ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Fuel dispenser security is of great concern for the convenience store industry. Approximately 39 million Americans fill-up their gas tanks every day, and fuel dispensers have become one of many targets for thieves looking to steal credit and debit card information by “skimming,” an aggressive tactic used to illegally obtain consumer card data for fraudulent purposes.
NACS and The Pinnacle Corporation are helping convenience store operators enhance fuel dispenser security and combat skimming through a new mobile solution, the SkimDefend app. The app works alongside tamper-evident NACS WeCare decals, which help retailers identify potential security breaches when fuel dispensers or other unattended PIN-entry devices are opened to install skimming mechanisms. With the SkimDefend app, store operators scan the code at each pump location where a NACS WeCare decal is applied, or enter label numbers manually. Decal usage may also be considered at other locations such as ATMs, car wash controllers, network cabinets and PCs.
“By teaming up with Pinnacle, NACS is able help convenience store operators combat skimming at the dispenser, and anywhere else hardware is at potential risk. NACS members, and especially our WeCare decal users, are encouraged to take advantage of this app while it is free, and help us enhance the power of SkimDefend by sharing usage experiences,” said Doug Spencer, director of products and services at NACS.
“Pinnacle is pleased to bring the strength of its mobile platform to the NACS WeCare program by introducing the SkimDefend mobile app, providing retailers a powerful tool to help mitigate the risks of skimming devices,” said Melissa Hadley, Pinnacle’s director of product management. “Our mobile platform enables us to rapidly develop and deploy both consumer facing and internal [corporate] facing apps for convenience store operators, and SkimDefend was a natural extension of our strategy. We are excited about the extensive possibilities for this app going forward.”
There are two main functions of the SkimDefend app:
- Register NACS WeCare decals, their physical locations and capture the GPS coordinates.
- Verify NACS WeCare decals have not been tampered with, and if they have, store operators can record information and take pictures of what they encountered.
The SkimDefend app creates a virtual tracking mechanism that helps store operators monitor fuel pumps, as well as help provide forensic evidence should a skimming incident occur. The app also helps combat thieves who purchase and/or counterfeit tamper-evident labels by only being able to track legitimately purchased decals.
Gray Taylor, executive director of Conexxus, the convenience and fuel retailing industry’s technology standards and advocacy group, commended Pinnacle for helping NACS deliver a very timely tool to help store operators combat skimming. “Conexxus and NACS are constantly seeking ways to bring security to our membership, and SkimDefend is another tool that makes securing our customer’s data a bit easier. This is a great example of how we continue to work with all stakeholders to improve our members’ profitability.”
Convenience store operators can download the SkimDefend app free of charge for Apple and Android mobile devices, and the NACS WeCare decals can be purchased at nacsonline.com.
Additional skimming resources are also available at nacsonline.com/skimming.