Why Retailers Must Stop Neglecting Their Payment Terminals

05 Nov 2018

Payment terminals may be small, but they play an oversized role in the life of a retail organization: They bring in the revenue. They deliver the last impression on the customer. And they represent a critical element in complying with PCI and controlling risk.

So it’s surprising how little most retailers know about the health and status of these mission-critical devices at any given moment. Despite the availability of software to monitor and remotely manage payment terminals, most retailers set it and forget it, installing terminals and then leaving them alone. They turn their limited IT attention to their payment devices only when they need to compile a report for PCI, or a device is down or ready for replacement ― or involved in a breach.

In today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, that neglect is no longer benign. By actively using monitoring software, such as Verifone’s VHQ Estate Management, retailers can gain significant advantages:

  • Reduced vulnerability to security breaches, by keeping up with software updates and PCI requirements and monitoring how devices are used, including insight into tamper attempts, software installation errors and device security certificate issues.
  • Lower maintenance costs, since updates can be rolled out remotely and automatically instead of through costly and error-prone on-site visits ― that many retailers now skip.
  • Maximizing uptime, by receiving advance notice of low-memory conditions, high read error rates, low battery performance, etc., and remotely troubleshooting problems.
  • A better customer experience; fewer device failures and closed lanes, and the opportunity to learn about current promotions via easy, remote device content management.

Estate management solutions like VHQ are made specifically to converse with secure payment devices to control, extract data, update, and monitor these devices. Enterprise device management and mobile device management applications don’t interface with payment terminals, although some retailers use VHQ to feed their EDM systems so that they have fewer diverse systems to monitor. Estate management apps like VHQ impact the operational side of payment devices, which is completely walled off from where payment data is encrypted and transmitted.

Accessing the Benefits of VHQ

Chances are retail IT staffers heard all about these benefits when they purchased their payment terminals. But competing priorities mean they often don’t have the resources to make use of VHQ ― or don’t know about the considerable ROI.

That’s why Level 10 is introducing Verifone VHQ Estate Monitoring as a service. This enables retailers to gain all the benefits of actively monitoring, managing and securing their payment terminals, without needing to devote resources to identifying, hiring, training and maintaining staff for this purpose.

Leveraging an expert solution provider like Level 10 to actively manage payment devices pays for itself not just by delivering the compliance, security, uptime, cost and customer experience benefits listed above, but by enabling retailers to gain greater control over, and more productivity from, their payment devices.

Active content management means retailers can remotely deliver messaging to specific devices or groups of payment devices to promote their brand and increase cross-selling opportunities, from simple customer disclosures, surveys or product promotions to media files such as audio and video clips.

Active device management brings similar benefits as EDM/MDM ― only tailored to the specialized needs of payment terminals. That means retailers access things like 24/7 monitoring, escalation, alert monitoring, and troubleshooting by Verifone Certified Experts. They also lower the cost to own payment terminals, since there is much less need to send techs into the field to diagnose or remove/replace devices. PCI compliance is improved, since active management keeps software current, generates the PCI-required, up-to-date lists of devices, and it can automatically reboot devices nightly per PCI requirements. And they get better, longer performance out of their terminals.

In an era of heightened security risk, rising operational costs and customer expectations for a flawless experience, retailers can no longer afford passive, reactive management of their payment devices. By entrusting an expert solution provider like Level 10 to actively manage their fleet via Verifone VHQ Estate Monitoring as a service, retailers avoid costly breaches, maximize uptime and maintain an optimal environment to deliver a flawless customer experience.