Mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) is a flexible, low cost method of expanding card acceptance in face-to-face environments by using hardware encryption technology to facilitate the use of untrusted devices across untrusted networks. A summary of the role of Thales HSMs in the mPOS ecosystem can be found below.
Many transactions involving small (or micro) merchants, often outside a physical retail store, do not involve a mPOS solution. Instead, these transactions still take place using cash rather than credit or debit cards. For traditional bank acquirers and payment service providers (PSPs) this is a very large market to address with card-based acceptance solutions.
However it is not an easy task since there are two potentially competing elements involved: low cost required by the merchants and high security required by the payment systems.
For many years traditional point-of-sale (POS) terminals have been rejected by micro merchants on the basis of their high cost, long term contractual commitments, restrictive user interfaces and PCI DSS compliance requirements. Today there is a clear move in the payments industry to adopt mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) technology to either replace or complement traditional POS terminals.
Thales payShield hardware security modules (HSMs) are already helping PSPs to deliver secure mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) solutions to large numbers of merchants, some accepting card payments for the first time. The HSM performs three critical functions for PSPs – managing keys for the card readers, decrypting the encrypted transaction data received from the merchants and translating the PIN blocks for online PIN-based transactions. payShield HSMs meets all the relevant payment security certification standards (FIPS 140-2 Level 3 and PCI HSM) in addition to supporting various algorithms and key management methods used in mPOS transactions – with the ability to add custom functions to meet individual PSP requirements if necessary. Working in conjunction with numerous partners in the mPOS ecosystem, Thales enables all PSPs to choose from a wide range of card readers, providing fast, efficient and proven secure mPOS solutions with minimum integration risk.