JCPenney Kiosk Toys With Payment

Written by Evan Schuman
February 10th, 2011

At 500 pounds with a 42-inch touchscreen and towering taller than most customers at an impressive 7-feet, the new kiosks JCPenney unveiled Monday (Feb. 7) are nothing if not eye-catching. But the units are designed to provide visually intriguing access to inventory at other stores and the chain’s Web site, while identifying merchandise with a barcode scan and accepting payment with a plastic swipe.

The units, which JCPenney is calling Findmore, are also integrated with CRM databases, identifying customers’ loyalty accounts by matching their payment cards. The chain was careful to avoid PCI issues by not directly storing the card numbers.

“Once the customer gives the credit card information to JCPenney, it is immediately translated to a JCPenney internal ID and stored on database in the translated format. The credit card number is not stored in the rewards system,” said Kate Coultas, a JCPenney corporate communications manager.

“The sales transaction is saved to a transaction log for later processing by the Rewards system. There is a rewards process that runs each day that looks at the transaction log and pulls purchases made by rewards customers to assign the appropriate number of rewards points to the rewards customer account,” Coultas said. “The points assignment process matches the credit card used in the purchase against all credit cards in the rewards system to determine the rewards account that is assigned the points.”

Customers are allowed to associate three payment cards with their CRM profile. If the customer chooses to use any other card for payment, the system won’t make the connection.

The chain also stressed PCI compliance for other parts of the kiosk system. “The kiosk uses industry-standard credit card readers, which are tied to the same payments systems used for orders. The kiosk is PCI compliant, going through the same rigorous audits as our other IT systems,” Coultas said. “In addition, credit card numbers are not stored on the kiosk and transferred securely to payment systems in compliance with PCI.”

The Findmore launch is at 127 stores, and the chain has posted the list online. The kiosks were tested at an unspecified smaller number of stores as early as April 2009, mostly in the Home departments.


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