NACS will integrate PCATS, the Petroleum and Convenience Alliance for Technical Standards, as an independent standards organization that is part of NACS.
PCATS Chairman and NACS Vice Chairman of Technology Pat Lewis made the announcement during the opening general session yesterday at NACStech, noting that the PCATS Board of Directors on May 4 accepted NACS’ proposal and amended Bylaws for the continuing operation of PCATS as part of NACS.
The move comes due to the growing the need for standards and mounting burden of compliance has created the strategic need for standards and technology advocacy that could be leveraged by the new agreement, according to Lewis.
“With stand-alone PCATS, the standards group, and NACS, the prime advocate for our industry, it became more critical than ever to closely link the standards, technology and advocacy,” Lewis said.
“The integration of NACS and PCATS will facilitate the vital continued development of technology standards and strong and effective advocacy of those standards,” said NACS President and CEO Hank Armour.
The benefits of PCATS membership will not change, noted Lewis. “Access to, and influence on, industry standards will still require membership in PCATS. It is also the objective the respective Boards to maintain the unique identity of the PCATS community. I want to stress – PCATS will remain a membership-driven standards group, but with vastly greater resources to achieve its goals.”
Both organizations will maintain their respective memberships. “You don’t have to be a member of both organizations, but you sure as hell should be!” said Armour, drawing applause from the crowd of retailers.
NACS Payments Consultant Gray Taylor will also serve as executive director of PCATS. “Gray’s background as a retailer, systems vendor and NACS Vice President of Research and Technology uniquely positions him to address the needs of the new standards advocacy,” said Lewis. The move also allows interim director Scott Wood to focus on his core expertise as standards director, Lewis noted.
NACS has been involved in technology standards for more than a decade. In 1995, NACS created the Technology Standards Project, which in 2004 became PCATS. In the ensuing six years, PCATS grew its membership to more than 150, representing more than 20,000 stores and virtually all technology and services vendors selling into the industry. PCATS also generated diverse data and interoperability standards for POS to BOS, lottery reconciliation and more recently, data security; all aimed at reducing the costs and time to market of technology adoption.
The PCATS Board of Directors will e-mail PCATS members a copy of the new Bylaws next week and asks that each member quickly vote to adopt them.
“We are very excited about the integration of PCATS and NACS,” said Armour.
“This is the start of an exciting future for PCATS and its members, as we continue to advance our industry’s technology and standards capabilities,” said Lewis.