We are living in the “Information Age,” characterized by the gathering and nearly instantaneous transmission of vast amounts of information. Today’s current news doesn’t just encapsulate what is happening around town, it covers events occurring all over the world. It includes information that exists and is available to us and for others to steal. If you haven't been staying informed on security news, you may not realize just how far-reaching card data threats are today. Rather than feel fear, however, you can take proactive steps to ensure you have secure credit card payment systems in place that can help protect your business from a breach.
If a data breach occurs, it is certainly concerning to the business affected, but it can be a little less worrisome if the business is using card data encryption to protect sensitive information. Encryption masks cardholder data from the time it is entered into the credit card payment system through the duration of the transaction. Essentially, if a thief gets a hold of your data, they cannot do anything with it because it appears as a string of useless characters. Encryption works to keep data in safe in transit, and can also reduce the scope of PCI compliance requirements for a merchant.
While encryption safeguards data during payment authorization, tokenization keeps card data safe for post-authorization services such as tip adjustment, recurring payments, delayed shipping, and card-not-present voids and returns. In tokenization, the card data is replaced by a surrogate number, or token, which is used by the merchant’s POS system to complete the transaction. Because the card number is represented by a token, it has no value to would-be hackers. Like encryption, tokenization can simplify a merchant’s PCI validation efforts by potentially reducing the scope of PCI compliance requirements they need to meet.
You’ve likely heard a lot about EMV since the fraud chargeback liability shift took place on October 1, 2015. EMV chip cards contain a tiny chip that acts as the engine securing each payment transaction. Since they are nearly impossible to duplicate, EMV chip cards have proven to reduce card-present fraud in the countries that have adopted the technology. Although implementing EMV is not mandatory, not doing so will prevent you from enjoying other benefits this technology offers. In addition to reducing your risk of counterfeit, lost or stolen card fraud, EMV also paves the way to accept new mobile payment types consumers are using such as Apple Pay and Android Pay.