Eftpos security upgrades on schedule

Thousands of terminal upgrades are performed each month to meet deadlines, but there's no panic

Eftpos network operators are pushing their merchant customers to upgrade to new-technology terminals with improved security. Both major operators — Electronic Transaction Services (ETSL) and Eftpos New Zealand — expect merchants will meet deadlines at the end of this year, as well as later ones in mid-2007 and early 2008, depending on the provider and type of terminal.

The new standards are EMV (Europay MasterCard Visa), which equips terminals to deal with chip-based cards, and 3DES (also known as triple DES), which improves encryption of transaction information. EMV and triple DES are being introduced by card providers to reduce the number of fraudulent transactions and to shield the merchants and card operators from financial liability for such transactions.

After the deadline dates, transactions will not be accepted from terminals that have not been upgraded or replaced.

The rush is on now to replace older terminals, which cannot be upgraded, by the end of this year. But according to Ron Brown, general manager of terminal provider ETSL, all is on schedule. “As at the end of July, we have converted just over 53% of the 60,000 [merchants with older terminals]. The terminal resellers say they can convert 4,500 a month.”

The other major provider, ANZ Bank-owned Eftpos New Zealand, tells a similar story. “We’ve reminded all our customers that we will provide them with what they need by the time they need it, in order to comply with the new standards,” says head of development and implementation John Collins.

The company is aware that some merchants are “concerned and confused” over the deadlines and is seeking to clarify any misunderstandings, he says. “However, Eftpos New Zealand will ensure all of its merchants’ terminals comply in time for each of these dates.”

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