The Reality: Credit Card Processing, Markets & Systems

In the last week, I talked with a few Canadian operators who described to me phone calls each of them received from one of our competitors.  The summation of the call is that our competitor tried to scare the heck out of them about credit card processing and they are the ONLY certified processor and failure to work with them means that they are putting their company at risk.  REALLY?

Here is the reality: 32M has an insurance policy, as I am sure our competition does also, that protects them in the event of compromise of our system.  To get this, we had to submit semantics on how our system is built, protected, redundancy, etc., all the fancy terms you hear about technology today.  And guess what?  We passed.

We have gone through PCI audits.  In fact, 32M will be rolling out PCI-DSS certification this quarter.  This certification not only matches what this competitor claims to be the end all in this industry, but according to our QSA, another fancy term for a credit card processing compliance firm, our level of certification will exceed what they have.  But rest assured, I am not going to spend all of my time pounding you as consumers in to the ground that this is the end-all to measure systems by.  Why?

Prior to 32M earning the PCI-DSS certification, we long ago had all of our systems inspected by government agencies far higher than a QSA. We have been in compliance with them and with PCI …. THE ENTIRE TIME.  We work in an industry that houses the people in society who have committed crimes.  Some of them, horrific crimes.  Our systems, company, buildings, processes and people have gone through inspections that far exceed what our QSA has done and for over 13 years we have been given the green light to be in these environments.  We have certifications far beyond what any of our competitors have.  We take PCI, compliance, security, etc., name every term, as serious as a hole in your head.  It is our reputation at stake and NONE of it is taken lightly.  So yes, I take offense when someone tries to say “we are not certified”.  That considered, I bet I am not the only one that thinks this way.  So… on:

I have full confidence that our competitors are running systems that are secure, just like ours.  They wouldn’t be in business and would not be in the thousands of locations the micro market system providers are, IF THEY WERE NOT.  That includes credit card processing.  PCI standards only require that 32M, not my jail business included, just 32M alone, have a certification that is far less than what we have.  We have had it and once the PCI-DSS is issued, we will far exceed what we are required to.

That considered, I bet Jim Britton has his system locked down tighter than Fort Knox.  Avanti didn’t grow by accident.  And to be clear, Avanti is not the competitor making the calls to operators using the scare tactics.  That said, Avanti didn’t become the biggest provider just by pure luck.   I can’t say I know Jim Britton personally but in my brief interaction with him at various meetings, he has built a rock solid business based upon his passion for markets, excellence, service and more.  He is a dominant player in just his stand-alone, highly successful vending/market business in the Pacific NW.  Avanti is strong.  We respect success and Mr. Britton defines it.  And yes, I like to try and go after what I see as our system strengths versus his … have you been watching TV lately and watched the Sprint commercials?  Well, we go after our competition also on the merits of our system and the feedback we have received from operators.  That’s what Sprint has done with their “Cut Your Bill in Half” campaign and what we will do as part of building our business.  But all this considered, I am confident that Avanti and the other competitors out there also have the same PCI certifications that they are required to.

So here it is…32M will have the PCI-DSS certification and we will be processing debit in Canada.  Albeit later than I hoped, it is the process that is required to do it so be ready now to start looking at markets and what they can do for you and let’s get beyond the smoke screens.  In summation:

  1. Markets do work and they work well, VERY well.
  2. When you merchandise a market well, launch it in a dynamic fashion, micro manage your cost of goods sold, rotate inventory in and out, and bring in the products that they are leaving the store to go buy today, you can be wildly successful at markets.
  3. If you want to put vending machines products on a wall and call it a market, than stick with vending.  But know that you will need to work diligently to maintain the accounts that vending is suited for because in time, markets will dominate the ones that are not.
  4. If you are not polished on selling technology, than ask your system provider for help or hire someone, whether full time or on contract, to sell them.  Why?  See #1.
  5. And learn what locations are right and not.  And know that even if the location says “no” today, that doesn’t mean they will say “no” two months from now.  If it is a good location, it will be a good location when the decision maker is ready to say “yes”.

And as far systems, our rocks.  We know it does.  But each system has its’ features.  We think ours are better and more advanced.  But you may find another system better suited.  If so, please keep us in mind as time progresses to consider us.  Why?  This market is only at the forefront.  If you think markets are the talk now, give it 5 years.  How about 10 years?  Don’t think you are in neck deep with an operator when you factor in the growth you will have in markets the next 5-10 years.

We look forward to talking with you at the earliest opportunity.  Call us.  Stop and see us at your next trade show. But until then, don’t be scared in to making a decision on a provider.  Create some success today at every opportunity … because failure to means a day wasted.