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Last Friday’s bombshell news seems to have taken many by surprise.   We received dozens of emails about it.   Surely it’s a good move for amazin’ Amazon, and probably a good (graceful) wind-down strategy for the beleaguered John Mackey of Whole Foods, who’s been hounded by shareholders and stakeholders (employees and customers) for years.

This acquisition is not a surprise

This IS history repeating itself. Sears Roebuck – which began as a mail-order company offering an enormous level of inventory and options (maybe the equivalent of today’s Internet company) did the same thing a century ago. It came on like a steamroller – redefining what retailing was all about and many businesses could not compete with Sears.

(Trivia – Sears didn’t open their first retail store until 1925 (source – Sears Archives) – that is less than 100 years ago– 92 years ago to be exact.        

Then came WalMart – barreling down the retail highway and doing to Sears and Kmart in kind. And wiping out a plethora of micro-sized businesses on Main Street in America. The anti-Walmart articles of the last few decades have cried bitterly about the decline of the small town Main Street at the hands of the evil Walmart – but the population voted with their pocketbook.

(Trivia – Walmart didn’t open a store outside of Arkansas until 1968 – that is 49 years ago.)

Now it’s Amazon taking market share from retailers by offering good value, quick service, a vast inventory (exponentially beyond the old Sears and Roebuck catalog) and pioneering technical efficiencies in a new world environment.

It’s the same creative destruction embraced by the wallets of hundreds of millions of consumers in the past, even as it leaves our consciences a little uneasy.  Amazon doesn’t own the future of retailing, however, any more than Sears or Walmart did in their times – but it sure feels like it today.

Ironically, the $13.7 billion dollar announcement had the effect of wiping out nearly a collective $40 billion dollars of its competitors market value – Kroger ‘s stock price dropped over 9% that day.  And yet, subsequent to the announcement the price of Whole Foods stock is popping up above the purchase offer price, suggesting that other prospective buyers may emerge and make an offer for WF stock.

So, what do industry executives think about it?

“This changes the game completely for so many grocery retailers and has put Amazon in a perfect position to push the boundaries of the grocery segment. We will quite likely see them continue to push to sell more than just groceries as well as continue to trial more store innovations. One of the most obvious obstacles for Amazon going after the brick-and-mortar grocery market in 2016 was the lack of physical store shelves, which is so critical in grocery. This has changed overnight for Amazon. The purchase of Whole Foods will make the online grocery space even more competitive, which is why it will be so important for grocery retailers to have consistent online and in-store pricing. For grocery retailers to even think about competing with this new juggernaut, the industry must have the ability to control and drive in-store pricing and promotions with speed, agility, and consistency.” –Paul Milner, Marketing Director, DisplayData

Over 70% of US Households making $112k a year have an Amazon Prime account. There is a very high correlation of these shoppers being the shoppers that go to Whole Foods.  There is mounting evidence that wealthier consumers are no longer choosing luxury items like cars and boats to show status, but rather leveraging healthier food choices and education options as class markers.   Kelly Sayre IHL Services

“The concept of a friction-free shopping experience, that dissolves the lines between brick and mortar locations and the digital world, is a winner – Amazon recognizes this and is moving to execute that fantastic vision. Buying the 400+ Whole Foods Market locations may just be their new starting point.  With this, the battle lines are being drawn quickly.  Some will run for the exits, while others will freeze with fear and doubt. Think of the old saying, “When you’re being chased by a bear, you don’t have to outrun the bear, you just need to outrun the guy running next to you.”  With that in mind, look out for those local and regional retailers who are prepared to take a stand by moving quickly to dramatically up their technology game.” – Pete Catoe, Founder and CEO, ECRS

“Amazon’s news to acquire Whole Foods may seem shocking, but they are continuing on a mission to provide seamless customer experiences. We know Amazon has been investing in the grocery space for some time, starting with Prime Now and then moving into AmazonFresh…. This deal gives Amazon the seal of approval for the quality products that Whole Foods has earned over decades. … Additionally, this acquisition will make Amazon a huge omnichannel juggernaut in one swift move, taking them 15 physical stores to well over 400 overnight.” – Jennifer Sherman, SVP of Product & Strategy, Kibo

 “Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods goes way beyond just grocery. This is a major wake-up call for all of retail. What this means for retailers, in general, is that they need to get their omnichannel strategies in play – FAST. A retailer’s best option is to invest in order management, highlight that they offer click and collect services, and provide the best service possible on that in-store drop in.” – Charles Dimov, director of marketing, OrderDynamics

“Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods addresses its two greatest weaknesses – a lack of physical stores and a strong grocery play – while potentially creating even greater advantages for its greatest strengths – endless aisles and customer data. Bringing hundreds of physical locations under its control will allow Amazon to understand consumers at a much deeper level, enabling them to personalize the experience, both online and in store, to an unprecedented degree.” – David Buckingham, CEO, Ecrebo

“Whole Foods has over 430 stores globally; meaning Amazon has acquired more than 430 new properties to use as distribution centers. Retailers already concerned about Amazon’s strength in digital commerce now need to contend with the reality: Amazon is coming after brick and mortar, too. I talk with retailers every day who are in denial of Amazon’s impact on their business. But Amazon understands that retail and distribution have changed forever. It’s no longer about buying and reselling products, but about creating incredibly valuable ecosystems. ” – Adrien Nussenbaum, U.S. CEO and co-founder, Mirakl

This news has the whole grocery industry waking up today with a realization that the playing field just changed dramatically. I doubt other Retail sectors that compete with Amazon understand the impact of how now having the large treasure trove of data on customer’s grocery, health and well-being buying is going to enable Amazon to be an even more ruthless competitor in every retail sector whether it is shoes, baby products, apparel, electronics, or any of the other 400 million + products it sells.– John Squire, CEO, DynamicAction

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Companies like Google and Tesla are engaged in an arms race to control the future of AI. Not only is this new frontier the engine that will drive their respective companies, it’s changing the face of almost every industry—including the payments ecosystem.AI 1

In the years since I co-founded eMerchantBroker we’ve seen this nascent technology start to affect all parts of the payments chain. Huge investments are being made in developing the different aspects of AI to optimize how we do everything from exchange payments to detect fraud to support our customers.

The next few years will see an acceleration in developments that will alter how payment companies large and small operate their businesses. Some will be left behind. Others, those at the leading edge of the wave, will separate themselves from their competitors and emerge as industry leaders.

This is especially true in the high-risk merchant processing side of the industry, where the potential for fraud and high levels of chargebacks is rampant. Those high-risk merchants who take advantage of the growing suite of AI driven tools to reduce risk while providing a better customer experience are the ones who will thrive.

Here’s why.

Investment in AI is growing every year

According to a CB Insights annual AI funding report, funding in AI start-ups increased from just under $600 million in 2012 to $5.021 billion in 2016. This tremendous growth is spurred by the promise for radical change that AI brings to most industries—including the payments industry. It has the potential to streamline the payment chain, reduce fraud, improve customer service and optimize risk assessment—all key success criteria for companies in the high-risk merchant space.

What is AI?

AI can be generally described as the ability of a machine to exhibit human-like intelligence—to make decisions like a person, only faster, and after considering a much greater volume of data. It is commonly used in smartphones, reservation systems, medical diagnosis and, of course, finance. It makes possible greater efficiencies, faster processing, and almost complete accuracy.

Types of AI

Today’s Artificial Intelligence research centers on several key technologies. For the high-risk merchant processing industry, the most important include: Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Verbal and Vision Recognition, and AI bots.

Machine Learning

Machine Learning (sometimes called Adaptive Learning) is crucial to the high-risk processing industry’s ability to detect and respond to fraud. Generally speaking, Machine Learning describes a process by which a software model is constructed and vast volumes of data are compared against it. Learning algorithms enable the model to evolve in response to changes in the incoming data.

For example, financial services companies develop Machine Learning models with rules that outline typical fraudulent activity. The software can review data as it comes in and flag patterns that match the fraud model—indicating the transactions should be investigated. As more and more transactions and patterns are examined, the model can develop itself based on learning algorithms.

Such Machine Learning models can also help high-risk payment companies optimize product offerings, detect money laundering schemes, and perform online risk management.

