VP2PE and Payment Card Industry Acronyms Revealed

What does it mean to be HIPAA, PCI Level 1, VP2PE, and QIR compliant in the world of credit card processing? Learn the lingo and know what certifications to verify when choosing a payment gateway or any solution that touches payments.


If you accept credit cards, you must comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. There’s no exception. Anyone who advises that a solution means you don’t have any responsibility is dead wrong. The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) mission is to enhance payment account data security by fostering broad adoption of the PCI Security Standards. The organization was founded by American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB, MasterCard Worldwide, and Visa International. The council sets the standards, the card brands levy penalties and fines for non-compliance.

PCI Level 1 Service Provider

If a third party entity provides services for, or on behalf of a Merchant, and those services control or could impact the security of cardholder data or of transactions that are processed, that entity is a PCI Service Provider for the Merchant and falls within the Merchant’s scope of PCI DSS compliance. For example, if you accept payments online, the payment gateway is a PCI Service Provider. Or if you use a lockbox company, they must be certified. PCI Level 1 is the most common PCI Compliance certification for a service provider. You can verify if a service provider is compliant with Visa here https://www.visa.com/splisting/searchGrsp.do. If the company you’re doing business with is not on the list, ask questions.


If a software application controls or could impact the security of cardholder data or of transactions that are processed, for PCI compliance, merchants must only use Payment Application Data Security Standards that are certified. For example, a lock box company that processes transactions or a retail point of sale system. If payments are segregated from the application, then PA DSS does not apply.  In my experience, this is a weak area for merchants because not all application providers understand their requirements; some will do the standard PCI scan and say they’re PCI Compliant, but in reality, they’re using a homegrown application to process transactions which they have not certified.


There is no Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) certification for service providers and it does not fall under the purview of the PCI Council. However, a PCI Service Provider may choose to engage a third party auditor to attest compliance in order to better serve merchants in industries that require HIPAA compliance.


Organizations qualified by PCI SSC as Qualified Integrator and Reseller Companies (QIR Companies) are authorized to implement, configure, and/or support validated PA-DSS Payment Applications on behalf of merchants or service providers for purposes of performing Qualified Installations as part of the QIR Program.  Level 4 merchants were a big portion of data breaches so as of January 2017, they’re mandated to only use QIR certified individuals for their implementations and maintenance.  Level 4 are merchants with less than 20,000 Visa or MasterCard e-commerce transactions annually, and all other merchants processing up to 1 million Visa or MasterCard transactions annually. QIR applies to individuals; a company may have multiple people certified.


Point-to-point encryption (P2PE) is a standard established by the PCI Security Standards Council. The objective of P2PE is to provide a payment security solution that instantaneously converts confidential payment card (credit and debit card) data and information into indecipherable code at the time the card is swiped to prevent hacking and fraud. It is designed to maximize the security of payment card transactions in an increasingly complex regulatory environment.


VP2PE is not an official acronym of the PCI Council for Validated P2PE, but it is descriptive. The P2PE Standard defines the requirements that a “solution” must meet in order to be accepted as a PCI validated P2PE solution. A “solution” is a complete set of hardware, software, gateway, decryption, device handling, etc.  Validated solutions are listed in the PCI Council web site. They reduce PCI compliance scope and burden for merchants. For example, about 35 questions vs 359, and 4 sections instead of 12.

Today there are only 42 companies with 49 validated solutions in the entire world. Some of the solutions are only valid with a particular acquirer. For merchants seeking an agnostic VP2PE solution, the list gets very small.


CenPOS, a payment technology provider, has a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) attestation from a third party external auditor across a broad range of payment solutions offered by the company. CenPOS is listed as a registered Level 1 Service Provider on the Visa web site; and is listed on the PCI Council web site VP2PE solutions and QIR sections. The CenPOS Validated P2PE solution is compatible with many acquirers. You can also find me, Christine Speedy, under QIR certifications when searching by name. (CenPOS is not a software application so is not listed as PA DSS.

Christine Speedy, CenPOS Sales 954-942-0483, 9-5 ET is based out of South Florida and NY. CenPOS is a merchant-centric, end-to-end payments engine that drives enterprise-class solutions for businesses, saving them time and money, while improving their customer engagement. CenPOS secure, cloud-based solution optimizes acceptance for all payment types across multiple channels without disrupting the merchant’s banking relationships. When you call Christine, there is no middle man; all agreements are direct with CenPOS. As one of the very first to sell for CenPOS, I have deep experience to help merchants understand benefits and get live fast.

CenPOS Hosted Pay Page vs EBPP

I’m advising my CenPOS clients with card not present transactions to use either the hosted pay page or Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP), also known as electronic invoice presentment and payment (EIPP) due to increasingly complex rules. Plus cardholders are weary about giving out card data over the phone, and paper or digital credit card authorization forms should be abolished. Reducing friction to collect payments, while putting cardholders in control of their data, is proven to increase sales, profits and cashflow so updating procedures is a win win for you and your customers.

What is a hosted pay page?

