Stories of large data breaches are becoming all too common an occurrence these days. As consumers continue to have their sensitive information stolen by means of everyday purchases, both customers and merchants are wondering how they can keep their information safe. While there are several measures a vendor can take to improve the security of their payment data, P2PE or point-to-point encryption is among the most highly rated in regard to diminishing fraud.
How Does P2PE Work?
Let’s say you’re a customer at a small business, you’re purchasing an item and swipe your credit card to checkout. Ever wonder what happens then?
When a credit card is swiped at a point of interaction (POI) device, a conversation takes place between the merchant and the cardholder’s bank. This digital transmission contains sensitive information which fraudsters can obtain and use to make illegal purchases. With P2PE in place, the moment a credit card is swiped, that sensitive information is immediately encrypted, rendering it useless to anyone who may be trying to steal it. This encrypted information is sent to the processor, decrypted so the issuing bank can authorize or deny the purchase, and then the card information is encrypted once more before getting sent back to the merchant. Upon receipt, the merchant also receives a token from the bank – this “token” is actually a reference number which the vendor can use if it needs to look up or refund a transaction.
How Does It Benefit Merchants?
No matter if you’re a small business, big corporation, or some other type of organization that accepts credit card transactions, you must be PCI DSS compliant. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) was created to ensure the security of both merchants and consumers.
In order to be PCI DSS compliant, vendors must meet several requirements and complete an annual survey. When a merchant is using P2PE, the amount of requirements needed to become compliant is significantly reduced due to the efficacy of this security solution. Vendors who do not use P2PE must answer approximately 329 questions on their PCI DSS survey, whereas merchants with a P2PE solution in place must answer only 35. That’s a huge time and stress saver! Among all these benefits, P2PE solutions also increase transaction time, making you and your customers happy.
If you’d like to learn more about point-to-point encryption, and how you can implement this security strategy to better your business, give Electronic Money Company a call today at (866) 898-7618.