Jun 30 2015

Is Mobile POS Secure?

The growth of mobile point-of-sale security opens doors for its use in fundraising.

Today’s donor lives in a technology savvy world and expects convenience and immediacy when they give. In response, many nonprofits are seeking ways to streamline the donation process.

Mobile point-of-sales (POS) solutions offer nonprofits the flexibility they desire, but they also want to make sure they are secure. Few things ruin the trust between nonprofits and their donors quicker than compromised payment information.

As with most technology systems, hackers found some vulnerability in early mPOS card readers that did not encrypt payment data before sending it to the point-of-sale software. Those holes have since been fixed.

Today, leading mPOS systems feature point-to-point encryption, which encrypts data from the time it enters the system. This encryption provides a higher level of security than is found in many traditional cash register systems.

Still, it benefits nonprofits to conduct due diligence, ensuring that their payment solution providers have taken all possible steps to protect cardholder data and can respond appropriately to any cyberattacks. The Payment Card Industry also offers standards on mobile security (www.pcisecuritystandards.org/).

As with any data-centered technology, nonprofits should have a plan in place to monitor and update their mobile point-of-sale systems in response to threats. A good technology partner can help nonprofits identify and mitigate the associated security risks.

Mobile POS solutions promise to change the way many nonprofits do business. With adequate security planning and due diligence, nonprofits can significantly reduce security risks.

This piece was excerpted from CDW’s white paper “The Secrets of Mobile POS for Fundraising.” Download the full white paper.