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POS: rising security concerns come with evolving technology

Payment technology is rapidly evolving. As we enter the age of device based forms of payment, such as the mobile wallet, many have raised flags and question the security of information as payment technology continues to advance.

Older POS systems, both hardware and software, still have the ability to adapt and upgrade to new forms of transactions, however the security of data and these revised systems have come into question. The divide sits between a hardware-based system, such as a chip embedded card, versus software-based systems largely on the web, such as PayPal’s new digital wallet and online payment system. Hardware-based systems, chip cards, and mobile wallets on smart devices provide a higher level of data encryption and keep the user’s personal information solely on the card or device. Software systems are a more complicated to encrypt, and are left exposed to the dangers of malicious Internet manipulation.
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It’s still worth remembering that both forms of payment processing are highly secure. The debate lies more in the question of the set-up of a system’s given security measures. All web-based payment programs store personal information in the “cloud”, or a cluster of servers located in a remote warehouse. The issue then becomes about choosing targets: millions and millions of individual cards and devices, or the mass grouping of data housed in one location?

It will be interesting to see how the issue of security will be addressed in the future and whether or not both merchants and individuals will opt for the personal device or card-based options.