One example of how machine learning can help the high-risk merchant industry combat fraud is Simility’s introduction of a new AI-based fraud prevention platform. The company’s Adaptive 3-D Secure software uses Machine Learning to create rule-based models that can evaluate each transaction in real-time. The AI looks at device fingerprinting, behavioral analytics, proxy filtering, and geolocation to identify high-risk transactions. And, because of that AI model, Simility is able to ask for secure authentication only for truly high-risk transactions where fraud could be present. This makes the payment process easier for customers while offering chargeback protection for merchants.A1 2

Vision Recognition (VR)

Vision recognition technology is a breed of AI that allows the software to identify objects. In the high-risk payments industry this is particularly applicable to fingerprint or facial recognition as second level authentication methods. The technology enables customers to easily make mobile payments and provides security from fraud at the point of sale. Apple Pay uses this type of AI to secure POS payments by requiring fingerprint ID for each iPhone or iPad transaction. Flint and Square use the technology to allow merchants to accept payments on their mobile—using the phone’s camera and VR capabilities to confirm that the card information being processed is legit. In the high-risk processing world, VR is important because it’s authentication capabilities reduce chargeback rates for companies targeted by fraudsters.

Natural Language Processing (NLP)

NLP is already in widespread use in a number of industries. It is an AI technology that allows a machine to understand spoken commands or questions. Among the most well-known applications using NLP are Apple’s Siri and Google Translate. In the high-risk processing space, NLP is being used to reduce customer service costs by taking customer questions without human interaction. As well, NLP is being used by Apple to allow iPhone users to initiate payments using voice commands. This reduces customer friction and makes the sales process easier.

How are AI bots impacting the high-risk payments industry?

AI bots are kind of a hybrid piece of software. They are apps that present the appearance of being human—in that they can understand and answer customer questions for instance—while being completely automated. They combine NLP and Machine Learning code to present effective interfaces that can handle thousands of interactions at the same time, rather than the one at a time limitations of human customer service reps.

AI bots used in chat software, messaging apps and virtual assistants are changing the face of the high-risk payments industry. They enable better and cheaper customer service, and streamline the payments process.

They allow customers to make direct payments without leaving their preferred social media platform. For instance, PayPal can integrate with Facebook Messenger, Siri and Slack—meaning you can actually initiate a payment to a co-worker just by typing in a command in Slack. And, from Messenger or Slack, it’s possible for people to use bots like Hipmunk to find, book and pay for hotels, flights, and car rentals.

AI bots also make it possible to make payments via text messaging. The Mypoolin app has a mobile payments bot that lets you text an instruction to transfer money from your bank account to a phone number—enabling you to easily make payments to people in your contacts list.

Financial services firms are using AI bots to create awesome client experiences. The bots allow customers to easily monitor their spending, check account balances, make better financial decisions and pay off debt. Mastercard is developing an AI bot called Mastercard KAI that lets consumers make payments, manage finances and shop from Facebook Messenger.

In the high-risk space, AI bots are a boon because they can replace human service reps in handling customer questions and complaints. They speed up the service process and create significant savings.

Wrap Up

The high-risk merchant processing industry is evolving. Adoption of AI solutions for improving the customer experience and reducing fraud and chargebacks is improving efficiency and profit margins. Those merchants and payments companies who are quick to adopt the latest AI solutions are more likely to succeed in the new, automated business environment. Those high-risk businesses who ignore the changes reshaping the industry run the risk of being left behind by their more nimble competitors. In an environment where competition is increasing and margins are tightening AI provides high-risk companies new opportunity to evolve and grow.

 

Electronic payments expert, Blair Thomas, co-founded eMerchantBroker in 2010. His passions include writing/producing music, and travel. eMerchantBroker is America’s No. 1 credit card processing company, serving both traditional and high-risk merchants.

 

 

 

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The TLS Changeover: Why You Should Start Preparing

Source: Business Solutions 

3 Signs Your EDC Takes Data Security Seriously

The next big deadline in payment processing is on the way, but surprisingly not many people in the industry are talking about it. In June 2018, the TLS changeover deadline is coming. It might seem far away, but it’s going to require a lot of work to get your merchants prepared, and it’s best to get started soon. Because if they’re not ready in time, it’ll cost them.

The Basics

On July 1, 2018, an encryption method called TLS 1.0 will no longer be approved by the Payment Card Industry. Merchants must update to a newer version of TLS by June 30, 2018, or they can no longer process card payments.

What is TLS?

Transport Layer Security (TLS) is an encryption protocol approved by the Payment Card Industry (PCI).

Its details are complex, but what’s important for merchants to understand is that it keeps customer data safe through encryption and ensures no third parties can eavesdrop or tamper with messages when servers and clients communicate. It’s involved in every step of the payment chain. POS systems, processors, acquirers—every step from the merchant to the credit card companies and back.

