The media hype about cloud-based POS systems has been tremendous. In fact, most articles have been glowingly positive about the features and the options offered by the Internet-based systems. According to industry watcher website Streetfightmag, retailers have already started switching part of their systems over to a cloud-based system, but most storeowners are waiting. Waiting for what you say?
Well, most storeowners are yet to be convinced about the use of cloud-based systems and particularly, iPad POS systems that are used to make credit card payments. You cannot really blame these people as they do have several legitimate concerns. If you are such a storeowner, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we are going to have a closer look at just how secure using POS systems in your store and perhaps shoot down some of the most persistent concerns. No doubt will we see more and more of this kind of payment options in stores within the immediate future, however, not only consumers are wondering just how secure these payment options are. Here are a few frequently asked questions about iPad POS and just how secure these systems can be with customer data.
Using the iPad POS System
The exact iPad POS systems used by retailers are different, but most systems rely on a 24-7 Internet connection. The connection is accessed through a browser and the user has to enter a password to use the system. This means that customer data is stored online and it is completely safe on the vendor’s server. The customer credit card data, payment information and purchasing data may also be stored on the virtual system.
Although this process is entirely safe and routinely used by several industries, it does give rise to several security based questions. For example, identity theft, hackers and scammers are common online. Most retailers wonder whether the cloud-based system will really be able to store customer information safely. Another question raised by website Businessbee is whether iPad POS systems are safe to use. For example, customers may be giving store staff their credit card information and authorizing sales. Is there a chance that unscrupulous staff may use the iPad to hack credit card information and steal customer data?
Let’s Find Out
All of these concerns are legitimate and they do require answers but most vendors have already dealt with these problems and provided secure solutions. For example, iPads are backed with state-of-the-art security systems that will store and process customer data and even credit card information and so do the modern credit card machines being manufactured by companies such as Shopify. Once the transaction is complete, the customer has to sign the transaction to verify that the payment is made. The system automatically disconnects to prevent secondary transactions, and this protects customer credit cards.
Most vendors do not store credit card information. However, a few of the latest iPad-based POS systems have a memory system in which credit card information is stored. Customers are offered this option and they have to authorize the storing of credit card information for future sales. When a sale is made, the iPad will bring up stored information to process the sale, but a biometric scan of the customer’s hand or thumb is necessary for clearance. This process ensures that customer information is safe and secure.
Another additional layer of security is provided by the vendor by installing the latest anti-virus software on iPads and store POS processing systems. The anti-virus, malware, adware, etc. protection programs will ensure that customer information is secure. Even the cloud-company data is stored on a server with multiple layers of protection to prevent data theft and hackers. All vendors are also now required to follow a set of international standards called Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). These standards are made to ensure that customer data is protected at all times. Cloud-based systems also have a revolutionary new feature called the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model in which the cloud-system is given instant upgrades to proactively defend and protect customer information.
For Store Owners
Although vendors are doing their best to protect customer data, a part of the responsibility also falls on the store owner. As the storeowner and his or her staff will be operating the iPad and store POS systems, it also becomes necessary to implement local safety measures to preserve and protect customer data. These may include:
• Credit card data is not stored for new customers. In case credit card information is being stored, customers have to be informed and secondary protective measures like biometric scans, instant informative messages and emails about transactions, etc. are to be implemented immediately.
• All iPads are provided with credit card terminals but these terminals have to be accessed only through store personnel passwords. As a result, any transactions that are made are immediately verified and tracked, and illegal payments can be blocked or shut down instantly.
• In case of theft, the mobile device and iPad have to be locked every 30 minutes. Entering a PIN System is also necessary as it will prevent data loss in case the iPad is robbed, lost, or damaged.
With all these measures in place, it is convincing to say that all iPad POS systems are completely safe. However, make sure you contact your vendor for additional information regarding system security.
Our hope is that with this information we have managed to make you feel a lot safer when busting out that credit card of yours to someone that shows up with an iPad to take your payment in a store that you have never been in before. Of course, to always be on the lookout for fraudulent behavior when using iPad POS systems is a suggestion that is directed at as well customers as storeowners.
iPad POS Systems – Safe Or Not?