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    CITGO Helps Marketers and Retailers Understand PCI

    The petroleum company breaks down the steps to compliance with new materials available through CITGO MarketNet.

    HOUSTON -- CITGO Petroleum Corp. developed a comprehensive breakdown of the steps and processes required to meet PCI compliance, and it is available through CITGO MarketNet.

    The company developed the materials to allow marketers and retailers to more easily understand how they can mitigate their risk of a security breach and help them map out, and pay for, the changes they will need to make to their operating procedures and equipment to ensure compliance—such as VeriFone Ruby, VeriFone Vx570 and Gilbarco G-Site. CITGO also provides guidance on key dates and support for those products such as hardware, software, etc. that are sold out, the company reported.

    "The complexities of the petroleum industry make PCI compliance especially confusing for jobbers and retailers," Jonathan Watson, manager of business services and payment card at CITGO Petroleum said in a released statement. "CITGO is committed to doing everything it can to help our network mitigate risk and protect consumers against data theft. While we support the payment card industry’s desire to increase data security, we also understand what a huge burden these regulations place on businesses, including CITGO station owners and operators."

    CITGO Petroleum Corp. is under the same pressure to meet the revised PCI regulations as its marketers and retailers, according to the company. While it is updating its internal operations, CITGO also is looking for ways to assist its marketer and retailer network with face-to-face training and information to cut through the confusion, ease the compliance process and avoid costly mistakes.

    "We encourage our marketers and retailers to start now to get up to speed on the issues, know what they need to do to be compliant, and ensure they have the financial support to make the required changes to their equipment," Watson said. "We also urge marketers and retailers who are purchasing new equipment to make sure it meets upcoming regulations and be wary of people selling outdated products. The materials developed by CITGO can help explain the requirements and prevent our jobbers and retailers falling for expensive scams."

    The CITGO materials include: "The Five Steps to Mitigate Risk of Compromise" and a comprehensive chart that identifies the PCI compliance status of key software products.

    "Every business that accepts credit cards is going to need to comply with new regulations," Watson said.

    As part of its extensive education program, CITGO also is offering 10 training sessions in June, July and August, run by an independent third-party expert who has conducted training for at least one of the major card issuers. These sessions will walk marketers and retailers through the compliance steps and allow them to ask questions specific to their businesses, the company stated. CITGO will also join other petroleum industry leaders at NACSTech on May 18-20 to discuss issues face-to-face with marketers and retailers.

    "CITGO wants to make sure all of our marketers and retailers have PCI compliance front of mind and that none of them get left out when the compliance dates hit, as there will be no forgiveness from the credit card companies," stated Michael Pooler, manager of payment card operations at CITGO. "We’ve already had a terrific response from the people who have started using the materials.

    "By taking advantage of the in-person training sessions, educational materials available through MarketNet, and the Facility Appearance and Technology fund support CITGO is offering, we are confident that our marketers and retailers will be ready for the July 2010 deadlines," Pooler continued. "Compliance was a hot topic of discussion among marketers at the 18 roundtable meetings CITGO held recently, so we wanted to provide some tools to help navigate the changing landscape."

    In addition to the training and educational materials currently available, CITGO is in the process of selecting a recommended leasing program partner to help marketers and retailers access PCI compliant equipment, and will update its marketer and retailer network as soon as the partner is confirmed, the company reported.

    To access information on the compliance procedures, CITGO marketers and retailers should access CITGO MarketNet or contact their CITGO representative. E-mail invitations will be sent for the upcoming PCI training sessions.

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