January’s PT will have an article basically written by three senior staff from revenue control equipment manufacturers. John Lovell from Zeag North America took an interesting approach. He says that the requirements of Visa and dealing with credit cards and the Sorbanes Oxlen reporting requirements for public companies are whipping manufacturers into shape:
The parking revenue control industry has reacted to outside
pressures, helping it begin to “clean up its act.”
reached out to manufacturers and asked what had changed the face of the
industry of the past couple of years. A number focused on data transfers,
differing requirements for transients, VoIP, consolidated credentials and
License Plate Recognition.
“The most critical effect that we have seen over the past
few years,” said John Lovell,
President of Zeag Canada, Ltd., “has been the challenge put to us
by the major credit card companies to meet
their security requirements. It has forced us to re-think how we transfer data, how we store data,
and just how we can meet these more stringent security
“This is critical to our continuity
as a as a leader in this field. If we don’t meet the new requirements, we won’t
sell any major systems. The large operators and owners simply won’t talk to you
unless you are certified.
“This has forced us, and I
believe other manufacturers, to look at the way we do things in depth. You have to be certain that a credit card processed in the lane, or at a POF terminal, is secure, that the transaction data is secure as it is being
transmitted to the parking system server, and from
there onto the card processing entity. It challenges you to
rethink everything about how your system manages information.
“This has forced us as an industry to document and update our firmware
and software. When you break it all down, I think most of this was
always in the minds of software engineers
in Europe, here in North America, or Asia.. The certification requirements
force us to ensure that our systems are solid, work
accurately, and are fully documented. At the end
of the day, this improves the breed to the benefit of the industry at large.
(the reporting laws required of public companies),
has made a big difference too. One of the major
operators sat down with us and told us that their audits required that
the numbers in our statistical and revenue
reports had to foot with the amount of cash and electronic payments being collected from the system. If
things didn’t jibe it would cause them
considerable pain with their auditors and ultimately;
the Feds. We had to be sure we met our customer’s requirements, and we are.
“Operators have realized that they must hire top of the
line people to run their automated locations. These people
check reports, review printouts, and make sure the numbers balance. This has reinforced
our understanding of
the seriousness of what we do and ensure that our
systems are accurate.
“Frankly these two outside forces have unknowingly
conspired to make the revenue control industry better. If you aren’t CISP
(VISA) compliant and if your reports aren’t correct, you will lose market share. Public companies like Standard,
AMPCO and IMPARK can’t
risk recommending systems to their clients that
aren’t letter perfect.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Read what Tom Wunk of Scheidt and Bachmann and Mark McNicholas of Federal APD had to say in addition to John in January’s Parking Today.