RECAP: Conexxus Talks Tech With Victor Paterno

The NACS chairman discussed the role of technology in the industry.

January 30, 2024

Gray Taylor, executive director of Conexxus, and Victor Paterno, NACS chairman and president and CEO of Philippine Seven Corp., discussed the role of technology in the convenience industry in the latest Conexxus webinar Fireside Chat VIP. Location footprint and 8112s (universal, single-use coupons) were also discussed during the casual conversation.

Paterno said swipe fees continue to be the biggest challenge the U.S. convenience retail industry faces. “I think NACS is doing its best against it,” said Paterno.

Another area where Paterno saw challenges for the U.S. market was technology. He also said it’s an area full of potential.

“When you have a fragmented industry, someone will want to consolidate. It’s just the way the world works,” Paterno said. “Logistics would be a natural way to consolidate for us [in the Philippines], but with the size of the United States, it's not possible; you could do so regionally.”

“So, the next area to consolidate is in technology. Age verification, such as TruAge from NACS, could be one area where consolidation happens,” Paterno said. “Because it's very hard to replicate a store footprint. We’ve always said, I don’t care if Amazon comes here and how much money they have because they still have to expand one store at a time. It’s very difficult to expand,” said Paterno.

“It seems to me delivering services to the point of sale—and most of these services coming across as digital—is something that the industry should look at that justifies our location footprint,” added Taylor.

Paterno sat down with NACS Magazine for “The Big Question” in November 2023, detailing his entrance into the convenience retailing industry.