Virtual Terminal Compatible with Signature Capture devices: Multichannel vendor selection checklist

signature capture payment gateway solutions

Moving your POS to the cloud? Many payment gateways have been adapted to work with more sales channels, while others were built for omnichannel needs from inception. Often, less sophisticated gateways accept mobile payments, but do not support signature capture terminals with pin debit. For those that support signature capture terminals with pin debit, here’s a checklist of vendor selection criteria to help distinguish between payment gateways: POS Services required:

  • Merchant Account
  • Payment Gateway & Virtual Terminal

Vendor Selection Checklist:

    Product Features

  • How will the gateway help manage interchange fees? (impacts EBTIDA)
  • Does the gateway support level 3 data? (impacts EBTIDA)
  • Does the gateway support signature capture terminals with pin debit?
  • How do merchants manage multi-location store settings such as user access, user permissions, and fraud prevention settings? (impacts efficiencies, EBIDTA, PCI Compliance)
  • How do merchants manage user logins for multi-location operations? (impacts efficiencies)
  • How frequently does the gateway roll out new services or features? (impacts efficiencies, EBIDTA, PCI Compliance)
  • How does the gateway help prevent internal & external fraud?
  • Product Support
    • With what methods can merchants contact support? Hours of operation?
  • Scalability
    • What is process for adding additional locations?
    • How easy is it to update all locations with new or changed user permissions or store settings?
  • Flexibility
    • How are operations disrupted when the retailer changes merchant account processors in the future?
    • With what frequency does the vendor roll out new platform updates?
  • Experience
    • What is the vendor experience with multichannel / multi-location operations, using similar hardware and software?
    • ROI
      • Hard Costs
      • Efficiencies
      • Reduced losses
  • Payment Gateway Services required
    • Does the gateway support all current sales channels?
    • Will the gateway support future anticipated sales channels?

    For answers to these questions by payment gateway, contact us for more details.

3D Merchant Services Powered by CenPOS
2633 NE 26th Ave Metro South FloridaFL33064 USA 
 • 954-942-0483

Multichannel Sales Initiatives – Are consultants too self serving?

According to the 24th annual Retail Info Systems technology study, expanding multichannel initiatives is the biggest action item over the next 18 months, followed by a mobile enterprise / store strategy and security. 2014 and 2015 are expected to be years of hyper innovation and with the EMV October 2015 deadline looming, CIO’s and IT are right in the thick of it.

2014 Retail Technology Study

Data excerpt from the 2014 Gartner Research 24th Annual Retail Technology Study: Major Action Items Over the Next 18 Months. To get the study, go here

For merchants, checking with peers and current vendors about potential partner solutions may be inadequate. The stakes are extremely high for many of the parties that hope to capitalize on the huge investment companies will be making. Whether they have the best product or not- or even a working product- many vendors will serve their best interests first.

For example, a prospective customer was very interested in my omni-channel payment gateway and wanted to check with his current merchant processor, one of the top three largest US processors, for his input. The current vendor knew nothing about my product but concluded after a 10 minute conversation there was little value in a product like mine (no price was discussed) and would relay that to his customer. He completely dismissed there was any value in:

  • Eliminating stored credit card numbers on paper forms
  • Using tokens to recharge customers in a few clicks vs key entering every time
  • Level 3 Processing (100% B2B merchant)
  • One reporting system for all payment sources (reducing PCI burden and creating back office efficiencies for research, reports and reconciliation)

The consultant concluded that if the customer wanted to change, he had a ‘similar’ product, though admittedly not as good, nor comprehensive enough to address all the customer needs. In other words, the guy was too lazy to help the customer before, but if pressed, he was willing to sell him an inferior product. Worse, he completely failed to recognize that his own customer did place value on solving business problems.

In conclusion, so many vendors have ‘a product’ to sell in which they have a vested interest, that they will readily dismiss anything they can’t make money on. Consultants are often getting their information from the same sources so they just don’t know any better. CIO’s might be better off seeking experts outside of their current vendor resources to find the best solution for multichannel initiatives.

What payment gateways support level 3 processing?

level 3 payment gateway chart

2014 level 3 payment gateway comparison chart. Click image for PDF.

2014 comparison chart review of payment gateways that support level III data and whether or not the gateway is independent of the merchant account. Reviewed are, CenPOS, Paymentech Orbital, First Data e4 Global Gateway, PayTrace, Payflow Pro, 3Delta Systems (3DSI), Paymentech Orbital, and Heartland Payment Systems.

Where a check is indicated, the merchant can send level III data without any special programming or integration (except API).  However, a merchant might achieve level 3 processing in another category by using an API.

The payment channels reviewed include retail, moto, ecommerce shopping cart, electronic bill presentment & payment (EBPP), online payments (hosted web pay page), token billing (recurring), API (ERP and other software). Also indicated is whether a new merchant account is required or which merchant processors the gateway is compatible with.

