All businesses strive to be secure, but the task of building a more secure payments framework can be daunting for many small business owners. It doesn’t have to be hard. Vantiv launched its first Security Pays initiative nearly a year ago to help small business and their payment partners navigate the potential pitfalls found in today’s marketplace – both in-store and online.
We spoke with Matt Downs, head of business and channel development Integrated Payments at Vantiv, to discuss the latest developments around Security Pays and what security challenges are on the horizon.
Q: What can you tell us about where the Security Pays program is now, almost a year after its inception?
We have more than 1,000 partners participating in the program to date. Since the program has started, we see that EMV is rolling out at a much higher clip. To help keep pace, last month, we subsidized more than 1,000 merchant locations to become EMV-enabled, and that number is growing rapidly. We’re happy to tell you today that we’re going to pivot Security Pays into a connected evolution of the campaign, and it’s called Security Pays Challenge. We are introducing new and exciting components and we’re going to continue to help merchants upgrade their equipment. Additionally, we’re launching what we think are some really fun, engaging elements around Security Pays.
Q: You’ve hooked us, so is there something big you want to reveal?
I’m very excited about our series of videos based on “The Office,” called “Jack Vs.” The main character, Jack, is a security expert who’s helping small businesses realize what kind of threats they face, as well as talking about their point-of-sale provider. The series is helping small businesses understand the risks to their businesses in a very simple way – and we hope that people enjoy it. We’re trying to bring comedic relief to what is a very serious topic.
Q: What do you hope are the main takeaways from Jack Versus?
It’s about enablement and we wanted to tell the story in simple manner to raise more awareness around it. We wanted to give our partners something to educate their customers. They need to look in the mirror and understand that they have real risks – they need to act because there are serious threats surrounding their business. But having the security conversation doesn’t need to be difficult and it shouldn’t be avoided.
Q: What are some of the other elements you’ve been working on for Security Pays?
We are very excited about our Security Challenge quiz, which is meant to be used in conversations with the merchant. Basically, it’s a short three-question quiz – again, just to tee up the security conversation and draw awareness to some of the issues and threats that merchants face. The stat we share as part of the quiz is that 60 percent of the small businesses1 that get breached are out of business within six months – and at the card-brand level, thousands of businesses were breached last year. Thousands! I don’t think people realize how serious it is. They hear about the big chain stores that are still in business, but many of these small businesses don’t have the financial backbone to survive it.
Q: So let’s take a step back and ask, what are the most pressing threats?
You have data compromise. You have fraud. You have financial loss. And, of course, there’s the harm that it does to your brand. We have to help protect from data compromise and, for that, we have point-to-point encryption and tokenization. To help fight against fraud, we have EMV. From financial loss, we have Breach Assist. There’s also PCI compliance. We have a product called OmniShield Assure, which includes an annual review of the business technologies and business processes to help ensure that they’re compliant.
Q: How do you measure the success of a program like Security Pays?
It’s about protecting the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that Vantiv represents and advocates for on a daily basis. That’s success. Success to us from a partner perspective is how we help our partners balance their customers’ educational awareness and enablement to helping them navigate security issues affecting their business every day.
Q: What does Vantiv view on the horizon, in terms of security, that businesses or partners should start thinking about now?
Part of Security Pays is educating partners about payment integrations, and we’re doing that in two ways. One, we have used a piece of technology called a semi-integrated platform, which allows us to more easily update future payment security products. Additionally, as part of the Security Pays program, we’ve put NFC technology inside all of our partners’ software. And the devices that we’ve been deploying are NFC enabled, so if you use Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or any of the digital wallets, there’s actually a large security component built in. They’re just as secure as an EMV-card at the end of the day because you have identification. So we’ve embedded what we believe is the next stage of payment security as part of this program and we’ve laid a foundation through the semi-integrated platforms should something new arrive that will make it easier for us to deploy in the future.
Get more information on Security Pays, from Vantiv Integrated Payments.