OPERATIONS

Target to adopt MasterCard chip-and-PIN technology by 2015; names new CIO

BY Marianne Wilson

Minneapolis — Target Corp. named veteran IT executive Bob DeRodes as chief information officer. The retailer also announced that it plans to incorporate MasterCard chip-and-PIN technology across its Target-branded REDcard portfolio by early 2015, and is converting existing payment terminals at its stores this year ahead of schedule.

DeRodes replaces Beth Jacob, who left the chain in early March in the wake of Target’s massive pre-Christmas data breach. He has 40 years of experience in information technology, and has been a senior information technology adviser for the Center for CIO Leadership, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secretary of Defense and the U.S. Department of Justice. He will assume oversight for the company’s technology team and operations, effective May 5, with responsibility for the ongoing data security enhancement efforts as well as the development of Target’s long-term information technology and digital initiatives.

Regarding its rollout of MasterCard’s chip-and-PIN solution across its branded credit card portfolio, Target said that its existing co-branded cards will be reissued as MasterCard co-branded chip-and-PIN cards. Ultimately, all of Target’s REDcard products will be chip-and-PIN secured.

Earlier this year, Target announced an accelerated $100 million plan to move its REDcard portfolio to chip-and-PIN-enabled technology and to install supporting software and next-generation payment devices in stores. The new payment terminals will be in all 1,797 U.S. stores by this September, six months ahead of schedule.

“Target has long been an advocate for the widespread adoption of chip-and-PIN card technology,” said John Mulligan, executive VP, CFO, Target. “As we aggressively move forward to bring enhanced technology to Target, we believe it is critical that we provide our REDcard guests with the most secure payment product available. This new initiative satisfies that goal.”

The company said it will continue its search for a chief information security officer and a chief compliance officer.

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OPERATIONS

PriceSpider expands Where-to-Buy categories

BY Dan Berthiaume

Irvine, Calif. – PriceSpider has expanded availability of its Where-to-Buy (WTB) services. Previously available in the consumer electronics space, the PriceSpider WTB service is now also available and in use in the home appliance, toy, automotive parts, sporting goods and consumer packaged goods markets.

By leveraging real-time Web crawlers instead of data feeds, PriceSpider WTB technology serves up instantaneous information. The service can be integrated into a manufacturer’s website allowing consumers to see real-time pricing and stock information for online and local sellers and mobile shoppers to use their phones and/or tablets to locate and purchase products or get directions to their local sellers. Brands and retailers obtain consumer data that can be analyzed.

With the PriceSpider WTB service, consumers visiting a manufacturer’s website see all authorized/preferred sellers endorsed by the brand. In addition, consumers can directly view up-to-the-minute pricing and stock availability.

“The PriceSpider real-time Where-to-Buy engine gives consumers the ability to easily pinpoint exactly where the desired product is available and in stock, both via online and local sellers, and at what price,” said Anthony Ferry, CEO, PriceSpider. “This level of access simplifies the purchase process in a wide array of retail industries and creates happy customers who are more likely to become brand advocates.”

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News

AirTight Networks, Frontera Consulting partner on brand lifecycle management solution

BY Dan Berthiaume

Mountain View, Calif. – Airtight Networks, which provides in-store WiFi analytics such as how long customers stay and shop, how often they come in and marketing campaign effectiveness, is partnering with Frontera Consulting to package social media and retail intelligence capabilities with the Airtight platform. The new solution offers WiFi-based brand lifecycle management.

AirTight delivers brand building and awareness through guest Wi-Fi services and visitor analytics; brand protection through security, WIPS (wireless intrusion prevention) and PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance; and brand engagement through social Wi-Fi, customer promotions and loyalty programs.

“AirTight is not simply about Wi-Fi or being the best WIPS player in the business,” said Anita Pandley, VP of marketing and business development at AirTight. “We are in the ‘brand lifecycle management’ business. And we are bringing this all to our customers for the price of a traditional Wi-Fi system, so even mom-and-pop businesses can take advantage of it. We are also aggressively building our channels and, as Frontera’s example shows, offering ‘brand lifecycle management’ services that lead to new revenues, fast growth and greater customer lifecycle value for our partners.”

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