Fuel centers use network switches to connect devices such as computers, printers, phones, cameras, and servers. These switches allow networked devices to talk to each other efficiently. But what about the fuel dispensers themselves? Do you really need a managed switch there as well? Let’s take a look.
February 20, 2018, Huntsville, Alabama. AvaLAN, the provider of secure networking devices and services, today announces a new way to connect and manage current loop and RS232/RS485 serial devices. Developed for the retail fueling industry, the AWCLETHS enables current loop data communications to flow through a TCP/IP Ethernet network. This newly developed networking technology will enable modern forms of network security to be applied to insure the integrity of the data. Additionally, making the current loop data compatible in an Ethernet network allows the data to be transmitted over wired or wireless mediums. Wireless current loop technology from AvaLAN will enable flexibility, network control and ease of installation for fuel dispensers in a retail forecourt.
Your fuel center network contains many different kinds of data. In traditional networks, each port is tagged, and devices plugged into that port are only allowed to talk to other devices with the same tag. However, that means someone must manually manage each switch and designate a fixed rule for the respective port. In fuel centers, large networks with numerous switches are very common, so manually assigning rules becomes unscalable, even if funding and trained personnel are not an issue. Fortunately, AvaLAN offers a better enterprise solution based on MAC addresses. It’s a managed switch solution that doesn’t need to be managed.
Check out this great visual to see how AvaLAN is solving problems for next generation fuel centers. AvaLAN has wireless Ethernet solutions for all of these fuel center connections and has a wireless serial and wireless current loop solution coming soon!
In today’s digital world, Americans have grown accustomed to consuming digital media practically everywhere - with signage in stores, airports, stadiums, metro stations, and even bus stops that now have the capacity to broadcast content to waiting passengers. Another popular frequented area that serves as an excellent space for displaying media – fuel centers. Automobile drivers filling their cars at gas stations make great audiences for convenience stores looking to show advertisements and promotions. Broadcasting media at the pump gives c-stores a tremendous opportunity to lift in-store sales and establish brand loyalty. Engaging customers at the pump with vibrant media displayed on large, colorful screens drive foot traffic into c-stores and has demonstrated the ability to increase the sale of promoted items by an impressive 39%.
Technology has the incredible ability to make life simpler, easier, and more efficient. It touches everyone, everywhere, within homes, workplaces, and even fueling stations. Automated tank gauges (ATGs) provide fuel center owners with critical information regarding inventory levels, deliveries, possible problems, and even leaks to ensure compliance with government regulations. Thousands of fuel centers across the country and the world utilize ATGs to enhance operations. But AvaLAN is taking ATGs to the next level by enabling remote access to tank gauges so that operators can access information at any time, from any place on Earth, using a network-based connection.
Data thieves target convenience stores for the payment card information that moves through networks when customers use their card at the pump. To handle this challenge, U.S. fuel marketers must accommodate EMV chip card payments at their fuel dispenser by Oct. 1, 2020, or pay for card payment fraud themselves. Let's review some of the costs of EMV upgrades for the fuel center and the options to consider for upgrading to EMV.
To achieve Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, American fuel centers are making the switch to EMV pump payment systems, and are discovering that installing a wireless network to fulfill their needs allows them to avoid the costly expense and downtime associated with a wired system. A wireless solution is capable of delivering the high speeds necessary to accommodate next generation fuel dispensers – along with fully certified data encryption technology and VLAN (virtual local area networks) segmented switching. It is this segmentation that is critical to establishing a robust and secure wireless payment infrastructure.
EMV, which stands for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa, is the global technology standard used to authenticate transactions from smart cards equipped with computer chips. It critical for fuel centers to make the conversion to EMV as soon as possible. Why? Because as of October 2017, banks have shifted the liability for fraudulent transactions onto the merchant. But should fuel center owners connect EMV supporting hardware with conventional two-wire technology or convert to wireless Ethernet products? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.
Most consumers visit fuel centers regularly without giving much thought to their inner workings. But owners of these centers certainly care about the logistics of making their displays function maximally. Many center-displays transmit a great deal of information—from fuel prices and product advertisements, to POS data, to important weather information. Most rely on buried cabling for their digital signage systems, but installation is expensive and requires invasive trenching work. Trenching the required cabling also does not allow for any type of remote access to the signage and components which, inhibits flexibility in time and location for sign changes. For proper longevity and customization, remote access to digital signage components is critical.