Make Your Voice Heard!

We’ve been polling our customers to find out how/why/when you contact Shift4 Support, and we have an update for you! Below is a breakdown of your responses so far.

When Your System Goes Offline

For our merchant customers who have the Universal Transaction Gateway® (UTG®) installed with DOLLARS ON THE NET®, we can offer help in processing transactions quickly when your connection to the Internet is lost, and keep your lines moving when things get busy. Shift4’s Secure Offline Stand-In™ (SOS) offers UTG users faster and safer offline processing of transactions.

Online Payments: No Need to Fear

Bloomberg Businessweek recently ran an article about e-commerce merchants choosing to not offer online card payments out of fear, titled “Online Merchants Don’t Want Credit Card Payments.”

Executive Insight: EMV is Coming – Gradually

This post was written by Shift4’s VP of Business Development, Bob Lowe. Over the course of his impressive career, Bob has worked on EMV roll-out projects in Europe, Canada, and the U.S.

Are you preparing for EMV? We hope that by now you at least have it on your radar and are starting to weigh your options for implementation. But before you get too deep into it, we’d like to bring a few things to your attention.

Giving Back Through Golf

There’s something wonderful about being able to give back; it’s even more wonderful when you get to give back while enjoying one of your favorite pastimes. Shift4 was once again able to combine giving and golf as we sponsored this year’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open golf tournament, played in our own backyard at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.

Hiring for the Holidays? 5 Security Tips You Need to Know

With the holidays fast approaching, you’re probably beginning to bring on some extra help for the busy fourth quarter. We’d like to take this time to remind you to think about security when on-boarding new team members so your team works safely and securely even when things get hectic. Unfortunately, criminals understand this time of year means businesses are busier and therefore more distracted, and they know that minimally trained seasonal staff are easier to scam. Here are five important tips to help make this time a safe and happy holiday season for your business:

Gift Cards for the Holidays – IT'S YOUR CARD®

What’s the ultimate stocking stuffer? Keys to a new car, of course. But only slightly less awesome are gift cards.

Consumer surveys show that since 2007, gift cards have been the most requested item on holiday wish lists, and in 2011 (the most recent year for which records are available) gift cards accounted for 18% of all holiday gift purchases.

Important Updates from Customer Service

We want to take a few minutes to tell you about some of the upgrades and changes we’ve got going on. We’ve made updates to the Universal Transaction Gateway® (UTG®) and to several payment device integrations to improve speed and usability, added new administrator tutorial videos to DOLLARS ON THE NET®, and our point-to-point encryption (P2PE) technology was recently validated by Coalfire®, an IT Governance, Risk, and Compliance (IT GRC) firm.

IE7 and Compatibility Mode No Longer Supported

Approximately two weeks ago, Shift4 ended support for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7. Users still running this outdated, and therefore unsecure, browser will not be able to access DOLLARS ON THE NET® until they upgrade to a more current version.

PCI Community Meeting Recap

It’s no secret that Shift4 and the PCI Council don’t always see eye-to-eye. While we may not like every standard they issue, we recognize the efforts they have made to standardize credit card security best practices around the world. We also understand that the QSAs they train are the people who ultimately decide whether our merchant customers get the simplified PCI experience that we promise in our marketing materials.

Tokenization IS Encryption - NOT! - Part 4

This is the first addendum post of a three (now four)-part series written by Steve Sommers, Shift4’s SVP of Applications Development. The first three sections can be found here, here, and here.

Incremental Authorizations: Not for Restaurants and Bars

Payment processors and the card brands all too often fail to consider the food and beverage (F&B) industry when writing their rule books. The result is that F&B merchants occasionally find themselves equipped with tools that seem to fit their business, only to find out that using them would cost them in the long run.

Last Chance: Join Us in the Birdies4Shriners Fundraiser

You all know about our Birdies4Shriners fundraiser, right? It’s the program we started last year to pair our love of golf and our desire to help children in need. It functions like a walk-a-thon where Shift4 and our partners, customers, and friends join together to make a contribution for each birdie, eagle, and ace made by Shift4-sponsored PGA TOUR professionals Ryan Moore and Scott Piercy. Last year, the campaign raised an amazing $75,000, which we presented directly to the Shriners Hospitals for Children during the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Shift4's Most Useful Web Pages

There are approximately 500 unique pages within the Shift4 website, so don’t feel bad if you haven’t visited all of them. Many of the pages are designed to introduce merchants to Shift4 and explain what we do. For example, from our DOLLARS ON THE NET® page, you can learn why we call our product a Gateway+ (hint, because it does a lot more than a regular payment gateway) and get in-depth information on all of the features that makes DOLLARS ON THE NET the fastest and most secure choice in payment processing for merchants.

