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Successful Pilot Test Paves Way for First Data's Latest Tokenization Solution

First Data Corporation announced the public availability of the First Data TransArmor solution. The payment security service is available to merchants of all sizes through First Data's extensive network of resale partners. First Data anticipates that more than 100,000 merchants will be securely processing transactions with the TransArmor solution by the end of the year.

The TransArmor solution protects consumer payment card data from the moment it enters the merchant environment, and replaces card data with a token number that preserves the value of card data for merchant business operations but removes all value for fraudsters. As a result, merchants are able to significantly reduce the scope, risk and costs associated with Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance without requiring new hardware or extensive changes to existing business processes.

Merchant pilot
First Data successfully completed a pilot in June 2010 that tested the TransArmor solution in a variety of merchant point-of-sale (POS) environments. During the pilot, more than 150 merchant locations processed card transactions using the TransArmor solution's unique blend of tokenization and encryption technologies. Factors assessed during the pilot were average latency time, which averaged less than one tenth of a second per transaction, and ease of implementation for merchant adopters, all of whom used existing POS terminals for the test.

The TransArmor solution tokenized the very first commercial transaction over the STAR Network, a First Data company, at the Center of Science & Industry in Columbus, Ohio on Feb. 26, 2010. Breakers Motel in Grand Isle, La. also signed up for the TransArmor pilot in March and was impressed by the seamless integration.

"Protecting our customers' payment card data is a priority for our business, but strong security can be a significant challenge to implement," says Anna Janise, manager of Breakers Motel. "Adding the TransArmor service to our existing point of sale required almost no effort on our part, and didn't impact our business operations. We're more confident that the cards we accept stay safe, and most importantly, it keeps our focus on our customers, not on becoming security experts."

Resale partners embrace the TransArmor solution
Value-Added Resellers (VARs) including Data Business Systems, which focuses on both the full/quick service restaurant and retail industries, have been swift to connect the TransArmor solution to their POS software offerings. The company recently integrated the TransArmor solution with their TransAction + payments middleware product.

Leveraging the RSA SafeProxy architecture, the TransArmor solution is engineered to encrypt and securely transport cardholder data to First Data and replaces it with a token as part of the transaction authorization process. Unique features of the token make it possible for merchants to continue to handle key business functions such as returns, recurring billing, loyalty programs and other analysis, without enabling card data to be used for fraudulent transactions. First Data provides a limited warranty against compromise of the token number in the event it is used to conduct a fraudulent transaction. The TransArmor solution meets or exceeds all of Visa Inc's recently released Best Practices for card data tokenization.

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