The Convenience Technology Vision Group released its report from the September meeting discussing “challenges and opportunities around point-of-sale systems (POS) specific to convenience and fuel retail—decoupling and decluttering and EMV upgrades—and major oil considerations, as well as EV charging,” according to the announcement.
Major talking points were around decoupling and decluttering, the POS systems in the industry. The ideas of separating legacy, all-in-one POS systems represents the shift in technology and the needs of consumers for a more personalized experience when checking out which allows more flexibility for the operator and customers to engage with their systems.
In the report, Patrick Raycroft, partner at W. Capra Consulting, “emphasized the need to separate payment systems and forecourt control from the core POS functionality to allow innovation and facilitate the entry of new players into the market.”
“We need to flip [all-in-one systems] on its head and focus on hardware and computer and infrastructure separately from point-of-sale applications and really not limit ourselves from thinking point-of-sale hardware is really the main hardware piece at our convenience locations in the industry,” said Raycroft.
Nick Peters, vice president of IT, Campbell Oil Company, reiterated by saying, “Decoupling the payment systems from the POS and really creating that compartmentalized architecture that [Patrick] was referring to is dead on the money.” He continued that one of the major obstacles to POS innovation is the fact that c-stores sell fuel. While gasoline dispensing technology is unique to the convenience industry, the legacy systems that come with that function contribute to the challenges.
Don Rhoads, director of business development of The Convenience Group, indicated [people in the industry] are waiting for the technologies and infrastructure to advance a bit more before they start investing.
Some retailers are cautiously approaching the topic and waiting to see how and when they should invest in the technology. “Mike Templeton, director of Digital Experience for Casey’s, is continuing to research the EV charging space and is not planning on directly investing Casey’s funding in charging installations,” according to the CTVG report. And some retailers have begun investing in outside sources for charging stations in an effort to encourage traffic to their stores.