2014 Level 3 Processing Omnichannel Payment Gateway Comparison Chart PDF download 1.1 MB

Certification to merchant processors, including level 3 processing:

  • CenPOS: First Data (FDC Nashville), Chase Paymentech, Vantiv, TYSYS*
  • Chase Paymentech, FDC Compass, FDC Nashville Global , GPN, Litle, RBS WorldPay Atlanta, TSYS
  • Payflow Pro: Cielo, First Data (FDMS), Heartland, Litle, Paymentech Salem, Paymentech Tampa, Securenet, TYSYS
  • Paytrace: TSYS, Paymentech Tampa, Global East, Heartland, and Trident.

* Think of TYSYS as a hub that provides access for transactions (traffic via payment gateway) to many highways (processors). By going through the hub, a payment gateway can securely connect to many processors (Global, Heartland, First Data etc) with one certification. Some merchants may incur a per transaction fee for using a payment gateway that connects via TYSYS; this may or may not be additional to fees already being paid.


** January 2014 update (pg 10)

*** 2/28/2014 Payflow Pro

DISCLAIMER: If the information was unclear or not available, the field was left blank to err on the side of caution. Contact processors or payment gateway providers for specific details about availability and functionality. 3D Merchant Services is an authorized reseller for and CenPOS, in addition to other services.


MOTO: mail order, telephone order. This is a transaction indicator code for card not present transactions.

EBPP: electronic bill presentment & payment. A merchant delivers an electronic invoice to their customers. The customer then pays the invoice electronically.

LEVEL III data or level 3 data:  refers to the additional field data sent for processing Visa and MasterCard business, corporate and purchasing cards.

LEVEL III data or level 3 processing: refers to a merchant account that supports the acceptance of level 3 data and passes the data onto the issuers

What’s the difference between level 3 and level III? Nothing. In 2014, and recent documents, interchange rates are more frequently referred to as level 3. However, in older documentation and marketing materials, the requirements and other items referred to it as level III.

It’s critical to note that the CAPABILITY of sending level 3 data via a payment gateway, does NOT guarantee that the transaction will qualify for level 3 interchange rates. There are many rules, and how the gateway helps a merchant meet those rules varies widely. For a free consultation on key operational differences between level III gateways, contact us.

Article feedback is appreciated!


#34 Virtual terminal selection lowers credit card processing fees: First Data Linkpoint vs CenPOS video

Can virtual terminal selection impact credit card processing fees? Yes. This video #34 compares fees using First Data Linkpoint global gateway and then CenPOS. All cloud virtual terminals are not alike. Christine Speedy, CenPOS sales, shares corporate and purchasing card interchange rate qualification on 2013 merchant statements before and after switching virtual terminals. The merchant account remained the same.



Are you a First Data Linkpint merchant looking for an alternative? With our payment technology, which includes free hosted online payments page,  you can keep your Bank of America or other First Data merchant account, yet still have all the other benefits of an omnichannel virtual terminal and gateway.

If you’re searching for an intelligent omnichannel payment solution, don’t waste another minute. Call now.


New P2P Encryption Solution With MagTek Secure Card Readers

CenPOS, a universal payment processing platform, now supports point-to-point (P2P) encryption with MagTek retail point of sale and mobile credit card reader devices. P2P encryption and end-to-end encryption are terms often bandied about with different meanings.

In P2P encryption, the card data is encrypted at the swipe and is decrypted at another point before going on to a credit card processor. This reduces the risk of compromising data-in-flight. For example, if a merchant has a keyboard emulation card reader connected to a virtual terminal or point of sale software,  and the computer has malware, there is the risk of the card data being intercepted before getting to the next point. By opening up a text program, a person can swipe a card reader and all the data will dump onto the page, increasing internal security risk. With encryption at the card reader, any data intercepted cannot be accessed because only the intended recipient has the decryption key.

The term end-to-end encryption has become a catchall for the encryption and delivery of sensitive cardholder data from the point of sale entry point through each of the various organizations and networks in the payments process all the way to the card issuer. However, while the swipe device is clearly an end point, the destination is not. There are several points where card data may need to be opened in the process, including the merchant acquirer/ processor, card brands, loyalty card services, and the card issuer. All of which create complexities that could cause problems for an authorization approval. Thus, to ensure a higher rate of approvals, end to end encryption is  just a misnomer, as decryption usually takes place at point the sensitive data is released to the processor.

With the CenPOS SaaS and Magtek hardware solution, data is encrypted at the swipe head, decrypted at CenPOS, and then routed per the merchant rules. (Again, some companies define this as end-to-end encryption because there are no hard and fast rules defining it the payments world.) This added layer of protection can bring extra peace of mind to CenPOS merchants concerned with data security. There is no additional cost for the service, however, merchants must have devices injected with the CenPOS encyrption code at a secure POS distributor terminal facility.

magtek card readersmagtek mini swipe

Above:  compatible Magtek devices. To accept credit cards, merchants need a high speed internet connection, compatible card reader, merchant account, and a CenPOS account, which includes a virtual terminal and payment gateway, among other solutions.

Contact Christine Speedy, CenPOS sales at 954-942-0483 for additional information.