The SmartPower Kiosks were unexpectedly shut down on Friday, November 10, 2017 by PayPal owned company, TIO Networks. The after-the-fact reason given by them was they had identified a “vulnerability” in the TIO system. Further disclosing the vulnerability before shutdown could have allowed exploitation, and they moved quickly to protect customers. In addition to WCEC, this shutdown is affecting many companies that use the TIO Networks system.
By law, any breach must be disclosed publicly. The fact that PayPal has not disclosed a breach indicates that one has not yet been discovered. However, a 24/7 forensic investigation and discovery process is ongoing at their offices. If there are any further developments on this, we will promptly relay them to our members.
Our best information indicates that the investigation will be long-term. Once complete, the current TIO/PayPal system will require significant redevelopment to patch vulnerabilities. Therefore, we do not expect the kiosks to be usable.
Consequently, SmartPower revalue options will be limited to the Mobile Office and the Quitman Office. We will keep extended weekday and weekend hours at the Quitman drive-thru, with a schedule posted on our website. We realize some members’ schedules will not accommodate these revalue options. Those members should consider installing a regular meter until we have a new system in place next year. We are happy to discuss that option with anyone who wishes, and they may call 903-763-2203.
We are currently developing a new pre-pay system that has been in planning for over a year. It will not require a card or kiosks, and members will be able to revalue by making payments in person, over the phone, or 24/7 via the internet. We expect to have this system ready for deployment by August of 2018.
In the meantime, we urge SmartPower users to keep contact data current. As we tried to relay information about this outage via texts and phone calls, many members were unreachable. So, if your phone numbers, mailing address, or email address has changed recently, please call us to update or notify us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. That way, when there are updates, we can better communicate these with you. We’ll also put information on our website, wcec.org, as well as on Facebook.
During the transition phase, and until we have the new system in place, we will not be able to offer pre-pay as an option for new adopters.
Lastly, we cannot apologize enough for this inconvenience. It was not foreseeable nor preventable by us. We thank all our members for their patience during this transition and we look forward to presenting you with a solution that will be much more flexible and convenient than in the past.