news

  • Jan, 2015

1. The challenge: EMV is not just an add-on or enhancement to MS (Magstripe). EMV is a fundamental architecture change, a new foundation for payments of the future. Without a solid foundation, the house will fall down adding additional wasted costs down the road for retailers.



2. Where do retailers start? A collaborative approach with retailers headed by an independent consultant provided strategic versus tactical directives and was equally responded to by retail CMO’s and CIO’s. The study findings addressed the basis of the retailer’s business perspectives. One may conclude from the findings is that the retailer’s will demand flexibility and control:
a. 73% require choice of 3rd parties: Loyalty; Gift Cards; Activations
b. 68% require choice of acquires
c. 59% require choice of POS applications
d. 37% require choice of PINpad manufacturers

3. The Results: In studying the various retail environments and applying best practices and lessons learned revealed a number of areas in the retailer’s environment that would lead to business process improvements and leveraging advanced technology with the retailer in control of their environment. Some of the results were: Exceeded millions of dollars in capital savings; Reduced annual operational costs by $100,000’s; Improved efficiencies; Simplified complexity with knowledgeable workers; Improve security.

4. About PPR: Thus PPR was founded by retailers going through the process. An independent association of Payment stakeholders in 2009 awarding STJ Retail for its PPR methodology. PPR and its six component methodology are briefly discussed with the merchant. An independent study to understand the clients existing payment process. After brief discussions at a high level, we will identify the client’s process for re-engineering and identify change levers, quantify and qualify the change levers. The final report which includes timelines, architecture, measurable, and costs. Once approved by the merchant, a retailer will forge ahead with the merchant’s product life cycle, designs, and implements the software to the store environment. In an ever changing market, it is also important for a strong commitment to provide continuous improvements and keeping informed of industry updates.

ABOUT STJ RETAIL:
STJ Retail has been delivering EMV payment consulting, solutions and services since 2006. The first in Canada to roll out an EMV fully integrated solution nationally. Both our award winning product and services were received from both the retail and financial industry associations and have proven the test of time. After all, our solution was built with retailers for retailers. It is recommended to use proven & independent consulting services as a strategic partner when designing your payments architecture and plans. You can reach us at: info@stjretail.com

A Retailer’s Quote: “Find the experienced knowledgeable workers; there are pretenders!”

For More Information visit: www.stjretail.com


Read More

  • Feb, 2015

Are your store systems specialists, specialists in payments too? Should they be or not be?
1. Challenge: Some retail store systems vendors are:

a. Overselling by pretend knowledge workers, where retailers will miss their timeline.
b. Delivering issues due to the complexity associated with EMV.
c. Tactical versus strategic solutions will costs retailers more in the long run.
d. Losing retailer’s control and flexibility with locked in vendor solutions.
e. Security (PCI-PA/DSS & certifications) will extend timeline extensively.
f. Multi/Omni channel payments mapping to retailers business operations.



2. Where do retailers start: There is still a huge lack of knowledge workers that have the knowledge and experience in this new specialized payments world?
a. After tried & proven consultation of payment process re-engineering Part I.
b. Strategically align your IT architecture and solution to the business objectives.
c. Select a tried and proven middleware which should address both IT and business objectives.
d. Determine the variances of middleware offerings and the retailer’s IT/business objectives.

3. The Results: The retailer should have the best solution to maintain control and yet maximize their flexibility such as: The ability to change payment components as commodities while minimizing the impact on both IT and business; The solution must address security in separating payments and POS application; The solution must also address Omni/multi-channel payments with ease. And more.

4. About Middleware EFT Plus US™: Must allow the retailer to stay in control and have flexibility with the following attributes:

a. Tried & Proven middleware
b. “Plug and Play” for 3RD party applications, acquirers, POS applications, PINpad manufacturers.
c. Ability to streamline the check-out process.
d. PCI PA/DSS approved and a reduction in PCI audits.
e. Address Multi/Omni Channel payments.
f. Finally, future proofing with mobile.

ABOUT STJ RETAIL:
STJ Retail has been delivering EMV payment consulting, solutions and services since 2006. The first in Canada to roll out an EMV fully integrated solution nationally. Both our EFT Plus™ award winning product and services were received from both the retail and financial industry associations and have proven the test of time. After all, our solution was built with retailers for retailers. It is recommended to use tried & proven EFT Plus™ as a strategic partner for your payments architecture and plans specializing in the 4690 platforms. If your payment solution is in development, you probably will not meet the liability deadline of October 2015 to be EMV compliant! You can reach us at: info@stjretail.com

POS application software supplier’s Quotes:
“We did a simple implementation and lost our shirts, not doing that again!”
“It is more complex than we estimated, product delivery is now XX months out!”