The Reasons Behind the Decision

The Payment Card Industry (PCI) declared that TLS 1.0 is too far out-of-date and no longer keeps data safe enough—the concern is that hackers have developed too many ways to exploit this standard. Merchants must upgrade to a new version, either TLS 1.1 or TLS 1.2, by the June 30, 2018 deadline.

What happens if a merchant doesn’t update?

If a merchant doesn’t update by June 30, 2018, they will no longer be able to process card transactions as of July 1, 2018. If they wait until that date and their processing stops, it will be difficult for them to quickly determine why, exactly, it happened—they will have to call everyone involved in their payments, starting with their POS company and processor, to determine which piece they hadn’t updated. All of this while a merchant is losing sales by not processing credit cards.

Some experts have estimated that the US economy could stand to face $20 billion in lost transactions if merchants don’t start to update in time.

Why You Need to Start Helping Your Merchants Soon

While it’s more than a year away, prior history with large payment tech changes indicates that merchants need a lot of advance warnings—so you should start work soon. Most notably, the chip card switchover and the SHA update created difficulty for everyone involved in the industry, from merchants to processors to VARs.

The TLS update process isn’t a totally simple one, but getting started early will mean you don’t have to deal with much bigger stress down the road. All the different companies involved in a merchants’ payment and checkout experience may need to be consulted. Because if merchants don’t update, they’re at risk of losing a huge amount of revenue.

What are your options to resolve this update?

You can pay several thousand to upgrade your current system. Could take months but keep in mind the deadline is June 30th, 2018. Florida POS Systems would recommend a Harbortouch Point of Sale System. With no up-front costs, free programming, free installation & training with award winning 24/7 technical support. To see our full line of POS Systems and other payment solutions click here.

 

Take it from Jon Taffer of Bar Rescue, a new partner with Harbortouch creating the world’s first Smart POS System.

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JOHANNESBURG AND PURCHASE, N.Y. – April 20, 2017 – Mastercard today unveiled the next generation biometric card, combining chip technology with fingerprints to conveniently and safely cardholder’s identity for in-store purchases. South Africa is the first market to test the evolved technology, with two separate trials recently concluded with Pick n Pay, a leading supermarket retailer, and Absa Bank, a subsidiary of Barclays Africa.

mastercard biometric

Michelle van Schalkwyk, Head of Brand at Pick n Pay, pays for her shopping using her fingerprint to authenticate the transaction during the first global trial of the Mastercard biometric card in South Africa. The new card builds on fingerprint scanning technology used for mobile payments today and can be used at EMV terminals worldwide.

“Consumers are increasingly experiencing the convenience and security of biometrics,” said Ajay Bhalla, president, enterprise risk and security, Mastercard. “Whether unlocking a smartphone or shopping online, the fingerprint is helping to deliver additional convenience and security. It’s not something that can be taken or replicated and will help our cardholders get on with their lives knowing their payments are protected.”

How It Works

A cardholder enrolls their card by simply registering with their financial institution. Upon registration, their fingerprint is converted into an encrypted digital template that is stored on the card. The card is now ready to be used at any EMV card terminal globally.

When shopping and paying in-store, the biometric card works like any other chip card. The cardholder simply dips the card into a retailer’s terminal while placing their finger on the embedded sensor. The fingerprint is verified against the template and – if the biometrics match – the cardholder is successfully authenticated and the transaction can then be approved with the card never leaving the consumer’s hand.

Benefits

Authenticating a payment transaction biometrically – in this instance via a fingerprint – confirms in a very unique way that the person using the card is the genuine cardholder. Merchants can easily maximize the shopping experience delivered to their customers, as the card works with existing EMV card terminal infrastructure and does not require any new hardware or software upgrades.

For issuers, the technology helps detect and prevent fraud, increase approval rates, reduce operational costs and foster customer loyalty. Additionally, a future version of the card will feature contactless technology, adding to the simplicity and convenience at checkout.

Trials Underway

The recent South African trials mobilized employees from Pick n Pay and Absa Bank to test the potential ways convenience and security could contribute to the checkout process. Over the next few months, additional trials will be conducted with the biometric card. A full roll out is expected later this year.

Said Richard van Rensburg, deputy CEO of Pick n Pay: “We are delighted that this innovation has been trialed for the first time at Pick n Pay stores in South Africa.  Biometric capability will mean added convenience and enhanced security for our customers. The technology creates a platform on which we can further our strategy of personalizing the shopping experience in a meaningful way.  We have been extremely impressed with the robust and secure nature of the technology.”

