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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Mission: ETA

News

Industry Update

Make a mark, take a stand

Mobile commerce popular, NFC lagging

Accepting payments, iPhone style

Antisocial online networking: ID theft

Aite busts merchant retention myths

Features

AgenTalkSM:
Miles Mulcare

Growth in payment risk can be mitigated

Eston Fain
AQ2 Technologies

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid in brief

Virtual gift cards given a twist

GPR cards and reload networks: A complex relationship

Continental Prison Systems Inc.
The 'get out of jail' card

Views

Regulation, deregulation, self-regulation

Patti Murphy
The Takoma Group

Education

Street SmartsSM:
Go ahead, work some magic

Jason Felts
Advanced Merchant Services Inc.

Work/life balance, an employers' issue

Curt Hensley
CSH Consulting

Think outside the converter box

Dale S. Laszig
DSL Direct LLC

How to win back e-mail jilters

Nancy Drexler
SignaPay Ltd.

Get what you want from your staff

Vicki M. Daughdrill
Small Business Resources LLC

Get what you want from your staff

Vicki M. Daughdrill
Small Business Resources LLC

Steer clear of buyout pitfalls

Adam Atlas
Attorney at Law

Company Profile

Velocity Merchant Services

Metro Merchant Services

New Products

The 21st century signature

SignatureSafe
Company: ElectraCash Inc.

Taking a cue from teens

Text-2-Transact
Smart Transaction Systems Inc.

Inspiration

Just say no to bootstrapping

Departments

Forum

Resource Guide

Datebook

A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

March 23, 2009  •  Issue 09:03:02

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Think outside the converter box

By Dale S. Laszig

As communities across America make the switch to digital television, millions of converter boxes are helping old TVs stay in the game by converting their analog signals into newer, more efficient digital ones. Of course, when you add a converter box to an older set, you won't get the high definition that you would enjoy on a late model cable-ready TV.

Likewise, when merchants apply patches to older credit card terminals, they miss the experience and advantages of new, high-speed, integrated technology. And they won't even save any money.

The next time one of your merchants asks for a hardware or software patch to an older credit card terminal, you may want to explain that it will cost the merchant less in the long run if he or she makes the switch to newer technology. Following are five reasons for this:

1. The PCI DSS

Any business that manages cardholder data must comply with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) DSS (Data Security Standard) on the transmission, processing and storage of cardholder data. The new guidelines allow only encrypted primary account numbers (PANs), expiration dates and cardholder names to be displayed, transmitted and stored.

If a merchant's older device displays cardholder verification value (CVV2 and CVC2), full track data (either track 1 or track 2), or PIN block data, it is using a noncompliant, vulnerable application. Processors have been given a deadline of Oct. 1, 2009, to decertify all vulnerable payment applications.

2. PCI PED standards

The PCI Security Standards Council (SSC) has created the PCI PIN Entry Device (PED) standards, which specify technical requirements for devices that handle PIN debit.

Refer to the PCI SSC Web site (www.pcisecuritystandards.org) for a list of compliant devices, which is based on the following criteria: model name, hardware version number, firmware version number and application version number (if applicable).

Some vendors may sell certain models in approved and unapproved versions.

3. High-speed protocols

4. Integration

Many older stand-alone credit card machines have not kept up with the needs of merchants. Today's business owners need integrated solutions that incorporate payment processing into their accounting, inventory and customer relationship management systems.

Many acquirers and ISOs are marketing value-added POS management solutions that give business owners the ability to manage cash, credit cards and online payments from a central access point. Low-priced alternatives for merchants with smaller budgets include virtual terminal applications for desktop and laptop computers and payment modules that can be embedded into accounting systems.

5. Product lifecycle

When making the case to merchants to swap out an older credit card terminal, nothing says it better than an end-of-life letter from a manufacturer. Search for an older device on the manufacturer's Web site; you may find the product has been discontinued and that support and replacement parts are no longer available.

A public announcement, on company letterhead, of the last day of a credit card terminal's life has an indisputable air. Many end-of-life statements recommend migration paths to new generation hardware. These documents will help convince merchants to upgrade their systems. In depressed economic conditions, merchants may want to delay capital expenditures. Fortunately, prices have plummeted on payment processing solutions.

Most side-by-side comparisons of repairs and replacement systems demonstrate that new, improved solutions are equal in price, or only slightly higher in price, than hardware or software patches for older payment terminals. Better yet, these newer systems are safer, industry compliant and easier to use than older, outdated models that have outlived their usefulness.

When new systems are installed, there will be little remorse. The most frequent comment you will hear from merchants who have replaced older terminals with new, value-added technology is simply, "Why did I wait so long?"

Dale S. Laszig is a writer and payments industry executive with a diversified background in sales and marketing. Her company, DSL Direct LLC, helps industry professionals and business owners leverage electronic transaction technology. She can be reached at 973-930-0331 or dale@dsldirectllc.com.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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