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Pci compliance, tokenization

Small merchants use tokenization to reduce data vulnerability and PCI compliance requirements

Tokenization is one of the strongest measures you can take to help protect your customers’ credit card data from being stolen or misused.  Tokenization replaces sensitive payment data with a unique token generated by complex algorithms that cannot be duplicated or decoded. The actual value of the data is zero without the ability to decipher it.  The token can then be used in subsequent transactions in place of the actual card number, maintaining the functionality associated with storing card data, such as recurring billing. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the technology, it may sound complicated and too complex to be accessible to small businesses.  But the exact opposite is true.  Tokenization is one of the most effective and most affordable ways for small merchants to protect their customers and their business.  

Every merchant who accepts credit cards as a form of payment must adhere to the PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) for the safe handling of payment card data.  And meeting those requirements takes vigilance and a bit of know how.  Many smaller merchants do not have IT professionals or compliance specialists on staff, so the burden of achieving and maintaining compliance is on their shoulders alone.   

While there are compliance assistance solutions available on the market that help business owners meet their PCI-DSS requirements, using tokenization is one of the most effective ways to reduce the number of steps it takes to achieve compliance.  

When you use tokenization your POS system does not store actual card-specific payment data.  If actual payment data doesn’t exist on the POS, merchants can maintain compliance much more easily.  Tokenization can be directly built into your integrated POS system so when a card is swiped a token is automatically generated and submitted for approval.  Then, a token is returned to the POS system with the transaction authorization approval response.  It can even be stored securely for future use which is particularly useful for recurring billing or tip adjustment.

Not sure whether your POS system uses this technology, or want more info on how to get it?  Contact Vantiv Integrated Payments or your POS provider.  


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