For Absa, the biometric card forms part of the bank’s strategy to test and develop sophisticated technology capabilities designed to improve its payment operations and client service, reduce risk, and make banking easier and even more secure for its customers.

“We are very proud to be the first bank in Africa to test – in a real payment environment – the single-touch authentication technology that will unlock the benefits of biometrics,” said Geoff Lee, head of card and payments at Absa Retail and Business Banking. “The technology will effectively enable our customers to rely on their unique fingerprints to make payments in a face-to-face environment. Following the test period, we will make it available to our customers in a way that is affordable, reliable, and convenient and, most importantly, extremely secure.”

Additional trials are being planned in Europe and Asia Pacific in the coming months.

About Mastercard

Mastercard, www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter: @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Mastercard Engagement Bureau.

About Pick n Pay

Pick n Pay is a leading grocery retailer that operates a multi-format, multi-channel business across South Africa, as well as in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Swaziland and Lesotho.

In South Africa, the company has over 1,500 stores including Hypermarkets, Supermarkets and franchised Family Stores, which employ nearly 85,000 people. Well over 95% of the R50 billon of products purchased by Pick n Pay each year are sourced from South African producers and suppliers, sustaining a value chain which employs more than 400,000 people across the country.

The company’s success has been built on the principle of consumer sovereignty as a cornerstone of the Pick n Pay business.

About Absa Bank

Absa Bank Limited (Absa Bank) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Barclays Africa Group Limited, which is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and is one of Africa’s largest financial services groups. Absa offers a range of retail, business, corporate and investment banking and wealth management products and services primarily in South Africa and Namibia.

Barclays Africa is 50.1% owned by Barclays Bank PLC (Barclays). We operate in 12 countries with about 40 thousand permanent employees and we serve more than 12 million customers.

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We found this interesting article about how EMV terminals can get dirty from repeated use. We at Florida POS Systems recommend cleaning the chip card access port with the proper cleaning methods. Florida POS Systems will provide these tools for our merchants.

 AUBURN, Maine, Sept. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — It’s coming: The holiday season and the rush of revenue.  It’s the stuff of retailers’ happy dreams. But with the switch over to EMV or chip cards, the anticipation of failed transactions, downed EMV POS terminals, and long, slow moving lines on Black Friday is what really keeps retailers up at night, according to the technical cleaning specialists at KICTeam, Inc.  While speed and efficiency are critical to the bottom line, they are also the main components to ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty. Should anything change that, check out becomes a nightmare.

Nothing frustrates a paying customer more than the inability to use their debit or credit card due to devices that jam, incur errors or won’t accept payment.  And nothing is more debilitating to operations than a line of waiting customers, unable to move because of POS failures.  The amount of time wasted on rejected cards or read errors has become measurable and revenue losses stunning.  Think about it.  Every minute, every second a patron has to stop a transaction to determine what’s wrong with their card, change cards, or track down a manager to fix a self- service device is revenue lost.  And an exasperated customer, who walks away because your machines won’t work, may not come back.  Wouldn’t ease and speed of payment be one of the first things you consider to create the best experience possible for your customers?

And there are additional card processing fees, chargebacks and fallback penalties, and the liability issues associated with unsuccessful EMV transactions. Failure to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) governing payment procedures, have serious and costly consequences. Maintaining the uptime of EMV devices not only lowers the risk of the shift in liability associated with using the magstripe reader or manual keyed entry, but also has a reduced risk of a data security breach. The negative impact on brand image of a breach can cause millions in lost revenue.

These payment failures could be the difference between a fast, steady stream of happy holiday shoppers bringing in revenue and a growling group of discouraged people driving away from your business. And dirt is what can make that nightmare a reality.

Dirt? Yes.  In today’s brick and mortar retail environment, the core component of operational success is credit and debit payment. It is the culmination point of the customer facing experience.  But even the newest, most advanced customer payment systems are still subject to environmental conditions, airborne contaminants and just plain dust. Unlike simpler magstripe readers, chip technology requires sensitive friction and landing pins to make contact with the embedded chip. Due to normal environmental conditions and use, these pins can become dirty very quickly. Dirt, grease and grime can disrupt or negate the data exchange causing the transaction to fail.And it’s not just the environment. We know that money is dirty. But credit cards? Credit cards, one of the most handled items we possess, are a hotbed of germs and bacteria.  In a recent study 1 conducted by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary, University of London, one in 10 credit cards were contaminated with fecal organisms. Studies have also found food particles, drug residue, grease, and DNA from a variety of animals. When customers use your payment terminals, all those contaminants are transferred into the devices. Now doesn’t THAT make you want to clean?

