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Vantiv Updates Security Pays Partner Education Program

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**Editor’s Note: Click here for a list of January’s important channel-program changes you should know.**

Vantiv Integrated Payments, which provides payment technology and services for SMBs, has announced the next phase of its Security Pays partner education initiative.

Vantiv's Matt DownsSecurity Pays 2015, announced in August of last year, drew nearly 1,000 participating partners and prompted the deployment of more than 10,000 EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) devices to businesses.

Matt Downs, Vantiv’s senior vice president of the integrated payments channel, tells Channel Partners that version 2.0 is an extension the 2015 initiative, which “helped our partners learn more about security and become certified as qualified integrators and resellers (QIRs).”

“We found though, the education didn’t extend all the way to the merchants and we want to change that,” he said. “Security Pays 2.0 goes beyond the education to encourage the implementation of EMV devices, as well as tokenization and encryption at the merchant level. We want security to become part of the dialogue when partners are talking with all their merchants. It includes increased terminal subsidies, education and awareness components.”

Because forensic investigations reveal that small merchants remain a prime target of hackers who are trying to compromise payment data, Visa has now required that acquirers ensure all merchants use QIRs by January 2017.{ad}

“There is still much to do on the merchant level,” Downs said. “We have deployed more than 10,000 EMV devices in the last six months, but there are thousands of businesses that still need the extra layers of security. We are working with our partners to promote the advantage of EMV to their merchants. One recent study showed that less than 40 percent of merchants have EMV enabled. We want to move that number upward.”

So far with Vantiv’s financial and preparatory assistance, 67 Vantiv partners have passed the tests and now have the QIR certification, which is more than three-quarters of all the companies with this certification in the U.S., according to the company.

“We want to increase the number of merchants who are protected by the three layers of security: EMV, tokenization and encryption,” Downs said. “We want to look back in six months and see the needle move because of Security Pays 2.0. Partners may help in enabling their merchants, plus the QIR testing continues. It is even more important now with the mandate coming in January 2017 for all merchants to use QIR.”

More fraudsters are targeting SMBs as larger merchants are implementing added layers of security, he said.

“We need to do all we can to promote point-to-point encryption, tokenization and EMV chip to help take sensitive payment information out of merchant systems and make them less attractive targets for hackers,” said Sonia Sng, Visa’s senior director of data security and third party risk.


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