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Visa's practices nudge commerce off 3000s

At last week's 2009 National Retail Federation Show, a former 3000 application stalwart poked forward with a new year of e-commerce enhancements, such as processing all transactions as XML exchanges. Ecometry/Escalate was at the show and was "continuing to roll out their merchandising products" at the expo, according to MB Foster's founder Birket Foster, who attended the New York City meet. But while those new Escalate products won't operate on HP 3000s, the most crucial commerce development might be best practices, Visa's new rules that Foster noted in a report after the show.

Visa announced a new set of Payment Acceptance Best Practices last fall, a code of conduct that will be much tougher to accomplish using the HP 3000 version of the Ecometry retail/commerce applications. Existing businesses will be grandfathered in for a time by Visa, Foster said, "but if you wanted to start a new business and wanted to use Visa, you'd have to have software that's doing things BAPB-compliant. You have until July 2010 to have moved [to the new practices]. Given that it takes six to 18 months to move, most of these [Ecometry] people need to start thinking how they're going to move off the 3000."

These customers will find that their HP 3000s won't be certified by Visa in 2010, "and they'll just revoke your license," Foster said. Once again, there's an escape path that involves third parties, as is common in the 3000 community.

"You can outsource your credit card processing to escape the problem," Foster added. Outsourcing raises logistical issues of how to process returns, exchanges and altered credit card transactions, the kinds of details which have been solved by the all-in-one design of Ecometry/3000.

"People who are staying better have their plans together," Foster said, having taken a customer to the show to talk about a transition plan and options. "That's regardless of what industry they're in, but especially if they're in the credit card industry."