A hosted pay enables customers to passively pay bills online via a secure web page hosted on a CenPOS server. The form can be embedded on your web site secured with an SSL certificate or you can direct customers to your custom CenPOS URL. The most common payment types CenPOS users enable are credit cards, Paypal, and ACH (echeck).

  • The burden for completing data fields to make a payment is on your customer.
  • Customers can optionally create an account and store and manage all payment methods.
  • Depending on your customer agreement, either you or the customer can use a stored token on file to initiate future transactions.
  • Customers can view prior payment history, but not actual invoices.

What is EBPP?

With EBPP, the payment request is delivered to the customer via email or text. The message includes a custom link to pay a specific bill or invoice and some of the fields are pre-filled. Customers prefer EBPP vs hosted pay page. The most common payment types CenPOS users enable are credit cards, Paypal, ACH (echeck) and wire transfer. The last is very important for international businesses to streamline bank reconciliation and match deposits to invoices.

  • Data fields, including invoice number and amount, are pre-filled to save your customer time.
  • Customers can optionally create an account to store card data, pay multiple invoices, review payment and invoice history in the CenPOS hosted portal.
  • Depending on your agreement with your customer, either you or the customer can use a stored token on file to initiate future transactions.
  • With a CenPOS ERP or accounting software integration, your records are automatically updated with payments, and reminders are automatically delivered.
  • Optional 2-way texting service has many benefits, including communicating with customers via their preferred methods- whether phone, text or email.

What are the benefits of customer initiated payments with hosted pay page or EBPP?

  • Increased efficiency to comply with new stored credential rules.
  • Reduced merchant fees for some cards (3-D Secure cardholder authentication must be enabled.)
  • Increased approvals with cardholder authentication.
  • Mitigate chargeback risk – with cardholder authentication fraud liability shifts to issuer.

In summary, either method of online payments increases security and enables customers to pay 24/7 to increase cash flow. EBPP solutions have significant additional benefits and the cost to implement is virtually nil, with many businesses experiencing an instant ROI.

Christine Speedy, CenPOS authorized reseller, 954-942-0483. CenPOS is a merchant-centric, end-to-end payments engine that drives enterprise-class solutions for businesses, saving them time and money, while improving their customer engagement. CenPOS secure, cloud-based solution optimizes acceptance for all payment types across multiple channels without disrupting the merchant’s banking relationships.

US EMV Verifone MX 915 for BB&T TSYS

Yes, we provide US EMV with chip and pin for BB&T customers wanting to use Verifone MX 915 terminals. BB&T merchants are on the First Data platform. One unique benefit of our solution on First Data is we can process retail, MOTO (mail order/telephone order), and ecommerce, including electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP), all in a single merchant account, with proper representment to mitigate chargeback risk and maximize profits.

The transaction process is different for EMV than magnetic swipe transaction, in order to support the different flow for processing chip cards.

To use CenPOS as shown in the video, merchants need high speed internet, web browser, Verifone MX 915, and CenPOS account. No other software is needed. CenPOS can be used standalone or integrated. Integrated solutions include Infor, SAP, Dynamics AX, Quickbooks etc. In all cases, CenPOS segregates payments from the application to reduce PCI Compliance scope and improve security.

TIP:  Having an EMV capable terminal does not mean a merchant is ready to accept chip cards. In the CenPOS environment, if a merchant installed a future proof, EMV capable terminal to get ready for EMV, the next step is to convert to EMV enabled. This always requires turning on EMV at the merchant account level, in addition to other steps.

If you do not own a Verifone terminal, do not purchase one on your own via EBAY or some other source. For PCI Compliance, and overall security, the purchasing and installation process must be tightly controlled.

If you’re not a current CenPOS customer, contact Christine Speedy for sales and integrations at 954-942-0483. Don’t just get ready, get EMV Compliant.

EBill payments via text or email improve PCI Compliance video

Ebill and einvoice systems send invoices vs Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment or EBPP gets you paid from that request via text or email. This critical difference has a major impact on security and PCI Compliance. This  video demo is for a standalone solution to accept online payments, including credit card. ACH and wire. Integrated solutions for Quickbooks, ERP, or other, are also available.

Video CenPOS EBPP Lite demo shows the simplicity of sending an einvoice with request for payment via email to an existing customer, that has previously made a purchase and stored their credit card. Customers can self-update their payment methods, store multiple methods. Ask for any feature, and yes, we probably support it.

A layered approach to card not present fraud protection is critical with increasing financial industry changes. In addition to the traditional address and CVV verification, cardholder authentication, IP blocking and other tools can be used to guarantee payment against fraud globally (some restrictions apply).

Eliminate credit card authorization forms with sensitive cardholder data. No one likes them, they’re time wasters for both parties, cards get expired etc. At best, they offer flimsy protection against fraud. Worse, they’re a PCI Compliance nightmare.  In the event of a data breach, it’s likely impossible to prove compliance if you use them. Regardless of how secure and loyal you think your employees are, stuff happens and when identity theft related to credit cards occurs, your business has a 50% chance of survival.

Contact Christine Speedy, 954-942-0483, 3D Merchant Services, 9-5 ET. Your merchant account, our cloud hosted payment gateway solutions.