Managing the Rollout and Repair of Payment Devices for Fitness Centers

Case Study Industry Focus: Fitness & Health Clubs

Over 50 million people across the United States are members of a local fitness center. Since no fitness center is free (that we’ve heard of!), that means over 50 million payments transactions happen on a regular basis on gym payment devices. Considering that many fitness centers are franchises with thousands of locations country-wide, it is highly important that member data is kept secure company-wide and that payment devices are standardized at all locations.

2015 was the year when forces combined to demand a transition away from magnetic-stripe cards to cards equipped with EMV technology (“Europay, MasterCard, Visa). These cards come with a small computer chip that drastically increases security. As of October 2015, businesses that don’t have an EMV processing device could be held liable for fraudulent card transactions originating from their business. Like many industries, the fitness & health club industry has been scrambling to work with payment solution providers like POSDATA to ensure large-scale EMV transitions are handled professionally and efficiently.

Case Study: The Problem

Every fitness center across the United States needs to accept payment information from their members. Not only does payment information have to be handled securely on-site, but recurring membership dues often are managed by an in-house software solution. With changes in EMV technologies and the 2015 liability shift, it became more important than ever that the software solutions gyms use company-wide are standardized and secure.

While some of this liability falls on the gyms themselves, the impact is felt just as strongly by the companies distributing software and payment technologies to gyms across the United States. In 2014, a software developer and major distributor of software/payment technologies to gyms foresaw the impending changes in EMV requirements. They alerted their standard supplier of payment devices that all future payment devices would need to be upgraded to meet EMV requirements. The payment solutions supplier was happy to sell them more units, but realized that this corporate-wide rollout of thousands of payment devices would require a managed services supplier to oversee the rollout and handle ongoing repair issues.

Case Study: The Solution

POSDATA Group’s technology prowess and ability to handle security solutions at scale made them the ideal partner to manage this operation. As a managed services provider, the first task was to stage thousands of new payment technology units and standardize them for use across all fitness center locations. Units had to be pre-configured and prepared in a way that made them usable right out of the box. Each payment device was loaded with the point-to-point keys and the pin encryption key that met the new EMV requirements. The appropriate cable and power supplies were combined with the solution and shipped to each individual destination. Once the units were prepared, they were placed in a unit pool awaiting a Purchase Order. Upon receipt of the Purchase Order, the units are packaged and shipped directly to the gym from POSDATA’s centrally located facility in Louisville, Kentucky.

Equally important, POSDATA offers an advance exchange program to facilitate ongoing device repairs. The POSDATA team set up an online portal that can receive information on any faulty device. If a payment device at any of the gyms nationwide experiences an outage, POSDATA is alerted via the online portal and immediately ships a functional device to the gym from the asset pool. The gym receives the new device and ships the faulty unit back to POSDATA in the same box. Upon receipt of the faulty unit, POSDATA’s tech team repairs the unit if possible and puts it back into the asset pool for eventually distribution back to a gym. This advance exchange system minimizes downtime and is very cost-effective for all parties.

As a longstanding leader in the payment services industry, POSDATA Group has evolved over the years to be able to easily accommodate requests of any volume from our clients.


 

This article originally appeared in a PDF case study. Download it here.
© POSDATA GROUP 2016

Meeting EMV Requirements in the Hospitality Industry

Half of credit card fraud happens in the United States, often as a  direct result of magnetic-stripe cards that are easy to counterfeit or steal data from. 2015 was the year when forces combined to demand a transition away from magnetic-stripe cards to cards equipped with EMV technology (“Europay, MasterCard, Visa). These cards come with a small computer chip that drastically increases security. As of October 2015, businesses that don’t have an EMV processing device could be held liable for fraudulent card transactions originating from their business. Few industries are unaffected by this liability shift, and as a result there has been a scramble to work with payment solution providers like POSDATA to ensure large-scale EMV transitions are handled professionally and efficiently.

Case Study: The Problem

In the hospitality industry, every business decision centers on providing first-class, personalized service to every guest. Part of this first-class service is ensuring the security of all guests. In October of 2014, a major provider of hospitality property management software systems realized they would need to adapt to the heightened EMV requirements to ensure the users of their software (hotels & spas) were keeping their guests’ payment information secure. The provider began with a full review of the payment systems that interacted with the technologies they provided to their clients. The review revealed numerous improvements that would need to be made in the systems they installed at hotels and spas nationwide. Unlike a small business that could quickly replace just a few aging POS systems, the provider was looking at a large-scale upgrade for nearly 2000 different properties.

