Conexxus In the News

One of the more thought-provoking questions posed during Conexxus 2022 was: “What keeps you up at night?” Attendees at the annual convenience and fuel retailing conference, held in May in Tucson, Arizona, were united in their concern for the customer experience. Petroleum retailers are seeking solutions that deliver a strong customer experience for everyone, not just at the pump but in the store. The question of how best to do that keeps many of them tossing and turning at night.

Here are four of my takeaways from the Conexxus event for consideration (and perhaps to help get some more sleep at night)...

"YEO Breakout Sessions: Understanding the Future of Retail Payment Systems,” discussed the demand for frictionless payments. Speakers Gray Taylor, executive director at Conexxus, and Jeremie Myhren, co-founder and chief information officer at ONRAMP and YEO board chairman, paved the way for further conversation on moving brick and mortar c-stores into the modern era.  Regarding digital platforms, Taylor said the big themes are that fundamental technologies drive digital life, digital life requires digital versions of real things and digital identity is the foundation of the future. He spoke about the Internet/Web of Things (IoT) and networked devices collecting and acting on real-time data. “The goal is to improve the customer experience with less and use deep learning to do it,” said Taylor.

As all small operators in the convenience store industry know, they wear many hats. This is something Lisa Dell'Alba, president and CEO of Bethlehem, Pa.-based Square One Markets Inc., knows all too well. But with the complexities of retail technology, should she also take on the role of IT director? In a recent virtual fireside chat with Gray Taylor, executive director of Conexxus, Dell'Alba pointed to the tech challenges associated with outdoor EMV upgrades and the addition of mobile pay.

Reynolds American Inc. announces support of the program, bolstering the national effort to make the process of age-verification at all points of sale more reliable and secure.


“Our initial tests demonstrated that the TruAge™ solution works and works fast—posting verification that protects the cashier in a fraction of second. These additional tests are designed to pressure-test the convenience features as we move toward both stand-alone app-based solutions as well as solutions that can be folded into existing retailer apps,” said Conexxus Executive Director Gray Taylor. “In both cases, TruAge™ provides the most effective, convenient solution to date to age verify customers quickly while protecting their privacy,” he said.

“They’re not giving us a lot of time,” said Linda Toth, managing director at Conexxus, an Alexandria, Virginia-based association that publishes standards and guidance for gas merchants and convenience stores. The Mastercard move is like a “mandate,” according to Toth, adding that makes it different from past policies that simply shifted liability for fraud based on EMV status. Those merchants could still accept magstripe card payments. But under Mastercard’s new timeline, “if you haven’t migrated to EMV compliance under this new announcement, you won’t be able to accept cards,” Toth said.

"This is the new form of modern warfare,” said Gray Taylor, executive director of Conexxus, the member-driven technology organization dedicated to the development and implementation of standards, technologies innovation and advocacy for the c-store and petroleum market. “The takeaway is we as an industry, we as an economy, have a poor understanding of the risk assessment — the nuts and bolts — of data security."

“Mastercard’s intention to issue only chip-enabled credit and debit cards with no magnetic stripes is a de facto mandate for merchants to implement EMV payments at the pump or be at a competitive disadvantage with outdoor payments,” said Linda Toth, Conexxus managing director. “That means retailers who don’t make the switch before Mastercard stops issuing magnetic stripe cards by 2029 will only be able to accept mobile payments at the pump or be forced to send fuel customers inside the c-store to process EMV payments.”

“Our ongoing collaboration with Conexxus has brought a number of new partnerships into our trajectory,” said Johnson. “Technology providers like Electrum are so valuable to us because of their expertise and experience in this vertical. We are looking forward to deploying our first pilot with their team later this year.”  The Coupon Bureau is a nonprofit industry group and centralized data exchange connecting stakeholders to its new universal digital coupon project. AI (8112) coupons are universal, single-use coupons validated in real-time through The Coupon Bureau’s Universal Positive Offer file.

“What happens when all of Walmart’s inventory is available at your doorstep within an hour?” That question, posed by Gray Taylor, executive director of Conexxus, in a recent interview succinctly summarizes the daunting competition convenience stores face as both the retail and restaurant landscapes continue to evolve.