HostedPCI vs Smart Virtual Terminal review

I received a cold call from a representative of HostedPCI so I decided to review what they offer. HostedPCI sales pitch is to offer an quick and easy way to become PCI DSS compliant by offering an interface to your existing applications. Basically, their ‘vault’ receives the payment information, tokenizes it, and from that point, only the token is used for processing payments., regardless of the connection interface such as authorize.net.

The core services are currently call center and checkout express. The call center application changes the customer over to a secure payment call session where the consumer enters their card information. Then the operator gets a pop up on the screen with the token ID which can then be used for processing. This removes the operator from hearing the card information, improving security, and also making it easier to comply with regulations regarding recording payment information over the phone. Is this a one time use token? Is the customer told their card data is being stored? How long is it stored for? Whether they exist now or later, there are certain to be new regulations coming regarding the rules for storing, even with a secure token.

The company 2138617 Ontario Inc., dba HostedPCI appears to be Canadian, though it’s not entirely transparent since there is no address on the web site.

It is not a gateway and the salesperson said you’d still need one to accept payments online. I have to wonder, what is the real value of this application vs our Smart Virtual Terminal?

Tokenization – Yes, they both have it. HostedPCI tokenizes every transaction.  Our Smart VT only tokenizes data if there is a need for a repeat sale, and the merchant can issue an approval form for signature, perfect for B2B needs. There are so many other benefits for ours vs theirs (see our token billing page), there is really no comparison. Winner: Smart Virtual Terminal.

Call center – HostedPCI wins hands down because we don’t offer any voice related services. However, you can explore 3rd party options that already exist and if it makes business sense, we’ll integrate.

Gateway– HostedPCI integrates with gateways, ours Smart VT replaces them, eliminating gateway fees. Winner- open to interpretation.

Shopping cart integration– Hosted PCI Checkout Express uses an iFrame and also offers an API, same as our Smart VT. Hosted PCI has ready made API’s for Drupal and Magento;  We’ve never had a customer ask for this so we haven’t made one specifically for this purpose yet. Winner: open to interpretation.

Reporting: HostedPCI doesn’t mention any and our Smart Vt is more robust than anything else on the market. There is no comparison. Winner: Smart Virtual Terminal.

Flexibility: HostedPCI is developing new applications. Smart Virtual Terminal is ready today for Kiosk, EBPP, ecommerce, web payments, mobile, and retail POS and accepts loyalty, credit/debit, check, check guarantee, ACH and other payment methods. Numerous ground breaking features are in the works. Winner” Smart Virtual Terminal.

With prices that start at $.30 per transaction for HostedPCI, if you have an ecommerce PCI Compliance problem and spend less than $100 per month in gateway fees now,  then HostedPCI may be a viable option for you. If you have a call center, check the legal requirements in your state on what’s allowed, including phone script requirements. Smart Virtual Terminal provides significantly more value for mid size merchants at competitive prices (non-published).