The provider first turned to Ingenico for assistance in the migration to EMV-compatible systems. Ingenico advised them that a third party payment solution specialist would be critical in overseeing the successful configuration and deployment of such a high quantity of terminals. They recommended POSDATA as their third party solutions provider because of a history of excellence in being knowledgeable, consultative and perfective in the rollout and ongoing management of payment technologies.

Case Study: The Solution

It was critical the new payment terminals being deployed to the locations were standardized company-wide and pre-configured to operate perfectly right out of the box. POSDATA provided custom-configuration, staging and deployment of the terminals straight from their Louisville, Kentucky headquarters. Each device was loaded with the point-to-point keys and the pin encryption key. The appropriate cable and power supplies were combined with the solution and shipped to each individual destination.

Equally important, POSDATA offered ongoing managed services for these end users. Now whenever a property needs to purchase new devices or repair their existing payment terminals, they can call POSDATA directly to handle everything. POSDATA is able to recommend the ideal combination of payment technologies for each location, all while ensuring all EMV requirements are taken in account and built into the final solution.

As a longstanding leader in the payment services industry, POSDATA has evolved over the years to be able to easily accommodate both high and low-volume requests of our clients. We are proud of our ability to manage so many moving pieces and keep our clients happy and secure.


The preceding article is available as a printable case study. Access it here.

Setting Up Your EMV Payment Solution

Business owners, card issuers and payment processors throughout the United States are now in the process of switching over to EMV. Despite plenty of time to prepare, there are ongoing reports that the transition process has been very rocky and US merchants as a whole are not prepared. Many businesses are being pressured into a quick EMV solution that doesn’t take into consideration their specific need.

EMV technology was designed to authenticate cards at card-present payment terminals. It helps to prevent the use of fraudulent cards in stores better than traditional magnetic stripe cards. However, EMV is not 100% secure nor was it designed as a security method to protect the merchant’s payment environment. This means that a well-constructed EMV solution requires the use of layered security to protect sensitive cardholder data, including:

P2PE.All card data should be encrypted from the time it is keyed, swiped, tapped or inserted. Merchants should use a device that encrypts at the point a payment terminal interacts with a card or mobile wallet so that no payment information is ever in the clear and at risk of being stolen by a savvy hacker. This shrinks the merchant’s cardholder data environment to the secure device level, reducing much of the merchant’s breach profile and their PCI DSS scope along with it—something that EMV alone can’t do.

Tokenization. All card data should be removed from the merchant environment and placed under the protection of an organization that considers the security of their merchant customers’ payment processing its primary job. To do this, merchants must adopt a security- or storage-based tokenization solution, which replaces sensitive cardholder data with non-decryptable information that is meaningless to all but a select few. This differs from emerging “payment token” solutions, such as those offered by mobile wallets, by providing security for merchant systems, not just individual consumers.

EMV. EMV has merit for authenticating card-present transactions. Still, merchants should implement EMV in a strategic fashion, making sure to add the layered security of P2PE and tokenization to protect their customers’ payment information from data thieves by removing that sensitive data from the merchant environment entirely.

Though big undertakings such as the transition to EMV can be confusing, merchants must not be pressured into a quick solution that doesn’t meet their specific needs. Instead, they should take the time necessary to implement EMV as a step in the path to true security, not as a security solution in and of itself.

By layering EMV with the security of P2PE and tokenization, merchants can better authenticate cards used at card-present payment terminals, with the added bonus of securing that card data throughout the transaction process and within their systems and networks. This will ensure that their environment – and their customers’ payment information – is protected against the attacks of hackers.


POSDATA is your trusted source in the transition to EMV. We advise organizations of all sizes on payment processes and products. To learn more, Contact Us.

POSDATA Announces New Customer Support Services

POSDATA is pleased to announce that, effective immediately, we are offering customer support for all customers who purchase or develop software utilizing integrated terminals. Support includes configuration, troubleshooting and ongoing maintainance and is offered via annual support contracts, hourly programs, and other customized agreements.

According to Mr. William McCubbins, EVP Payment Sales and Services,

“POSDATA has always prided itself on being more than a simple ‘box seller’. The world of integrated payments is very complex and requires a great deal of knowledge from those who sell the products. I am very pleased that POSDATA can expand our value added services to include technical support for the product we sell.”