Is PCI About to Usher in the Age of PoM?

David Poole, Global Head of Mobile POS Solutions, MYPINPAD.  

Troy Leach, the Chief Technology Officer at the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) recently announced the creation of a new, major, payment standard, designed to enable the secure entry of PIN in to merchants’ smartphones and tablets.

Expected to be published by the end of the year, the ‘PIN on Mobile’ (PoM) standard will provide a crucial benchmark for facilitating a software-based approach for protecting card PIN entered directly in to consumer-off-the-shelf (COTS) devices for payment authentication.

This development will be welcomed by merchants looking for a low-cost alternative solution to electronic payments acceptance. In recent years, many consumers have abandoned cash in favour of cards, but not all retailers have the ability to accept card payments. MYPINPAD’s latest eBook, The Arrival of PIN on Mobile, highlights the fact that around half of the UK’s 5.4 million SME merchants do not accept card payments at all, this is often due to the capital outlay of traditional terminals. Driving down the cost of card acceptance is crucial. PoM is expected to play a major role in reducing barriers to entry for smaller retailers looking to keep up with customer demand for cashless payments.

On a global basis, the impact is even more profound. For example, digital payments in India are forecasted to grow 10x to €500bn by 2020[1]. More than ever, all retailers need access to a cost-effective solution that will enable them to accept every sale whilst enriching the in-store experience for their customers.

Entering a PIN into a mobile device can be as secure as traditional terminals. Advanced multi-factor, ‘PIN on Mobile’ (PoM) solutions create a trusted and hardened environment to protect sensitive consumer operations on tablets and smartphones. PoM allows a consumer’s card PIN to be entered directly into the merchant’s mobile device. The only hardware required is an inexpensive PCI-approved and EMV-compliant secure card reader.

With the arrival of an official PCI SSC standard for PoM, it is clear that this revolutionary technology has come of age. PoM will bring huge opportunities for both merchants and acquirers, helping to further grow the number of card payment acceptance points around the world.

COTS devices, such as smartphones and tablets, have an important role to play in the future of secure payment acceptance, both as a means of making a transaction and as a way of enabling strong, multi-factor authentication. Soon, we can expect PoM to be the preferred way for merchants to accept cashless payments.

[1] Digital payments 2020 – The Making of a $500bn ecosystem in India – BCG / Google – July 2016’