For More Information visit: www.stjretail.com


Read More

  • March, 2015

Look beyond Middleware, EMV services are complex and time consuming!

1. The challenge:Who’s on first? What’s on second? I don’t know …
a) The complexity of all parties causes finger pointing as the number one issue.
b) Ability of all parties to understand the end-to-end EMV environment.
c) PMP’s lack of EMV knowledge & responsibilities of all parties.
d) Without exceptional end to end & regression testing, this will cost time for all parties.
e) What is Pre-certification and formal certification.
f) The easy part is to install and roll-out.
g) How will maintenance and support be handled- there is more to come!
h) Keeping current on trends, tactics and futures.
i) Managing your costs and timelines is difficult.



2. Where do retailers start: Pulling all the complex pieces together for your solution is one thing, but the value added services required through delivery is another storey for the merchant! There are a number of EMV processes to diligently follow through and consider:
a) Develop your SDLC for payments.
b) Scripts from the retailer, acquirer and other all-encompassing scripts.
c) What test tools is your acquirer using and what happens when they change?
d) Revised documentation.
e) Try to find an experienced PMP in EMV payments or a referral resource for your PMP.
f) Who has a pre-certification lab- to reduce failure and eliminating acquirer rescheduling
g) There is a lot more… just ask!

3. The Results: As the Merchant’s Advocate:“...I wanted to write to you to offer our thanks for providing us with such quality software and more importantly, great customer service... The quality of software development continues to be nothing short of outstanding and I would even go so far as to say, virtually bug free! ... All software was delivered on time and on budget as in previous years …I don’t know of any other Software Development firm that can make this claim.” Dave Marien, Vice President, Information Technology HMV Canada Inc.

4. About Service: EMV services are just as important as the middleware product, and not to be underestimated! Make the “right” decision only once, and run faster,… just to stand in place. To have the future-proof and EMV agile ready-made solutions and services, by your software vendor, provides better adaptability to the ever changing innovations in payment technology.

ABOUT STJ RETAIL:

STJ Retail has been delivering EMV payment consulting, solutions and services since 2006. The first in Canada to roll out an EMV fully integrated solution nationally. Both our EFT Plus™ award winning product and services were received from both the retail and financial industry associations and have proven the test of time. After all, our solution was built with retailers for retailers. It is recommended to use tried & proven EFT Plus™ product and services as a strategic partner for your payments plans specializing in the 4690 platforms. If your payment solution is in development, you probably will not meet the liability deadline of October 2015 to be EMV compliant! You can reach us at: info@stjretail.com


We are the Merchant’s Advocate! And proud of it!

For More Information visit: www.stjretail.com


Read More

  • May, 2014

STJ Retail, an international leader in all facets of store & payments systems development and support services, today announces, EFT PLUS US™ a fully integrated payment solution for Store Systems environments, developed for US retailers streamlining their transaction processing while meeting PCI and EMV (Chip and PIN) requirements. With the announcement August 9, 2011 of the adoption of EMV (Chip and PIN) in the United States, one of the last countries to migrate, STJ Retail took advantage of lessons learned in other migrations, to develop EFT PLUS US™. Americans will face unique challenges and EFT PLUS US™ will provide US retailers with a unique turnkey solution.



EFT PLUS US™ is a fully integrated payment solution for Store Systems environments that will streamline retailer’s transaction processing while meeting PCI and EMV (Chip and PIN) requirements. Increasing emphasis is being placed on consumer security and privacy; card brands are introducing significant changes upon retailers through Banks and Transaction Processors. Retailers need to ensure they are taking measures to meet compliance standards of PCI and EMV. With EFT PLUS US™ you can take the right steps now to minimize your exposure to payment fraud and data compromises. A business must-have, EFT PLUS US™ designed to make the transition to Chip and PIN fast and easy. EFT PLUS US™ is flexible and scalable which allows for multiple transaction processors/banks, multiple PINpad manufacturers, and multiple 3rd party value added services, all with the option of adding more connections as you need them.

“Having represented the retailer experience and lessons learned side of the International Retail User Group’s (IRUG) launch of their EMV/Mobile focus group in 2012, I was fully aware of the migration issues facing US retailers” said Martine Frobisher, IT Director, hmv, Canada. “Our Journey from magstripe to EMV Chip & PIN technology payments experience at hmv, being the first retailer in Canada to roll out EMV, was a venture you don’t want to undertake alone. Partnering with STJ Retail and implementing EFT PLUS™ was the most prudent element of our migration”.