How?  By implementing a simple, weekly device cleaning program utilizing pre-saturated cleaning cards, wipes and swabs. These are inexpensive disposable products specifically designed to clean the interior contact points that facilitate transactions on electronic devices such as payment terminals and bill acceptors. They remove dirt, salt, sand, dust, oils and other contaminants in a safe, efficient manner. Cleaning programs ensure overall device efficiency by eliminating or minimizing failed transactions. Time and again we hear the devices aren’t broken, they are just dirty.

A 2013 pilot study done in 15 national retail locations over a 5 week period had store owners and operators testing a very simple cleaning kit designed to target specialized POS equipment including card readers, touch screens and thermal printers.  The results?  100% of Test Stores noticed a reduction in error messages and recommended that a cleaning kit be implemented as Preventative Maintenance because:

  • Lines moved faster since the devices functioned properly
  • Customers were more satisfied that card readers worked the first time
  • Managers felt the small investment in the cleaning kit reduced need for service and device replacement

The idea to advocate routine cleaning has proven extremely effective in the industry, saving companies thousands annually. “It’s amazing how many decision makers in the retail industry already know about adopting cleaning programs to keep their store devices operating at optimal levels,” said Greg Dumais, Business Development Executive for KICTeam, the leading experts in technical cleaning programs. “With EMV implementation in full swing, keeping the devices operating full time has never been more important.” Whether merchants do it in-house or utilize a POS service company, moving to a regulated cleaning regime with mandated adoption enables merchants to manage their in-store transactions with a higher data transmission rate and maintain a seamless transaction process.  This reduces costs associated with failed chip reads, fallback fees, delayed transaction speeds or perceived “broken” devices.  By maintaining the uptime of the EMV device, the merchant lowers the risk of a data breach and the shift in liability associated with using the magstripe reader or manual keyed entry. The company will also benefit from improved POS performance metrics which have been proven to have a direct impact on customer retention and revenue.On Black Friday, there will be things you can’t control: the economy, crazed customers, power failures, “acts of God.” So you have to rely on the things you can control to make things go smoothly. The easiest way of eliminating your Black Friday EMV nightmare is by having clean, functional devices.  Dream happy, retailers!

 

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 Considerable changes are being made to PCI requirements in order to address a vulnerability with SSL encryption called POODLE. In short, SSL encryption, which has been the standard encryption method for decades, is no longer PCI compliant due to vulnerabilities in this protocol. 

 In April 2015, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) released version 3.1 of the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), only four months after version 3.0 went into full effect. The most important changes are in the communications protocols SSL (all versions) and TLS (version 1.0). These protocols are now considered insecure. They are vulnerable to well-known exploits such as Heartbleed and POODLE.

 The PCI due date for security up to date, more secure conventions was initially in June 2016. This gave associations 14 months to address the update. The liberal calendar was an affirmation of true staffing and spending worries, in spite of the way that the defects in these more established conventions were by and large effectively misused every day.

In April, the industry was all over the news. “Try not to hold up! Do it now!” was the rallying call. The PCI site reported the dangers of proceeding to utilize these out of date conventions. Be that as it may, in December the due date was stretched out from June 2016 to June 2018, giving an additional two years before compliance.

 This change represents a significant opportunity for Merchants to take advantage of Harbortouch’s Point of Sale Systems. Harbortouch has gotten out ahead of this potential disruption, but most of our competitors are just starting to become aware of this issue and it is likely that many of them will be severely impacted. SSL has been the standard encryption protocol for decades, so virtually every POS system older than a few months will likely require a costly security upgrade no later than June 2018 (with some deadlines as soon as this summer) or face a complete shutdown of credit card processing capabilities. Don’t be caught in this SSL Shutdown. You can rely on Harbortouch Point of sale systems are completely PCI compliant.

