Halfords protects customer data with the help of Secure Retail

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Halfords, the UK retailer of automotive, leisure and cycling products, has reduced its scope for Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance and improved the speed of service to its customers, by working with Secure Retail to put in place a fully managed end-to-end payment solution across its retail estate.

The new system has already had a significant impact on purchasing speeds, lowering transaction times by an average of 19 seconds at the payment stage. The project has seen Secure Retail replace 80 per cent of Halfords' payment terminals with 2,500 PIN entry devices (PEDs), which were rolled-out across 420 stores in just seven weeks, and implement a managed service and payment gateway from FIS.

Peter Lawrence, Business Process Consultant at Halfords, said "After an initial meeting there was no doubt in our minds that Secure Retail was the right company to take us on this journey and ensure that we are prepared for when P2PE becomes mandatory. "We felt comfortable with the team and their ability to deliver a service that would meet our requirements - with the added value of tethers and an understanding of the P2PE process, which is a big factor in reducing the scope of PCI compliance."

Secure Retail configured the terminal software to full P2PE (point-to-point encryption) compliance, as set by the PCI Security Standard Council, which secures the transfer of customer card holder data. They also equipped the terminals with anti-tamper tethers to increase physical as well as digital security.

Lawrence added; "After extensive market research, Halfords selected the VeriFone VX820 PED, which had additional features on top of the core functionality, such as a coloured screen which was far superior to the other PEDs on the table. It also meant that we had a wider pool of managed service providers to choose from, as VeriFone and Secure Retail are preferred hardware providers." He continued; "On a technological level, moving to a managed payment software service meant that we no longer required internal knowledge of payment processing to carry out transactions, which allows us to concentrate on customer service."

Derek Hutchinson, Head of Retail Sales at Secure Retail, said; "Halfords wanted a solution that would involve as few changes as possible during the years after implementation, which meant they needed to find an end-to-end package with advanced P2PE functionality to reduce scope for PCI DSS and allow for future modifications."

The new platform is a long-term security solution that can be updated as new payment technologies emerge. Next on the agenda for Halfords is the application for a MasterCard contactless payment accreditation, to allow even more customers to benefit from its improved transaction process.

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