STJ RETAIL METHODOLOGY
STJ Retail has an in-depth knowledge of both POS and Retail payments. STJ Retail provides generic EMV consulting services and roadmaps regardless of the technology our approach to consultation focuses on simplicity & efficiency through our PPR methodology.

Payment Process Re-Engineering - PPR

STEP 1: INTRODUCTION

Prospective clients approach us with a compelling reason or specific requirement. We engage and introduce the payment process re-engineering methodology and start analyzing the issues/concerns at hand.

STEP 2: HIGH-LEVEL FEASIBILITY STUDY
We interpret the high level requirements and understand the system architecture through surveys, interviews, and focus groups. This helps us develop a high level feasibility report which summarizes a recommendation addressing today and tomorrow’s requirement.

STEP 3: MERCHANT PROCESS & PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN
On approval of our high level report and summary, retailers engage STJ Retail to provide an in-depth project management plan as a part of consultation services. STJ Retail identifies the systems processes for re-engineering, identifies the change levers, quantify and qualify the measurable, plan the detailed implementation scope time & cost for the Merchant Process life cycle (SDLC).

Note: The steps below (step 4, 5 & 6) fall under STJ Retail services & solutions.

STEP 4: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MERCHANT PROCESS LIFE CYCLE (SDLC)

STEP 5: PILOT & STORE ROLL-OUT

STEP 6: CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT INDUSTRY UPDATES & MAINTENANCE SUPPORT

“STJ Retail’s decades of experience internationally, and in Canada and increasing emphasis on consumer security and privacy; led us to develop PCI and EMV (Chip and PIN) compliant solution EFT PLUS™, said Steve Braceland, CEO, STJ Retail. “With EFT PLUS US™ United States Retailers can capitalize on the Canadian lessons learned and take the right steps now to minimize their exposure to payment fraud and data compromises. A US retailer must-have, EFT PLUS US™ designed to make the transition to Chip and PIN fast and easy. EFT PLUS US™ is retail controlled providing flexibility and choice for multiple transaction processors/banks, multiple PINpad manufacturers, and multiple 3rd party value added services, all with the option of adding more connections as they are needed.”

ABOUT STJ RETAIL:
As a full-service retail systems provider, STJ Retail prides itself on a unique ability to understand and even anticipate the needs of retail clients. We have developed a strong network of industry relationships with both retailers and suppliers. Our in-depth understanding of the issues facing retailers today and planning for the future has earned STJ Retail a reputation for delivering practical solutions and services that provide immediate benefits.

STJ Retail focuses on 3 Key Business Areas:

CONSULTING - STJ Retail began providing consulting services to the retail industry in 1995.
SERVICES - In 2001, STJ Retail formed a group of retail experts to develop and deliver Software and Support Services to all retail & payment clients.
SOLUTIONS - Our Retail Solutions group is committed to delivering products that meet the needs of retailers from STJ Retail’s many years of retail industry experience, breadth of knowledge and ability to anticipate customer’s needs.

For More Information visit: www.stjretail.com
or contact:
Chris Braceland at 905-660-6630 Ext: 153 e-mail: cbraceland@stjretail.com


Read More

  • March, 2014

Maintaining the Timetable “After experiencing the EMV transition in Canada over the past four years, Stephen Braceland, CEO of STJ Retail in Ontario, says the Target breach should speed up the EMV switch in the US, suggesting card brands consider moving up the timeline instead of pushing it back. I appreciate that the retailers need the time to do this, but they’ve had a lot of time already, and many of them will wait until the last minute.”

“If Target had already put EMV in place, ‘in its purest state’, fraudsters wouldn’t have bothered targeting the data because it would have been useless to them, except for the card-not-present realm. It costs too much to duplicate the EMV chip and its communication capabilities.”


  • March, 2014

“One key thing to consider when pondering the implications of each approach (when it comes to payments) is the interchange rates, says Stephen Braceland, CEO of STJ Retail, a Concord, Ontario solution provider with a strong practice in payment processing solutions. Generally, mobile is card not present and brick and mortar is card present, which incur two different interchange rates. So with a network based solution, you should be able to transfer card not present to card present. The ability to convert as many transactions as possible to card present is a key goal in omni-channel retailing.”



