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    Fuel Retail Industry’s First Skimming Defense App Launches

    SkimDefend app works alongside WeCare decals.

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Credit card and debit card skimming continues to be a growing problem at the pump for convenience store retailers. NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, along with The Pinnacle Corp. have taken a big step to combat skimming with the introduction of the SkimDefend app, available for free download on Apple and Android smartphones.

    Skimming refers to when criminals insert an illegal device at the pump in an effort to steal customer information. The app works alongside tamper-evident NACS WeCare decals, which can be purchased at www.nacsonline.com. These decals help retailers identify potential security breaches when fuel dispensers or other unattended PIN-entry devices are opened to install skimming mechanisms.

    Specifically, the SkimDefend app has two main functions, according to Alexandria-based NACS:

    • 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. 

    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 to 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. 

    Gray Taylor, executive director of Conexxus, the convenience and fuel retailing industry’s technology standards and advocacy group, stated earlier this month at the 2016 Conexxus Annual Conference that skimming is one of the two biggest technology challenges convenience store retailers currently face.

    “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,” Taylor said. “This is a great example of how we continue to work with all stakeholders to improve our members’ profitability.”

    Melissa Hadley, Pinnacle’s director of product management, concluded the SkimDefend app provides c-store retailers with a powerful tool to help mitigate the risk of skimming.

    “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,” she said. “We are excited about the extensive possibilities for this app going forward.”

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