Case Study

Scheels Grows into a Sporting Giant

Hear Marc Windahl, VP Scheels Sports, Inc. discuss why payments are difficult for retailers. Learn how Scheels is using the UP Retailer Payments Solution set to turn the complex into the strategic.

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I’m Marc Windahl. I’m with Scheels Sports. We are based in Fargo, North Dakota and I work in IT, I work in payments compliance and architecture design.

What the ACI solution provides for Scheels is it provides two things. It provides a strategic solution for us to meet the repayments and provides a secure solution that allows us to lower our risk and more easily manage our payment solutions for our customers.

Payments are difficult for retailers. We’re in the business of helping our customers and not in the technology or information security and therefore our relationship with ACI is very important because we need a strategic partner. We are not just looking at buying one product that’s going to meet an immediate need, but rather a partnership that’s going to evolve over the years where we can work closely with that partner to develop and maintain solutions that allow us at a cost effective rate to provide the security and the payment needs that we need to meet our customer’s experience and our customer’s expectations.

Looking at the near future Scheels looks at payments very strategically and we spent a lot of time studying what’s happening in payments in the United States. Obviously there is the external threats from hackers and there is also the change in EMV and we look to ACI both to provide us a solid foundation to deal with those two immediate needs, but also we know payments are going to evolve rapidly in the United States. We need a partner that can both help us with those immediate needs and also give us the basis of going forward to be able to deal with the evolving payment landscape.

It’s important to have a large partner like ACI that understands that, can respond to our needs and can provide those types of services that we need because it’s just so difficult for a retailer when that’s not in their core area of competency to be able to provide those types of services. We don’t expect ACI to be able to merchandize a shelf, but we expect ACI to provide us services where it’s not our natural skill set and to partner with us to meet our customer needs and to meet our needs going forward.

No Time for Downtime

The Scheels experience is summarized in three words: Gear, Passion and Sports. Like other U.S. retailers, Scheels faced a challenge to maintain safe, convenient and cost-effective payment solutions as new security threats evolve, new payment forms become available and EMV migration moves throughout the marketplace. As a unique mid-size sports retailer, they must provide a world-class experience with fewer internal staff and resources to develop customized solutions. With a solid omnichannel presence already established (Scheels sells many products online, offers a ‘My Scheels’ mobile app, runs email campaigns regularly, and manages Brag Boards and active social media channels), it needed a partner capable of delivering robust, adaptable, out-of-the-box solutions without requiring a lot of modifications going forward.

“ACI delivered a 24/7 payments switch with 100% uptime and better PCI compliance“

A Satisfying Quick to Serve Payment Solution

When it came time to evolve their POS system, Scheels chose ACI because they needed to handle large volumes efficiently. Their POS experience included credit and Scheels-branded electronic gift cards. It was critical for them to continue to meet customer expectations while also providing the enhanced functionality and security necessary for a scalable payments infrastructure.

The hosted, on-demand payments solution has enabled Scheels to deliver a world-class payments experience today that deploys industry best practices for seamless and efficient screen interaction. As part of their software evolution, the sports retailer will be adopting eSocket.POS from ACI, which will address their EMV, tokenization and point-to-point encryption requirements. These offerings are part of the ACI Omni-Commerce solution.

From Sporadic Service to 100% Uptime

Scheels is able to meet today’s customer needs and face a complex and ever-changing payments future with confidence. ACI’s proven expertise running multiple secure data centers and hosting various critical apps assures Scheels that they’ll have the support and solutions they need now and into the future.