Merchants can find out if their mobile card readers have approved security features by checking a new fact sheet from the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council.

The council is urging independent sales organizations to alert small merchants to the fact sheet, one of a series of “At a Glance” publications, Bob Russo, the council’s general manager, tells PaymentsSource.

Once merchants know about the fact sheet, they can visit the council’s site and check the list of card readers with approved security measures to see if the device they are using to accept mobile payments is listed, Russo says.

If their devices aren’t listed, the council hopes merchants will acquire one of the free or low-cost approved readers, he notes.

The sheet, which the council announced May 16, also is intended to inform merchants that the council has established standards and that those standards apply to mobile transactions, Russo says.

“The document helps clarify and distill some of the more complex technology and security terminology into straightforward, practical guidance,” the council said in a press release that accompanied the announcement.

Besides posting the publication on its website, the council also is distributing printed versions of the fact sheet, called “At a Glance: Mobile Payment Acceptance Security,” at trade shows and meetings, Russo notes. The copies are printed on both sides of a single sheet of paper, he adds.

The approved devices offer point-to-point encryption to meet PCI standards, Troy Leach, the council’s chief technology officer, said in an interview.

Tokens encrypt sensitive cardholder information, making it useless to thieves who hack into computer systems to steal data for fraudulent purchases.

Approved readers also are designed to resist tampering by thieves who might modify them to store information so they could steal it, Leach said.

The council’s Mobile Working Group, which includes merchants, vendors and organizations active in the mobile payments industry, created the fact sheet, Russo says.

Although the council does not promote any particular form of electronic payment, Russo notes that mobile payment enables small merchants and even someone holding a garage sale to accept cards.

Those small merchants represent a new clientele for ISOs, Leach said.



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