 

 

Source: https://www.solutionary.com

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Jon Taffer, executive producer and host of Spike TV’s hit show Bar Rescue and foremost expert in the hospitality industry, today announced a comprehensive partnership with Harbortouch, a leading national provider of point-of-sale (POS) systems and merchant services. Taffer has officially endorsed the company’s touchscreen POS systems and will collaborate with Harbortouch to develop the industry’s first “smart” POS (sPOS) system. The collaboration will enable Harbortouch to integrate powerful revenue generating tools, based on Taffer’s extensive industry experience, into the company’s Elite POS systems.

Harbortouch’s sPOS systems will bring together technology and industry expertise in a way that has never been done before. Harbortouch POS systems deliver countless benefits in terms of improved efficiency and streamlined operations, and now these benefits will be combined with integrated tools, including powerful analytics and customer promotions, that will have a direct impact on top-line sales by increasing both customer frequency and spend per visit.

Harbortouch CEO Jared Isaacman explains how the partnership came about: “We really challenged ourselves to develop something truly game changing. We have already built the best POS system with the best technology and at the best price point, but we wanted to see if we could go a step further and do something entirely unique by helping our customers generate more revenue. We wanted to leverage the power of our industry-leading POS technology to help our merchants make more money. As the leading authority in the bar and restaurant industries, we knew that Jon Taffer would be the perfect partner to help pioneer this smart POS technology.”

“POS systems are the backbone of any business, but their major benefits have always been about efficiency,” says Taffer. “In my experience, I have found Harbortouch’s POS solution to be the best in the industry. Their POS system is unparalleled in terms of both price and capabilities, the two elements most critical to any small or mid-sized businesses’ success. I am proud to integrate my proven tools for increasing revenue with their best-in-class system and bring the first truly smart POS system to market.”

With over three decades of hands-on experience, Taffer is a two-time winner of the Bar Operator of the Year award, among a myriad of other honors, and his management methodology, Reaction Management, has become the gold standard of the industry. In 2010, Jon was appointed President of Nightclub & Bar Media Group where he oversaw the Nightclub & Bar Convention Trade Show. He also sat on its board of directors and serves as a consultant and development advisor to major restaurants, nightclubs and hotels worldwide.

Harbortouch is a pioneer of the POS-as-a-Service business model, offering a revolutionary free equipment program that delivers best-in-class POS systems with no up-front costs, including state-of-the-art hardware, premium software, custom programming, professional installation, onsite training and 24/7 support. Founded in 1999, the company has served more than 325,000 merchants and currently processes in excess of $12 billion annually. A six-time Inc. 500/5000 honoree, Harbortouch has been widely recognized for its innovative and disruptive POS and payment solutions.

About Harbortouch Payments
Harbortouch Payments, LLC is a leading business technology company and pioneer of the POS-as-a-Service business model, having served over 325,000 merchants in 17 years in business and currently processing more than $12 billion annually. The company offers a revolutionary free equipment program that delivers best-in-class POS systems with no up-front costs, including state-of-the-art hardware, premium software, custom programming, professional installation, onsite training and 24/7 support. A six-time Inc. 500/5000 honoree and recipient of numerous industry awards, Harbortouch has been widely recognized for its innovative and disruptive POS and payment solutions. For additional information, visit http://www.harbortouch.com.

About Jon Taffer
Within the nightlife, bar and restaurant industry, there is no greater authority than Jon Taffer. As a celebrity, hospitality expert and entrepreneur, Jon entertains and educates audiences from all walks of life, from Average Joes to CEOs. By delivering life-changing business lessons and inspirational stories, Jon has helped transform millions of people and companies by changing how they think and what they do. He is best known for his ‘in your face,’ no holds ‘barred’ style of turning failing bars into profitable businesses as the Host and Executive Producer on Spike TV’s number one hit show “Bar Rescue,” which is currently going into its sixth season. Jon is recognized internationally as an award-winning hospitality consultant and concept developer. With over three decades of hands on experience, he has owned and operated 17 hospitality businesses, consulted with over 800 venues in 30 countries and has worked with powerhouse brands like Hyatt Hotels, Hilton Hotels, TGI Fridays, Subway, Wolfgang Puck Express, Anheuser-Busch, AMF Bowling Centers and many more. Jon’s knack for starting, growing and improving hospitality concepts has led to many awards (such as Operator of the Year, Property of the Year, Visionary Leadership and the United Kingdom’s Pub Master), as well as executive positions with the Nightclub and Bar Convention and the National Restaurant Association, where he’s currently a Strategic Advisor. Learn more at http://www.jontaffer.com.

 For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/03/prweb14173300.htm

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