Three data-security and payment processors have linked technologies to create a cloud-based advanced encryption payment system designed to protect payment card data and provide storage away from Columbia Sportswear Co. point-of-sale terminals.

Equinox Payments LLC, Voltage Security Inc. and Merchant Link developed the security software and payment system in response to Portland, Ore.-based Columbia Sportswear’s request to ease its Payment Card Industry security standards compliance requirements by avoiding the storage of payments data on site at any of its 54 retail locations nationwide, the companies announced Jan. 11.

Columbia Sportswear tested the system in a few stores during the holiday shopping season and plans to incorporate it in all of its retail locations by April, the companies stated in a press release.

Equinox Payments terminals were combined with Voltage Security SecureData Payments encryption software and Merchant Link’s TransactionVault tokenization and Payment Gateway software for the Columbia Sportswear test, the companies said.

For credit card transactions, Voltage Security’s encryption technology protects payment data from swipe to processing and works alongside PIN-debit encryption without any adverse effects. Merchant Link’s card-based tokenization technology enhances security and marketing analytics, while its gateway service provides payment settlement, the companies said.

Because the Equinox L5300 payment terminals include a contactless reader, the system enables Columbia Sportswear to adjust future payment methods to accept contactless, digital wallets or EMV chip cards as consumers begin using those options, the press release noted.

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