Just as our logo is green and white, Virginia Card Services
is a green company.
We feel we have a corporate responsibility in that
area, and that we have a head start because our industry--electronic
payments--is (by nature) a green industry. But that hasn't always been the
Twenty-some years ago, credit card payments were processed by
imprinting the cards on multi-part carbon forms we still provide those
imprinters, called knucklebusters, for specialized uses. The imprinted slip was
once deposited at the bank like any form of payment. A lot of those slips were
The volume of credit card transactions has increased astonishingly
since those days, but now it is all done electronically. In fact, there are so
many transactions that they can only be handled by electronic means. If we were
still using imprinter slips, we would be drowning in paper and all the
attendant waste and the pollution of manufacturing that paper.
course, the electronic credit card terminals now in wide use print a receipt
for merchant and cardholder, but these receipts are a fraction of the waste of
the old slips.
The same green equation is true where we provide
electronic check processing systems and debit card acceptance systems, which
can eliminate the resources used to create and transport paper
Our gift card and loyalty card solutions eliminate paper gift
certificates and paper punch card programs with durable, reusable plastic
Naturally, you will say that the credit card terminal itself -
which is a mini computer requires resources to manufacture and deploy,
including plastics, circuit boards, and the like. This is very true. But,
beyond just ensuring less paper waste from the many millions of credit card
transactions each year, modern terminals themselves contribute to the proper
husbanding of resources.
Old terminals used impact printers the kind
that print with ribbons, like typewriters. The modern terminals that Virginia
Card Services provides use thermal printers that employ heat sensitive paper.
There are no ribbons or polluting ink.
Virginia Card Services is keeping a close eye on materials
innovations as relates to the green manufacture of terminals. Most of the toxic
materials we are concerned about are found in very small amounts in most
terminals. Lead content is a big concern of computer manufacturers because of
its use in CRT displays, which are not part of credit card terminals. Polyvinyl
chloride, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and brominated flame
retardants such as decabromodiphenyl ether are of concern, and we are watching
the implementation of European RoHS and other standards in these areas. Of
course, we do not manufacture credit card terminals, but consistent with other
needs we would always choose the source manufacturer with the highest standards
in these areas.
Modern terminals are also extremely reliable. The
typical terminal has a service life of eight to ten years. So, the resources
that go into manufacturing these terminals are well-spent given their long
Also, the terminals that Virginia Card Services provides
are typically open-source terminals, meaning that they can be used by any major
processor. Even if a merchant client chooses to no longer use our services,
they can still use the same terminal. There is no need to discard the terminal
and buy another.
Virginia Card Services is a leader in providing Virtual
Terminals which do not use a physical terminal. Where applicable, the merchant
uses their existing computer or cell phone to process transactions.
broad compatibility with the merchant's existing point-of-sale terminals means
that many times we can use existing legacy equipment without the need to
Terminals do need replacement at times. Any piece of equipment
may fail, or require an upgrade due to functional needs of the merchant. When
Virginia Card Services receives such terminals, we adhere to the green concepts
of Reuse, Renew, Recycle. As appropriate, terminals are used for loaners or
test terminals, refurbished by qualified facilities, or sent to local E-Waste
facilities. We do not ship E-Waste to overseas facilities.
Additionally, nearly 100% of all recyclable items we accumulate
are actually recycled, including waste items (like paper) from our office
We are also moving toward a paperless process for our
business workflow. We process internal documents electronically. Our
intercompany communications are largely electronic with web-based and
email-centric training and information exchange. Numbers of our staff employ
video conferencing for meetings, rather than traveling. We universally use
fluorescent lighting, flat-screen monitors and Energy-Star electronic equipment
in our business operations. We encourage car-pooling and public transit use
among our office staff.
There are certainly great advances still to be
made in the protection of our natural resources with Green practices. It
behooves all of us to keep an eye on advances and possibilities in this