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PCI Compliance Controversy
By George L. Koroneos
I always get a chuckle out of people who lose sleep over PCI compliance and payment security. They worry endlessly about how secure their data is and whether the credit card information is forever floating in the digital ether, but they don’t think twice about handing over their credit card to a waiter at a restaurant who then disappears with it for an uncomfortably long time.
The fact is, unless you still stash your Benjamins under your mattress, you take a risk every time you part with your credit card. Some people are more comfortable with risk than others and that goes for retailers too. In the past year, mobile payment technology companies have proliferated like dandelions. Companies such as Square and Intuit have truly altered the payment processing landscape with plug-and-play solutions consisting of a card swipe dongle and a software app—the simplicity of these solutions is amazing. The problem is that most of these products are considered non-PCI DSS compliant and could pose a security risk for small and medium size businesses. Which means it’s once again up to solution providers to help their customers understand the different payment processing systems in the market and help them make good decisions.
In our June cover story, Lisa Terry delves into the top trends in the payment tech market. Not surprisingly, questions surrounding PCI are still on top of the list. That being said, it’s time to commend the PCI Council for taking a step in the right direction in regards to mobile payments. In May, the standards body announced that it will begin training solution providers “on the secure installation and maintenance of validated PA-DSS applications into merchant environments to support PCI DSS compliance.” VARs that make it through the program will be certified as PCI qualified integrators and will be added to a public list. While the certification program doesn’t mention mobility, the Council is making a concerted effort to train resellers who might still be confused about the PCI guidelines. Payment processing is definitely one of the hottest topics in VSR and on our website, so we will definitely be paying close attention to how this all plays out in the coming months.
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