MICROS® Users, Check with Us Before Buying New Hardware

Shift4 has a longstanding and strong relationship with MICROS. We have spent years developing integrations and adding security to different MICROS terminals, and we do our best to remain at the forefront of advancing technologies.

3 Major Mobile Mistakes Merchants Make

Mobile payments technologies are continuing to grab market share and are popping up in more and more businesses. To most of the public, the ability to take payments on a smart phone or tablet seems like a clever advancement that simplifies the payment process and potentially makes shopping quicker and easier. But to those of us who are more security minded, they’re scary little devices that come with a host of new issues that need to be thought through.

Summertime Fraud

It always seems that the busiest times of the year are also the times when we hear about the most “trusted-employee” fraud – that’s when an employee uses their access to defraud the company, usually by providing overstated or fraudulent credits. Around the holidays, we often put out a warning to our merchant customers to be extra vigilant, and now that summer is here, we are giving the same message: be careful and watch for suspicious activity!

Logins and Passwords and Tools, Oh My!

How do you rank on password security? Here’s Gizmodo’s list of the most common passwords of 2012. (Most common means least secure.) If your DOLLARS ON THE NET® password is on this list, change it today!

PCI's Not-So-Open Global Forum

This post was written by Shift's Director of Information Security, Stephen Ames, CISA, CISSP.

I just wrapped up onsite PA-DSS validations with my PA-QSA this month and a question came up about PA-DSS Requirement 4.2.7, which aligns with DSS Requirement 10.2, which is all about user access. Just so we’re all on the same page, you need to know that none of Shift4’s PA-DSS applications have a user database; hence, all of PA-DSS Requirements 3 and 4 are not in scope for us. That’s the way it has been since Visa’s PABP days and beginning with Version 1 of the PA-DSS.

Shift4's Data Center Expansion Means Even Faster Processing

We are in the process of adding an additional data center to further enhance our processing reliability, redundancy, and speed. As our merchant customer base continues to grow, we need to expand to accommodate the increased number of transactions. With this expansion, we saw an opportunity to improve the system in place to cool and maintain the ecosystem of our DOLLARS ON THE NET® data servers.

Updates on Shift4’s Innovative Integrations and Partnership

The Shift4 team has been hard at work developing integrations that bring the latest payment processing security technologies in DOLLARS ON THE NET® to the top POS/PMS solutions. We’ve recently announced integrations with MICROS, AlfaPeople, and AutoClerk. Here’s an overview of some of the new Shift4 integrations and partnerships.

News From the Shift4 Development Team

Our Development team is continuously working on updates, upgrades, and new features for our DOLLARS ON THE NET® merchant customers. Below are some of the newest features available to you.

Processor Update Brings New Technologies & Challenges

One of the major processors we work with recently released a new specification that required Shift4 to recertify with them. New specs often bring new technologies and features for you, our merchant customers. With that in mind, we went through the work required to update and modify our offering to match their new specs and expected the transition – like the vast majority of our other changes – to be simple and transparent for merchants.

Visit Us at HITEC!

HITEC, the world’s largest hospitality technology tradeshow, is taking place June 24-27 in Minneapolis. Since we know that many of you attend HITEC each year, we thought this would be a good time to give you a heads-up on what we’ll be doing at the show and where and when you can catch our presentations.

Reversing Holds on Debit

Shift4’s world-class support team handles hundreds of calls each month and helps our merchant customers walk through everything from how to settle a batch to how to add a new account administrator. The most common question they receive, and one that we’ve covered a few times before in our newsletter, is “How do I reverse the holds that are placed on my customers’ cards when they pay with debit?”

We Couldn't Have Done It Without You!

We have been enjoying some recent recognition for our strides in technology innovation and commitment to our community. One of our business partners surprised us with an award at a recent tradeshow and Nevada Business Magazine chose us for their Family Owned Business Awards.

Credit Unions Push to Increase Breach Liability for Merchants

This post was written by Steve Sommers, Shift4's SVP of Applications Development. His insights and expertise are shared regularly on his personal blog, http://paymenttidbits.blogspot.com.

The Value of the Shift4 Merchant ID

You would never think to hand over your personal checking account number to the clerk at a store, right? You’d use your debit card – a protected representation of your checking account – instead. But are you as careful with your business’ data? Just as your personal bank issues you a checking account number, your merchant bank assigns you a merchant account number. These merchant account numbers should be protected just as you protect your personal financial data.

Security Beyond Compliance

Just because you can check the right boxes on your annual PCI assessment does not mean you are immune from data breaches. You need Security Beyond Compliance™.

Periodic Billing

Shift4’s sales team is quick to point out that we “drink our own Kool-Aid.” In other words, we don’t just sell DOLLARS ON THE NET®, we use it. So when Shift4’s accounts-receivable staff logs in to bill our customers, they go straight to Periodic Billing.

