Qualified Integrators & Resellers Program Addresses POS Security Concerns

Security is a concern with every technological step forward. As people become more and more connected, a few bad apples are bound to take advantage of that connectedness for nefarious means. These bad apple types have always existed and chances are they always will. Counterfeit bills quickly followed printed currency, and people have been forging checks almost as long as they’ve been writing them. There’s a movie coming out next month called Identity Thief, and while I’m sure the plot will be a massive exaggeration of reality, identity theft is a legitimate real world concern—and it rarely results in hilarious shenanigans.

What I’m getting to is this: security is a concern for point of sale technology. Just as you need to password protect your Wifi connection, you need to take precautions to protect your information—and your customer’s information—when using POS.

To this end, the PCI Security Standards Council is now offering the Qualified Integrators and Resellers (QIR) Program. This program trains resellers and integrators to support security efforts. The program is for resellers rather than merchants because of the role resellers play in installing, configuring and maintaining systems. According to the PCI Security Standards Council, reports have indicated that errors that occur during the implementation and maintenance of POS systems present a significant risk to the security of cardholder information. The training provided by the QIR program provides highly specialized training “to help address these risks, ensuring that remote access is used securely and that all vendor default accounts and values are disabled or removed before the customer uses the application.”

The training program was announced last August, and began in October. It consists of an eight-hour eLearning course that includes the following units:

  • PCI DSS awareness overview and understanding industry participants.
  • QIR roles and responsibilities.
  • PA-DSS and key considerations for QIRs when applying expertise to installing and configuring the PA-DSS application.
  • Guidance for preparing and implementing a qualified installation.

Following the completion of the online hours, individuals taking the course can schedule a qualifying 90-minute exam at their local testing center. Once a reseller or integrator company has two employees who have successfully completed the course, they will be listed on the PCI SSC website, so that merchants will have easy access to a directory of approved providers.

The PCI Security Standards Council was founded in 2006 by American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, MasterCard Worldwide, and Visa Inc. The council serves as a centralized resource for these companies and operates training programs such as the QIR program. It is important to note that while the council is a great security resource, it is not responsible for enforcing compliance—that is the responsibility of each individual payment brand.

Digital Signage And Retail: Key Questions Before Taking the Plunge

Digital signage has proved to be a popular technology– one that is becoming more and more accessible to businesses and marketers.

We’ve discussed much of what’s going on in the industry, from micro-digital signage to traditional uses. But, how does a business make the decision to buy in? More pointedly: how does a business with a limited marketing budget decide whether or not to go digital?

Here are a few questions to consider:

1. What are you selling?

The first evaluative question I pose gives you a quick understanding of what kind of sales numbers are required to see any ROI on the purchase.

Low value items, or low margin items like groceries, require much bigger sales volume to balance the cost of signage.

On the other hand, if you’re selling real estate, breaking even on the price of the digital signage can happen much faster. TidalWalk, a waterfront community in North Carolina recently unveiled a high-definition touchscreen from InTouch in its 3,700 square foot Resident’s Club facility.

In a press release, Ric Rojas, partner at L-Star Management, the project manager and partner for TidalWalk’s development states, “InTouch improves the home buyer’s access to information and elegantly showcases all of the amenities of this beautiful waterfront community, effectively translating the experience and essence of premier coastal living.”

2. Do you need to create new content from scratch, or do you have existing content?

This is another question designed to pinpoint the entire cost of digital signage.

Hooking a digital kiosk up to the Internet and loading a few pictures may not seem like a bad idea, but is that really giving you the kind of communication or customer engagement that you’re looking for?  Creating new content from scratch, however, can be expensive.  Do you have professional photos, copy, and a plan to manage the information?

At TidalWalk, the InTouch Table will be regularly updated with new home images, videos and lot sales via the InTouch Cloud, which allows remote management and real-time updates.

Something else to keep in mind: if you have little in the way of fluctuating content, what’s the allure in digital signage? Technology savvy appearance and cool appearance aren’t bad answers; you just need to build a case around why those qualities are important and what that perception is worth.

For TidalWalk, Rojas wants to create a way that families can explore prospective homes and the area in a way that is meaningful to them. “We think it’s a great way to introduce this one-of-a-kind community,” said Rojas.

For TidalWalk, the cache of new technology fits in nicely with the product: luxury property.

3. How often will you change the content, and who will manage it?

Digital signage is great for changing content. It doesn’t, unfortunately, change itself.

Depending on the size of your company, the same content can potentially be used in multiple locations.

French retail company Les Mousquetaires recently launched an in-store retail channel for their digital signage campaign. Les Mousquetaires’ communications department is managing the content itself and broadcasting to over 300 points of sale across France. Individual stores will be able to control how much local content (weather, product specials, etc.) is interspersed within the national channel.

4. Can your investment be used to generate ancillary revenue?

It’s possible that you can balance the cost of digital signage by utilizing it in multiple ways.

For example, the Las Vegas Convention Center houses a digital signage network composed of fourteen video screen and video wall locations throughout the North, Central, and South Hall public areas. In the Grand Lobby, a feature video wall has 36 video screens. Overall, the Convention Center is home to 97 high-definition screens.

This year, during the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), screens will provide information and interactive features as well as ad space. The Consumer Electronics Association, host of the CES, sold all digital ad space for the 2013 show in record time.

Are there other ways you can accomplish your communication goals, and generate additional revenue?

What do you think? How do you make the case for digital signage in your business?