The TLS Changeover: Why You Should Start Preparing

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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The Payment Card Industry (PCI) declared that TLS 1.0 is too far out-of-date and no longer keeps data safe enough—the concern is that hackers have developed too many ways to exploit this standard.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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