The Way Business Is Moving published by
Issue Date: October 2003

Edcon leads in secure, smartcard transaction capability

1 October 2003

JSE-listed, clothing retail company, Edcon has positioned itself at the forefront of secure smartcard payment, debit card acceptance and loyalty card capability.
In an initial deal worth R12-million, secure e-payments company Prism Holdings rolled out a large scale Point of Sale implementation of sophisticated programmable secure payment technology into Edcon stores countrywide. The rollout includes Edgars, CNA, and United Retail (Jet, Sales House, Cuthberts and Smileys).
Apart from supplying the VeriFone SC 5000 PINpads, Prism has developed an integrated payment application for the terminals into Edcon's existing POS system. According to Geordie Blaine, Edcon customer relationship manager at Prism, EMV is a global standard for the design, security, and functionality of smartcard terminals and applications.
(L-R) Peter Sutcliffe (CTO, Edcon), Geordie Blane (Prism), Bruce Pollock (GM, Prism TranSwitch Services)
(L-R) Peter Sutcliffe (CTO, Edcon), Geordie Blane (Prism), Bruce Pollock (GM, Prism TranSwitch Services)
"VISA and MasterCard have mandated that all POS terminals be EMV-compliant by early 2005. With the rollout of the VeriFone SC 5000s, Edcon is comfortably on track to beat that deadline," Blaine says.
The SC 5000 PINpads support global smartcard solutions based on EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) specifications as well as existing magnetic stripe debit and credit cards. The SC 5000 raises the level of fraud protection for PIN-based debit card transactions as it adheres to the Triple DES (3DES) encryption standards being adopted by the payment industry around the world.
The terminal also features an integrated smartcard reader with support for secure application module (SAM) slots to enable acceptance of a broad range of smartcard-based loyalty and electronic purse schemes.
Whereas magnetic stripe cards are open to the skimming of account data off the card itself, smartcards securely store that data on the silicon chip providing increased levels of transaction security to the payments industry. The EMV standard paves the way for the eventual elimination of card skimming related fraud.
Edcon's integration of the SC5000 electronic payment model at each POS terminal creates a standard platform upon which Edcon is expanding its payment options to customers.
Prism Holdings' transaction switching entity, Prism TranSwitch Services (PTSS), provides the links to the banking sector and to other third party vendors. With Edcon as a client, PTSS now switches electronic card payment messages and other value-added service transactions to over 600 stores.
Peter Sutcliffe, Chief Technology Officer of Edcon stated that their decision to purchase the VeriFone SC5000 model was based on the need to enhance the current POS infrastructure to accept EMV smartcard payments. As a result Edcon has strategically positioned their systems to participate in the national EMV pilot scheduled for early 2004.
For more information contact Gordie Blane, Prism, 082 653 2046, Peter Sutcliffe, CTO Edcon 011495 6000.

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