by Ty Hardison

Dairy Queen attacked by vicious malware

Ever since Target was crippled by a high-profile card data breach, all eyes have been turned to the IT security of major retail-level stores. Dairy Queen recently announced that it had also been targeted by a breach involving a new form of malware called "Backoff." Though it is downplaying the effects of this intrusion, the company admitted that payment card data at nearly 400 locations across the country was affected over the summer.

The company says that the breach exposed multiple types of identifying data, including card numbers and expiration dates, but that there's no evidence that more sensitive information, like Social Security Numbers and PIN, were revealed to outside forces. One Orange Julius store was also affected in addition to the Dairy Queens.

"We are committed to working … more

Security a major point of focus this holiday season

Black Friday is just around the corner.

Halloween is Friday, which means by this time next week, we'll be well into November, Thanksgiving will only be a few weeks away and the holiday shopping season will be looming just around the corner. In fact, some organizations have already begun holiday-themed displays, but of course the season's unofficial kickoff doesn't commence until Black Friday, which is only four short weeks away. This year industry experts predict a gigantic shopping season, which puts pressure on retailers to keep up with increased traffic while maintaining the security of customer data.

It was only last year when Target was hit hard right at the apex of the holiday shopping season — an incident that resulted in a PR nightmare the company is still trying to overcome. What followed was what can only be … more

Detailing the first 48 hours of Apple Pay

Many believe Apple Pay is going to change the way retail works.

On Monday, October 20, Apple released iOS 8.1, an updated version of its latest mobile operating system. With it came a number of new features and adjustments to the iOS 8 platform, but none were more notable than the launch of Apple Pay. Now, users with either an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus can update to iOS 8.1 and use Apple Pay at a number of participating retailers. 

To get set up, users have to register a credit or debit card with their phone and take proper measures to verify that it's their card. For example, Bank of America has an Apple Pay registration department set up and users are required to call to verify that they indeed mean to attach their debit or credit card with their phone. Once this is done, they can begin to use their phone at stores such as Walgreens and … more

Can a more secure iPad help your tablet POS system?

Apple has been busy so far this fall. Last month, the company unveiled and launched two new iPhones — the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus — which come fully loaded with iOS 8, the latest Apple mobile operating system, and a myriad of new features including Apple Pay, which allows users to use their devices to pay at some of the world's biggest retailers. While Apple Pay has not gone live as of yet, this week the company announced that it will finally allow iPhone owners to use the feature on Monday, October 20. This came at a second fall event in which Apple launched Yosemite, the latest Mac desktop operating system and unveiled two new iPads, which will be available in a few weeks. 

The iPad announcement could mean big things for retailers who are already in the … more

Mobile commerce plays role in curbside pickup at retail stores

Mobile commerce can integrate with standard brick-and-mortar retail.

The dichotomy between eCommerce and brick-and-mortar retail isn't as significant as once thought. The lines are becoming increasingly blurred as innovations in the retail space allow customers to start the purchasing process online and continue in store as they pick up their item.

Imagine that you're at the mall and you plan to go to Best Buy to purchase a new television. You are already in the area so you could just walk to the store, wait to speak with a representative, wait to have your questions answered and then finally select the model you want before paying for it and taking it home. Or you could walk into the store having already purchased what you want so you can simply receive your item and walk out of the store without the hassles that come with traditional shopping … more

Hacking incidents put pressure on small businesses to become PCI compliant

PCI compliance is a major issue at organizations of all sizes, but many small businesses don't seem to understand the risks associated with fraud.

Most of the security breaches that have made headlines over the course of the past year have involved major corporations in either retail or banking. Target and Home Depot have fallen victim to highly publicized incidents in the past 12 months, and most recently the JP Morgan/Chase breach may have affected 76 million households. But due to the organization's dealing with small businesses, roughly 7 million small business owners may also be at risk.

Small business owners often feel as if they aren't susceptible to security breaches due to their "unattractiveness" in the eyes of fraudsters. This is not the case. In fact, small businesses are often even more vulnerable to fraudulent activity, and according to the National Small Business Association, as many as 44 percent of all small … more

Bill Gates praises Apple Pay

Bill Gates believes Apple Pay could have a dynamic impact on the payments industry.

When Bill Gates speaks on a tech issue, it's best to pay attention. Earlier this month, he shared his thoughts on the mobile payments space and according to the Microsoft founder, NFC and Apple Pay are driving the industry into the future. 

Gates was recently interviewed by Bloomberg and the two sides discussed several topics. When Microsoft's long-time rival and its recent announcements regarding new smartphones, a smart watch and an NFC-based payment system were mentioned, Gates was enthusiastic in his answer, stressing that Apple is setting the bar for mobile payments.

"Apple Pay is a great example of how a cell phone that identifies its user in a pretty strong way [i.e. the fingerprint sensor] and lets you make a transaction that should be very, very inexpensive," he said.& … more

Bank of America begins EMV debit card rollout

Bank of America will be implementing EMV technology into its debit cards.

After months of anticipation, Bank of America is finally beginning to roll out an EMV program that will impact its consumer and small business debit cards. On Wednesday, the bank announced that all consumer and small business debit cards will include an EMV security chip, matching the technology already included in most of its credit cards. This will make Bank of America the first major bank in the United States to implement EMV technology into its debit cards.

The EMV chip technology encrypts transaction information every time the card is used. According to Bank of America, this information will change with each use, making fraud difficult. Although Bank of America is the first major American bank to use EMV in its debit cards, the expectation is that others will join them and this … more

Tablet POS systems present opportunities for food trucks

Tablet POS systems are helping food truck owners better serve their customers.

The food truck is one of the fastest growing business trends, and anyone who has spent time in any major city can't walk far without running into one. Go outside during lunch time on a work day and you'll see whole fleets of food trucks on just about every busy corner. And as their popularity grows, food truck owners know they must ensure they can keep up with their customers' preferences. Although food trucks have traditionally been cash-only establishments, that form of currency has become increasingly scarce, which is why tablet POS systems have become must-have tools for any food truck owner. 

A tablet POS system that either runs on a carrier network or on a WiFi network set up in the truck can allow merchants to process all kinds of payments without having to use traditional … more

What will the new iPad bring to the payments table?

What impact could new iPads have on the tablet POS market?

The tablet POS market may be receiving some big news in a couple of weeks. In October, Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to once again take the stage and introduce the latest version of a popular mobile device. While his September keynote was all about the iPhone and the introduction of the Apple Watch, next month Cook's announcement should center around the iPad.

According to numerous sources, Apple will unveil the latest version of the iPad Air and iPad Mini and could even add a third member to the tablet family. The iPad Pro has circulated the rumor mill for much of the past year and the popularity of the Air and Mini have led many to believe they will be receiving upgrades. 

Will we get a Retina Display iPad Mini, a second generation iPad Air and an all-new iPad Pro, rumored to … more