P2PE for Merchants

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Security is a top priority for merchants. Maintaining high levels of security is essential for avoiding fraud and keeping cardholder data secure.  Evidence that you are meeting high security standards boosts customer confidence, increasing your sales and keeping customers loyal to your brand. P2PE is one effective security solution that is used to keep cardholder data safe.

What is P2PE?

P2PE stands for point-to-point encryption. When using P2PE, cardholder data is encoded immediately when a payment card is swiped. To decrypt and read this data, a password or secret key is required. Decryption only occurs once the information is received by the payment service provider (PSP). At this point, the data is in a secure environment, safe from prying eyes.

P2PE is a standard established by the PCI Security Standards Council. A PCI DSS certified PSP, such as Direct Pay Online, will offer a P2PE solution as part of their services. P2PE is essential to ensure that a third party cannot read cardholder data, keeping it safe from fraudsters and hackers.

How exactly does the P2PE process work?

Here are the steps involved in the P2PE process:

  1. At the POS (point-of-sale), the merchant swipes the customer’s credit card using the card reader provided by a PCI DSS certified PSP. The reader immediately encrypts the cardholder data using a special algorithm.
  2. The encrypted data is sent to the payment gateway or secure credit card processor where it is decrypted within a secure environment.
  3. The decrypted card details are sent to the issuing bank where the transaction is either approved or declined.
  4. The merchant is notified as to whether or not the payment was approved, and a unique reference known as a ‘token’ is given to the merchant. The token ensures that a merchant can research or refund a transaction without ever knowing the customer’s credit card information.

How does P2PE benefit merchants and customers?

There are many benefits of P2PE for merchants and customers:

Reduced fraud and increased credibility

The foremost benefit of P2PE, for both merchants and customers, is that it reduces payment card fraud risks. Even a single security incident can reduce the credibility of your business. With P2PE, your business is protected from such incidents – so you can maintain credibility and your customers are confident that their data is safe.

Easier to meet PCI DSS standards

PCI compliance requirements are minimized when using a P2PE solution provided by a PCI DSS certified PSP. For you, the merchant, this translates into less time and money spent meeting PCI requirements.

Less accountability

Merchants have no access to the security keys or passwords required to decrypt cardholder data. Throughout the transaction process, cardholder data is invisible to the merchant. Due to this, you cannot be held accountable for data loss and any resulting fines.

Faster transaction process

The payment process is smooth and quick when using P2PE. This increases customer satisfaction and gives you time to process more sales.

The best way to ensure that your online business meets high security standards, including the use of P2PE, is to work with a PCI DSS certified payment service provider, such as Direct Pay Online. A PCI DSS certified PSP meets the requirements of the PCI Security Standards Council - a global organization that sets the standards for cardholder safety worldwide.

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