Aviation industry credit card transaction processor U.S. Bank Multi Service Aviation has partnered with aviation software developer Vessix to launch a new cloud-based business solution system for FBO operators. The two companies (co-exhibiting at Booth 1624) have unveiled the subscription-based Vessix platform, which has been under development for the past two-and-a-half years and can provide secure transactions with customer credit and fuel cards.
Using a proprietary card scanner, sensitive credit data is encrypted and, on customer request, placed in a secure cyber vault, where it can be accessed to process transactions without the handling of actual card numbers.
At its NBAA press conference on Monday, Vessix co-founder and COO Tom Perkins described the current system of “on file” cards employed at many FBOs as a photocopy of the actual credit card kept in a drawer. In this era of major credit card hacking breaches, the new point-of-sale system complies with level-one payment card industry (PCI) standards, the most stringent available. Based on Vessix’s centralized storage, which keeps the customer’s credit card information out of the FBO’s computers, transactions can be processed at multiple locations using the same data.
“All the software that’s currently out there for an FBO has been designed with abilities 10 years old, some as much as 15, and it hasn’t been updated,” Perkins told AIN. “Not only is it operating in a language that doesn’t work with current technology, the PCI compliance and security around the cards just can’t be updated, that stuff is coming apart.”
The secure credit processing function is just one of four modules now available from Vessix, which customers can utilize on an al a carte basis as needed to replace outdated legacy processes. A fully integrated customer relationship management (CRM) feature will further streamline customer service procedures, through control of all flight scheduling functions and billing through the secure cloud-based server, and another just-released module will provide improved fuel inventory management and invoicing. “The cloud-based Vessix solution ties several business functions into one system, generating data that can be used to help FBOs pinpoint individual customer needs,” said Tami Richards, program manager of U.S. Bank Multi Service Aviation.
According to Perkins, the system will go online next month at five locations, and though the software package has just made its debut, it has already garnered industry attention. “The Vessix business management software embraces technology advancements that are sure to revolutionize how business is done in the FBO industry,” said Robbie Stallings, president of Shell Fuels distributor Eastern Aviation Fuels. Eastern is recommending that the Shell-branded FBO network adopt the Vessix system for its point-of-sale processing and other related business management needs.