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Heartland Payment Systems Launches End-to-End Payment Card Security Technology at 2010 NRA

Heartland Payment Systems, the nation's fifth largest payments processor, has commercially launched its new, state-of-the-art payment card security technology, making it available to merchants and business owners nationwide. Heartland has spent more than two years developing and ten months beta testing and iteratively improving this end-to-end encryption technology, called E3, that is designed to protect cardholder credit and debit card data, rendering scrambled data useless to cybercriminals.

In today's world, protecting cardholder data is critical for merchants and consumers alike. In the past two years, there were more than 650 reported breaches, a significant number considering many believe the majority of breaches are never reported. That number continues to increase daily because from the time a customer swipes a credit or debit card to pay for a purchase until the transaction is complete, sensitive cardholder data can be vulnerable. If a business' system is breached without encrypted card data, the owner may be forced to pay steep fines and deal with the stress and cost of legal issues, business recovery and rebuilding customer confidence, and potentially the possibility of going out of business.

To protect against this, E3 features layers of security using both software and tamper-resistant hardware, employing the Advanced Encryption Standard of encryption, AES, the most secure encryption algorithms available. E3 encrypts all Track 1 and 2 data from the card's magnetic stripe the moment it is converted from analog to digital data and enters a merchant's system as scrambled data, never storing card numbers or passing them through the merchant's system or network.

E3 is easy and cost-effective to implement. There are no changes to a merchant's daily routine or the speed of transactions, and no large equipment investment. Merchants purchase an E3 terminal or PC-based magnetic stripe reader/wedge at, or below, the prices of standard, less-secure processing equipment on the market today. E3 devices include EMV/chip card technology capabilities, which may be coming to the United States, and the ability to update encryption technology.

Once the hardware is installed, merchants continue normal business operations, saving time and money because E3 automates the process of continually changing the encryption keys that convert sensitive account information to encrypted data. These necessary encryption updates are performed at no extra cost to business owners. In line with Heartland's goal of making adoption of state-of-the-art data security easy for business owners nationwide, Heartland also does not impose extra monthly or transaction fees and "taxes" for E3 technology.

Additionally, Heartland helps the vast majority of merchants who use E3 complete the appropriate forms required for PCI compliance so they don't have to decipher the complexities by themselves. All business owners who accept credit and debit cards are subject to the standards of the PCI Council. The PCI Data Security Standards (DSS) define how sensitive data is stored, processed and transmitted. Most owners of small and mid-sized businesses are on their own to ensure they meet the more than 230 PCI standards.

Lastly, in the unlikely event of a data breach using E3, Heartland, with its "E3 End-to-End Encryption Warranty," will reimburse a merchant's breach-related fines. If, during the warranty period on any particular Heartland E3 device, the device fails to prevent the unauthorized decryption of cardholder data on that particular device, and that failure is a result of a defect or error in Heartland's software or hardware, Heartland will pay the merchant the amount of compliance fines, fees and/or assessments the merchant pays to the card brands, issuing bank or acquiring bank. Heartland will also pay the merchant any costs he/she pays for a directly related forensic audit conducted by a PCI-certified Qualified Incident Response Assessor.

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