Finding Opportunity in the Payment Card Industry
Received a new credit card lately? Notice the microchip gracing the left front side of the card? It’s called pin and chip technology, and it’s been a long time coming in the United States.
Pin and chip technology makes credit cards compliant with the Europay, Mastercard and Visa (EMV) standard, which is a global security standard for credit cards. The United States lags in EMV compliance—currently only about 6 percent of cards have the pin and chip technology. In comparison, Europe is at about 90 percent compliance and even Africa is at about 50 percent, said Greg Richey, director, Ingram Micro (IM) Professional Services.
Add to that legislation that mandates all companies accepting credit cards be EMV-compliant by Oct. 15, and you’ve got a huge opportunity for the channel.
Older point of sale (POS) systems and card readers don’t have the capability to read the chips on the card, which means those systems will need to be replaced.
“The real driver is currently when you swipe your card, everything is on there and readable—your name, address, Social Security number … you name it,” Richey said. “That information is not available with the pin and chip technology.”
Replacing the card readers is just the first step, though. Each reader must be injected with “keys” to encrypt the data. And that’s a service Ingram Micro now offers. “We serialize the key injection with the device proper so we know who owns what,” he said.
For channel partners, the opportunity lies not just in replacing the card readers but also in the ancillary technologies such as wireless networking, firewalls and identity management. “Now is the time to have ‘that conversation’ with the customer,” Richey said.
He added the opportunity also lies in every company that accepts credit cards. “Not just retail establishments, but also restaurants, hospitals, law firms, health clubs … you name it.”
With the Oct. 15 deadline looming, the time is now for solution providers to reach out to their customer base. “We already are starting to see a shift,” Richey said. “Many retailers already have the devices but haven’t activated. But different markets are going to respond differently.“