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3 Things to Ask Your Provider About Your POS Security Solution

Chris Allen

Not all payment processing solutions are created equal. Technology and security features vary widely depending on the point of sale system and the payment processor. With the growing emphasis on security in payments, it’s imperative that merchants have some idea of what they are getting with their POS solution. Your point of sale reseller and payment processor can talk with you about options to meet your business’ payment needs. Here are a few questions to ask during your conversation.

  1. Does the solution use encryption technology?
    End-to-end encryption (E2E) encrypts card data from the moment a card is swiped or keyed into a point of sale system to a point of secure decryption outside of the merchant’s environment, such as a payment processor. E2E can also be applied in a card-not-present situation. E2E is important because without it, when a payment card is swiped, the card number is recorded in clear text for a split second before the POS encrypts it, making it vulnerable to data thieves.
     
  2. Does the solution use tokenization?
    Tokenization replaces card data with a “token,” rendering it useless if stolen. The token is generated by a third-party service provider and is only useable by those entities with the payment card data required to process the transaction. Tokenization is intended to address the risk of unauthorized access associated with stored cardholder data, and is particularly useful in situations where the card number is stored for future use like recurring billing or tip adjustment. It’s worth noting that the combination of P2PE and tokenization creates a comprehensive and powerful solution to help protect merchant and consumer data.
     
  3. Does the solution accommodate EMV?
    You may have heard talk about “EMV” but not understand how it impacts your business. EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) is a global standard for the authentication of chip-based credit cards. Chip cards are payment cards that have sensitive cardholder information embedded in a data chip in the card. EMV technology increases card data security mainly by making it virtually impossible to create counterfeit cards, and by requiring cardholder authentication that verifies that the card belongs to the person using it. The credit card industry has been paving the way for EMV to become the standard in credit card processing for several years. On October 1, 2015, merchants who do not use a chip card reader to process card-present transactions when a chip card is presented, can be held liable for any fraud that occurs as a result.

These three questions are by no means the only ones you should ask your provider about your POS solution, but they are a good place to start. You don’t need to become an expert in payment technology – that’s the job of your POS provider and payment processor. But a little knowledge can go a long way. Contact us to find out more. 

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