Payment Technology Blog

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tokenize Your World

It amazes me how many merchants are still storing credit card numbers.   This occurs in many forms.   Some merchants have their credit card numbers stored within QuickBooks.   Others have their credit card numbers in their home grown Microsoft Access, FileMaker, 4D or other database.   Still others have them on paper forms, in e-mails, in Microsoft Excel, or other locations.

Hanging onto credit cards in any format is a big risk!   Fines are steep if those card numbers are stolen.   And it does happen!   My favorite story is about a merchant that kept the credit card numbers of their customers on paper files, and locked those files in the trunk of the owners car.  Pretty secure huh?  Well, it was ... until the car was stolen.

It is so much better to use a popular system commonly referred to as tokenization.  Essentially all of the credit card information, ACH information, and other sensitive billing information, is stored in the payment gateway.  The payment gateway returns a token, which is then stored within the merchant's system - whether QuickBooks, Microsoft Access, or any other.  Merchants can then process payments for the customer based on the token, and not worry about having the exposure of being responsible for the safety of that sensitive cardholder data.

Most payment gateways support tokenization these days.  The TRANSAX Gateway has a sophisticated and flexible tokenization system, and example integrations in numerous technologies.

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