Merchant Link SecurityCents

A blog that comments on the latest developments in the world of payments, payment data security and technology, PCI compliance, and more.

Posts Tagged ‘ Bunt Software ’

Last summer, Merchant Link and Bunt Software announced the launch of a next generation point-of-sale payment interface called SMPLink™, which is a cost-effective solution for extending the life of the Panasonic System Manager Pro (SMP). Following is an exclusive podcast with Don Bunt, Chief Software Architect of Bunt Software, who discusses SMPLink and its successes over the past 12 months.

By Troy Mechura

Yep, that’s right, it has expired.  On March 2, 2011 to be precise.   And unlike your milk carton, there isn’t a “grace period.”   Panasonic did not revalidate SMP to the current, more comprehensive PA-DSS rules now in effect.   However, SMP users don’t need to throw their systems down the drain, there is a very simple solution – SMPLinkTM with TransactionVaultTM.  A very easy installation and suddenly you are on your way to PCI compliance.

To date, almost 350 Panasonic sites have upgraded to SMPLink with TransactionVault.  There have been over 2 million transactions processed in a more secure manner.

SMPLink is a robust, PA-DSS validated application that runs on SMP.  We combine it with TransactionVault to remove sensitive payment card data and the result is state-of-the-art technology running on SMP.  By the way…TransactionVault replaces the credit card data with a token that is useless to hackers.  SMPLink and TransactionVault combined provide powerful protection to the POS.  We don’t believe SMP users should continue to use SMP alone to process payments without SMPLink.

Of course I am a fan, but don’t just ask me.  Check out what others have said here.

All in the Family

October 11, 2010 | No Comments | News

The Missing Link in SMP

Originally posted to Retail Reseller News

Reselling Panasonic’s System Manager Pro (SMP) and growing worried about PCI now that the vendor no longer supports the software? An interesting third-party solution has been developed by Bunt Software (Rockford, IL), which works in concert with the hosted payment gateway at Merchant Link (Silver Spring, MD). Entitled SMPLink, and launched in July, this new middleware exploits Merchant Link’s TransactionVault for tokenization of consumer data, meets PA-DSS requirements, and even supports gift cards. So far, Bunt Software has sold about 400 licenses, with 11 Panasonic dealers marketing to their customers.

In an interview with RRN.Com, Don Bunt said he spent 20 years developing POS software for Panasonic before launching his company. “Without SMPLink, customers would have had to replace their POS software, maybe even hardware,” Bunt suggested. “All of the familiar QSRs are using SMP in some form or another–Wendy’s, Arby’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, KFC, Cold Stone Creamery. With SMPLink, merchants can continue operations without worry until such time as they want to replace the POS.”

“I’m working with Panasonic dealers who are already servicing these customers for the long haul,” Bunt continued. “I’ve built margin into the product, and there’s also installation charges for them.” Bunt Software helps dealers with the installation process and provides two-tier support for Merchant Link. Now negotiations are underway with other POS companies to provide middleware similar to SMPLink for their PCI compliance needs, RRN.Com was told.

By Troy Mechura

The two major payment gateways that provide services to Panasonic SMP users have taken a leadership role in the industry by expressing serious concerns about the security of SMP.  We haven’t heard much from other members of the payments community or even from the software provider itself.  We have heard that many users have been charged with PCI non-compliance fees on top of their regular monthly fees.  While everyone is working hard to ensure that only PA-DSS validated applications are traversing their payment networks, SMP is flying under the radar and getting little attention.

A Little Background…

SMP version 3.0 (only) was grandfathered in under the old PABP rules for 24 months (set to expire 11-15-10) but there is no mention of this grandfathering on the new comprehensive PA-DSS list even though other payment applications were transferred over.  Was this an oversight?  It is a pretty important issue to go unnoticed.  Regardless, we have seen very few merchants using version 3.0.  Most are still using 2.x versions or the last version – 3.5.   Therefore, the vast majority of SMP users are not using a version that is listed on either the outdated PABP list or the new PA-DSS list.

No one seems to want to take a stand on the security of SMP, except the two major payment gateways.  As fines and penalties go, both are in a relatively neutral position in the payment stream and both have expressed grave concerns.  Why such silence from everyone else? And who will be responsible in case of a breach?  Some of the first questions that will likely arise are:

  • What version of SMP were you running at the time of the breach?
  • Where is that version listed as a validated application?
  • Did your dealer, processor, or auditor tell you it was OK to run that version?
  • Did you get this guidance in writing?

There is one thing for certain, SMPLink – built by Bunt Software to install on SMP systems – passed the rigorous PA-DSS validation audit and is compliant according to PA-DSS standards.  Combine this with Merchant Link’s TransactionVault® tokenization technology, and SMP users can run state-of-the-art technology on their Panasonic SMP systems without buying new hardware.

Merchants should not mistake silence for security when it comes to their SMP system.  Visit today to learn more.

By Don Bunt, President of Bunt Software

July 1st brought some significant changes impacting merchants using Panasonic SMP. New rules regarding card practices took effect and included PCI DSS changes as developed by the PCI Security Standards Council.

When Panasonic decided to concentrate on their workstation business last year, they discontinued support for their software products, including the System Manager Pro (SMP) point-of-sale software. That left nearly 3,500 merchants and quick service restaurants (QSR) at a loss. As the SMP software is no longer certified to the current PCI rules, merchants using SMP fell out of compliance with PCI.

Merchants failing to comply with the new standards can incur substantial fines, or worse, be prevented from accepting credit cards.

This is serious business. I am not trying to scare you. Yes, of course, I have something to sell, but the fact is that without utilizing PCI compliant POS software, merchants are facing exposure to a possible breach of cardholder data.

The good news is that Bunt Software and Merchant Link have partnered to create a PCI compliant solution for Panasonic SMP users. SMPLink™ is a payment interface that replaces the existing SMP credit interface. The software is immediately available for merchants and QSRs.

In addition, SMPLink has been PA-DSS validated. A key standard under PA-DSS is removing sensitive data after authorization. Using Merchant Link’s TransactionVault® technology, credit card data is tokenized and removed from the POS system, thus, lowering the risk of data breaches and dramatically reducing PCI compliance efforts for the merchant.

For users of Panasonic SMP that are looking to make the switch, this is an easy solution that will allow you to remain PCI compliant and will give you the peace of mind that sensitive data is secure.

P.S. I have also created a forum called Old Skool Pos Forum where owners and dealers of old school point-of-sales systems can chat and interact as well as ask for support.

By Troy Mechura

Panasonic recently decided to stop supporting the Panasonic System Manager Pro (SMP), leaving approximately 3,500 merchants and Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) scrambling for an alternative point-of-sale (POS) credit interface. But you can relax SMP merchants and dealers! Merchant Link and Bunt Software have announced the development of a next generation point-of-sale payment interface called SMPLink.

Installation of the SMPLink interface means you can extend and breathe new life into your SMP System and avoid investing thousands of dollars in a new POS system. You will also get the added benefits of TransactionVault®, Merchant Link’s tokenization technology that removes credit card data from the POS system, lowering the risk of data breaches and dramatically reducing PCI compliance efforts.

For more information on SMPLink, please visit Bunt Software. In addition, you can read the full press release here.

Are you concerned about your Panasonic SMP system becoming obsolete soon? Join the discussion and post your comments below.