The Green Sheet Online Edition
November 08, 2010 • Issue 10:11:01
Encrypting, entertaining self-service terminal
A self-service payment terminal from Key Innovations Ltd. provides point of entry, letter-by-letter encryption of all inputted data, along with a sophisticated multimedia player merchants can customize to display everything from store discounts to local weather reports.
The KST9000 is an unattended terminal intended for such installations as gas stations, ATM kiosks and automated ticket taking. It turns autonomy into value, according to its makers. The terminal comes with Secure Content Builder, a software program that can be used to build a virtually limitless array of digital image and video content.
This feature, combined with the terminal's customer facing 5.7-inch display screen, 30 frames per second digital video capability and a carousel of navigation screens linked to eight buttons, have the potential to make the KST9000 a payment acceptance machine, marketing vehicle and entertainment source rolled up into one product.
The PC-based software is "a video editor that allows you to create the content, which is more or less a PowerPoint, the way you build individual scenes and link them to the user with the eight addressable buttons on the display," said Ryan Coggins, National Sales Manager for Key Innovations. "You can instruct users how to use the terminal, the field pump or the ATM by presenting them with a video. ... You can have a Coke ad playing while the pump is idle; you can tell the customer to press here for coupons, here for weather and here for local traffic."
Coggins said users of Secure Content Builder can upload their own digital content onto the program or select from a library of images and videos already on file to fill their terminals' different navigation channels.
The channels can be limited to one or two options for the consumer or expanded to provide things like promotions, couponing, news and entertainment pieces like movie trailers. The content is transferred from a computer to the terminal through a USB module.
The terminal also offers what Coggins called "user-defined illumination," meaning the freedom to decide if or when certain buttons are highlighted (through backlighting) as prompts to the consumer, such as for payment.
Encrypts all entered data
The KST9000 encrypts entered data at both the point of swipe and point of entry for data entered on the PIN pad - including encryption of nonpayment data, according to Coggins. He said many terminals encrypt payment data but not less sensitive data like ZIP codes, which are often required for payment at gas station pumps.
But he believes anything less than an all-encompassing encryption scheme can be dangerous because a criminal may trick customers by prompting them - with a planted or hijacked monitor, or even a handwritten note - to key in payment data when they're supposed to enter ZIP code information. And when a consumer obliges, sensitive payment data can be exposed. Data entered in this "clear text" mode presents an opportunity for criminals to spoof customers, tricking them into entering PIN codes, Coggins noted.
It is easy to add ancillary pieces to the KST9000 because it reportedly lacks the constraints of a metal encasement or other impermeable hardware. "It's modular - you can build your own host panel, put it at the angle you prefer, and put in each piece individually," Coggins said. With four USB expansion ports, the system allows for the incorporation of peripherals, such as a scanner, a card reader, a secondary printer and a video camera, he added.
Key Innovations Ltd.
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