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    Companies Unveil New Initiatives at NACSTech Show

    New Edge Networks, KSS, AutoGas and others launch innovative technologies.

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- New Edge Networks is tightening privacy and security on bankcard transactions through new network interconnections to Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC. The new connections provide end-to-end compliance with Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards. The companies made the announcement Monday at the NACSTech 2006 conference and exposition in Nashville, Tenn.

    Businesses such as convenience store and petroleum retailers whose PCI-compliant networks are powered by New Edge Networks can use the new redundant direct connections to Chase Paymentech at no added cost. This saves merchants the monthly communications charges for maintaining their own separate connections to their payment processors. Redundant connections also eliminate single points of failure at the merchants' host locations or corporate headquarters.

    "Our new redundant connections provide end-to-end assurances that bankcard transactions leave the store and reach the payment processor privately, securely, and fast -- never touching the Internet," said Dan Moffat, president of New Edge Networks. "After leaving the store, bankcard traffic always stays on New Edge Networks' private nationwide network before we hand off data directly to Chase Paymentech through direct connections.

    "Private transport coupled with rock-solid data encryption is a strong deterrence to bankcard fraud," Moffat continued. "This translates to increased transaction volume with peace-of-mind to merchants and their customers."

    Direct connections are part of a New Edge Networks strategic initiative called ARNie, short for America's Retail Network information exchange. New Edge Networks and Paymentech pioneered direct connections in March 2005. The original direct connections carried a mix of transactions traffic. The new connections are exclusive for PCI-compliant bankcard data traffic.

    "Chase Paymentech and New Edge Networks will proactively manage and maintain the private, redundant connections, assuring merchants that bankcard transactions go through quickly and accurately," said Robert Wechsler, executive vice president for global sales and client services with Chase Paymentech. "This helps speed up lines at the checkout counter, which usually translates to increased business and a more convenient service."

    New Edge Networks was the first facilities-based communications carrier to receive compliance statements that its broadband networks comply with PCI security standards adopted by the major card companies. The company has been building direct connections to various suppliers, such as Chase Paymentech, to make it easy for merchants to switch from dial-up telephone connections to broadband networks.

    Broadband connections typically speed up bankcard transactions up to 80 percent from about 15 seconds over dial-up connections to about three seconds over high-speed lines.

    Also at NACSTech, KSS, a global leader in fuel pricing automation and optimization solutions, announced it is releasing KSS PriceNet Web, a Web-based module for collecting store-level data, including fast-changing, competitive fuel prices and events.

    As an integrated module of the KSS PriceNet solution, KSS PriceNet Web improves response times to market conditions by expediting the pricing process of both store and headquarter personnel. In essence, KSS PriceNet Web makes sure that fuel pricing data such as competitor pricing and special events, are quickly reported, received and then acted on.

    "KSS PriceNet Web provides the ability to accurately capture, communicate and react to site-specific market conditions, almost immediately," said Bob Stein, CEO of KSS's fuels division. "Whether it's a competitor's price changes or road construction, KSS PriceNet Web provides the means for store-level employees to communicate with -- and receive from -- their corporate office the key variables that critically influence fuel pricing."

    At a corporate level, KSS PriceNet takes data fed from KSS PriceNet Web, and generates new pricing, which in turn is communicated back to the store and verified through KSS PriceNet Web. This entire pricing process from start to finish is typically done within minutes, and replaces processes that used to take hours or days. Customers using KSS PriceNet Web to date are reporting that it adds power and simplicity while delivering an almost instant view into each stores' current market conditions.

    AutoGas Systems Inc. announced the latest release of its REGAL software, Streamline v1.0, which has been successfully deployed across their nationwide network of convenience stores.

    The REGAL family of products provides a comprehensive set of fuel automation solutions designed to help retailers improve sales, customer satisfaction and bottom-line profits. Streamline enhances the REGAL suite by standardizing basic functions, by introducing powerful new features and by providing faster and easier customer support.

    "Standardizing REGAL has many benefits," said Steve Covington, chief technical officer of AutoGas. "First of all, Streamline lets us bring new features and functionality to retailers more quickly. AutoGas has built our reputation by responding to the needs of store operators, and Streamline is the next logical step in delivering better operational solutions to the retail environment."

    New or enhanced Streamline features include a simplified login procedure, a standard POS user interface, an in-store transaction manager, improved canceled sale reporting, and cashier alerts for multiple End of Day attempts. Streamline is simple to deploy, but can be easily customized to meet specific retailer needs.

    "We've also made it easier to reach our Help Desk technicians, so our customers now see faster response times and a higher quality of service," said Mark Viertel, vice president of marketing for AutoGas. "Retailers can request assistance by phone or online, and all customers now receive the same high level of support response."

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