Tuesday, July 15, 2014

You are Not PCI Compliant if You are Processing Credit & Debit Cards on a PC Running Windows XP

Wow - so I am discovering that a lot of folks are still running point of sale programs on computers running Windows XP. If you are in this situation and processing credit and debit cards through the computer, then you are NOT PCI compliant. No gray area here.

The reason is that operating systems that have reached "end of life" can not be PCI compliant since the operating system is no longer being updated.

What you do in this situation?

  • Get with your local computer shop or the place that you obtained your point of sale system from to get the operating system updated or the computer(s) replaced
    • Make sure that your point of sale system will run on Windows 7 or 8.1 
    • Make sure all your peripherals (receipt printer, barcode scanner, etc) will work in a Windows 7 or 8.1 environment
    • Check to see if your computer has enough memory, etc to run Windows 7 or 8.1
    • Back everything (I mean everything) up before upgrading anything
  • This is also a good time to check for other PCI compliance issues with other parts of your computer network and point of sale system
What are the costs?
  • From the folks that I have spoken with, the low end estimate from their computer or point of sale company was around $500.00. On the high end was around $15,000.

This is too expensive - are there any other options?
  • You can switch to using a separate credit card terminal/machine for authorizing credit and debit cards
    • Keep in mind that you will have to reconcile 2 reports at the end of each day as part of your end of day close out procedures
    • Having a separate credit and debit card machine opens the door for lots of errors. For example, the sale amount total is $59.50. Your employee could easily enter $5.95 or $595.50 as the total on the credit card machine (and the error would likely not be found until the end of the day or when one very happy or very upset customer contacts you).
  • Look at switching to a more affordable point of sale system with a monthly fee that includes updates and upgrades in the monthly fee.  That way you will likely not find yourself in this situation again. New generation point of sale systems like Bindo Point of Sale (www.bindopos.com) not only have an affordable monthly fee but, in most cases, you can transfer your inventory, customer, and supplier information from your system in to Bindo.
Are you in need of some free point of sale advice or help?  Over the last 15 years I have helped thousands of folks find the best point of sale solution. Besides the free help and advice, I have also secured discounts with multiple trusted point of sale providers. You can reach me using the contact form to the right, via email at kevinantosh@gmail.com or on my cell at 208.340.5632.

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