“STJ Retail is tackling those hurdles [mobile payment processing: i) lack of standardization, ii) increase in data security issues/concerns, iii) trouble adapting mobile technologies with legacy systems, iv) disinterest from merchants, and v) high cost of implementation] head on by working with a group of about 12 mid-size and large retailers to address EMV needs. STJ is developing a core, network-based solution for the group. About 705 of the solution addresses needs that are common across all the participants; the remainder [of the solution] will be configurable to accommodate each merchant’s unique POS and backend environment and processor relationship.”

“The problem is, the payment solution infrastructure has to change. How you implement could cost you a fortune, or you could take a reasonable approach. Even then, implementation could take 12 to 24 months, putting those who have not yet begun in danger of falling behind schedule.

“Retailers are confused about the distinction between PCI and EMV. STJ Retail explains it this way: EMV replaces mag stripe, while PCI puts a bandage over the weaknesses in mag stripe. Therefore, PCI will be less important in an EMV environment, because every time you use a card [EMV Chip & Pin card] it’s like a brand new card; the bank talks to the computer chip, and the next time it looks for that info. A huge improvement over the static, easy-to-replicate data on a mag stripe card.

Opportunities Amidst Uncertainty: “Retailers perceive mobile apps help them sell goods as a good thing: They help increase sales and upsells. The problem is, the old stuff [payments system] and the new stuff are incompatible and that puts stress on IT groups. You can’t just throw more stuff at the store. This is a good time to revisit their payment infrastructure. Solution providers are ideally positioned to reduce these stressors, helping clients build a roadmap that address EMV, beefs up security and lays the groundwork for mobile and other payment innovations.”

Read More

  • October, 2013

The EMV deadline is rapidly approaching; retailers need to understand that the time to begin preparing and making serious decisions is now.Time is of the essence and complacency is not an option if there is a will to be compliant. As retailers prepare for EMV migration they are forced to consider what functionalities they want to build into these new systems.


These decisions affect all divisions including payments, finance, operations, marketing and technology. RAMP was all about various workshops with motive to generate awareness and give clear picture to the Merchant’s about the upcoming hurdles, innovations, mobile as well as their choices.

STJ Retail had the opportunity to conduct a successful workshop about EMV at RAMP 2013. It was a wonderful experience. The RAMP educational platform delivered comprehensive end to end content that touches the entire retail ecosystem.

The motive of our workshop was to educate the merchants about EMV. Audience felt that it was the best explanation of EMV ever!!

Best practices were shared based on EMV implementation in Canada. It was, all in all, a very educational and informative workshop. The Merchants were very happy with the workshop.

Read More

  • October, 2013

EMV chip and pin technology and Mobile pose significant challenges to US retailers. To meet the continuing challenge to the IRUG members, they conducted the fourth IRUG EMV/Mobile Payments retailer focus group meeting and workshop on October 13th -14th, 2013 in Raleigh, NC.



STJ Retail had the privilege to review the recent preliminary survey results having focus on “what USA merchants would like to see in Payment solutions?”; with 50% of respondents from marketing and 50% from IT departments. The synergies among merchants between Canada and the United States were almost identical. This is a small example of what differentiates STJ Retail that we are truly the Merchant’s Advocate. The survey concluded that retailer’s want choice and maximum flexibility in a payment solution.

About Focus Group of IRUG:

IRUG’s EMV/Mobile Payments Focus Group is the first extensive educational program for retailers regarding the migration of EMV payments to the US market and the emergence of mobile payments. The Focus Group meetings are planned and conducted by a Steering Committee comprised of IRUG members and retailers. The EMV/Mobile conducts two educational conferences and workshops and hosts monthly educational WebEx video conferences.

Read More

  • JUNE, 2013

Cardware focused on Mobile, Contactless and EMV based payments. STJ Retail worked with merchant’s to discuss concerns and issues as well as streamlining the process. There was a general discussion about EMV and the future of Payments.

During the session, card brands like VISA, MasterCard, AMEX, Interac, and Discover also addressed the merchant group on the future technologies related to the payments industry.

  • April, 2013

For the first time in the 37 year history of IRUG, the first International retailer HMV and International associate, STJ Retail,received the innovation award.

HMV and STJ Retail accepted the award for their product, “EFT Plus”, and services for the innovative solution to meet the Chip and Pin security requirements and to make extremely efficient and flexible use of the 4690 system resources.

At IRUG conference STJ Retail also introduced the first EMV 101 course as part of the IRUG’s expansion into credited education. The course focused on the expansion of the IRUG Roadmap and certification process required for Merchants.