The solution uses a special interface, developed by BCP, to link BCP’s retail solution via the Internet to banks and Paypoint. Authentication is built into the system, automatically identifying the source of the transaction (the particular shop) and type of transaction so it can be directed to Streamline or AMEX, for example, for card payments and Paypoint for services such as mobile ‘phone top up or congestion charges.
All the retailer requires to operate the system is an ‘always on’ high speed Internet access. The software sits directly on the till or back office so that no additional hardware is required, although it can be located on a separate router if the retailer prefers.
Highly encrypted and secure, the solution overcomes problems associated with using standard telephone lines or even ISDN, delivering substantial cost, efficiency and security benefits:
• Reduced communications costs – one line serves all tills and there are no additional call costs
• Faster transaction authorisation times allow customers to be served faster and queues to be minimised
• Increased security – messages are totally encrypted and, therefore secure
• Fast transaction times allow retailers to combat fraud by authorising all card transactions, however small. This should also enable the retailer to negotiate reduced merchant service charges with their acquirer
• Complete scalability – the system supports an unlimited number of tills
• Increased flexibility/functionality – superior bandwidth means retailers can also use the line for head office communications, support purposes, web access or email without disrupting till operation
Convenience stores have been the first to adopt this solution and it is already operating in over 70 c-stores, with roll-out continuing apace. Early users include southwest c-store operator Gillett’s Callington Ltd who, like other users, is thrilled with the service: “We’re already seeing a substantial reduction in communications costs from the implementation of OLA over BB,” says IT Director, Alan Cookson, “and we’re keen to roll it out to all our stores as soon as we can in order to build on these savings as well as improving the service we give to our customers.”