identify a technology road map for a final solution – whether Chip and Pin, End to End Encryption, Tokenization, a combination, or an altogether new technology – we need to know where we are going.
  • Find a funding source for this solution. Today our collective members are paying the price for the broken infrastructure. Does a car manufacturer make their customers/user pay to get a recalled vehicle repaired or sue them if they don’t repair it in a timely manner?
  • Provide education and information to the market. RSPA members have a responsibility to make our customers aware of the risks and the solutions. We have to be current and transparent with our knowledge.

RSPA is working hard to find the right solutions for our members. Stay tuned for updates on the progress of all of these initiatives as we go through the next few months. All of these actions will help your businesses.

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