4VT® – More Than a Virtual Terminal

If you’ve been a Shift4 merchant customer for a long time, you may have heard it called NetCharge, but these days we call it 4VT® (short for Shift4’s virtual terminal). Whatever name you know it by, 4VT is a tool that gives you complete flexibility in how, when, and where you accept payments.

Security Your Way

Shift4 is all about flexibility. We provide our merchant customers with the ability to choose and change banks and processors at will. We offer you customizable security solutions that adapt to your unique environments. We also offer a number of configurable options related to the security of your DOLLARS ON THE NET® accounts.

Our "Ties That Bind" Contest Winner Announced!

Over the last year, we’ve collected stories from our clients about being fed up with their merchant banks. We made it into a contest called the “Ties That Bind.” The person who shared our favorite story of woe would win a trip to Las Vegas, home of Shift4's headquarters! Helen Lyons submitted her experience and we chose her story as the winning one.

5 Tips Every Auditor Should Know

Todd Bonneville’s first exposure to auditing and accounting came during high school when he worked as a retail store manager. After studying finance and accounting at UNLV, Todd accepted a position as Shift4’s accounting clerk in 2002 and earned a number of promotions before becoming our VP of Finance and a member of our executive team. These tips are drawn from his experience.

Always be "Mal-Aware"

Cyber attacks are becoming more and more common. The Internet has been abuzz with them for years, but in the past week, we have seen some of the largest attacks ever launched. Shift4’s Information Security team monitors these threats and has asked us to bring one of them to your attention, as we would hate to see it affect any of our merchant customers.

HTNG, We Hear You!

HTNG, in response to your release of “Secure Payments Framework for Hospitality,” let us cut right to the chase and say, “thank you.” Thank you for pointing out the things that we are doing well, and for making the technology we introduced (tokenization) an industry standard. More importantly, thank you for being very clear in the areas where you’d like to see us step up and deliver new solutions. We hear you. We appreciate your candor. And we’re on it.

Shift4 Support Strives for One-Call Resolutions

Your most recent batch isn’t transmitting properly, so you call Shift4 Support and say, “Help! I’ve got a problem!”

How Superbatches Can Delay Your Funding

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No. It’s Superbatch!

OK, Superbatch is not really a crime-fighting hero. Instead, a superbatch is – much like the name implies – an extremely large batch of transactions being sent for settlement. It is made up of all the individual batches that Shift4 receives in a day for a certain processor.

What's New with DOLLARS ON THE NET®?

The Development team at Shift4 is dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date, user-friendly programs and Web pages for our products. We listen to your feedback and constantly strive to make the improvements most important to you – our merchant customers! Over the past few months, we’ve focused on updating our DOLLARS ON THE NET® Help page, expanding P2PE support, and adding a few customizable features for our 4Word® users. We’re also proud to announce that along with our current Canadian EMV certification with Global Payments, we now are also certified to process Canadian EMV with American Express.

6 Steps to Find the Best MSP or Processor for Your Business

Shift4’s neutrality gives our merchant customers the ability to change banks and processors whenever business needs dictate.

4titude's Most Wanted

Shift4’s 4titude blog has been online for a little more than two years. Looking back, we have put together 110 articles highlighting new products and features; clearing up misinformation and rumors in the payments industry; teaching you how to avoid fines, fees, and downgrades; and sharing a little bit about Shift4 and the projects and events that we have participated in.

So Much More than DOLLARS ON THE NET

As we attend user group events with many of our POS/PMS partners, we are both surprised and saddened by how little many of our merchant customers know about what Shift4 does for them. Some of them know us only as DOLLARS ON THE NET®; others know our name but are not sure what we do… either way, they’re often missing out on great features and functions that Shift4 's products offer, simply because they don’t know all of our capabilities.

System Alerts: How Shift4 Keeps You Informed

Shift4’s system alerts help you monitor and diagnose issues with your payment processing quickly and easily. Issues and outages across the industry (from banks, processors, telecommunications providers, etc.) are posted to the System Alerts page of our website and to our Twitter account in near real-time as the information comes to our Support staff.

Why Shift4 is Not (Yet) a PCI-Validated Provider For P2PE

Update 4/19/17:Shift4’s point-to-point encryption solution, True P2PE, is now PCI validated. We were able to build a unique solution that met the PCI SSC validation requirements without compromising our own high standards for speed, security, and reliability. Because of this, some of the information in this article (which was published in 2013) may not reflect our current stance and policies on the topic.

Our Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) Solution Now Available

We’ve all heard about the benefits of P2PE: removing card data from your entire network and limiting it to the swipe device brings big payoffs in the form of scope reduction and simplified PCI compliance. Well, we’re happy to report that we now have customers actively running P2PE transactions, and we’re ready for you to join them.

Tame the BEAST (Browser Exploit Against SSL & TLS)

Shift4 works hard to help merchants understand the challenges and threats that they face in the payments processing world. We typically try to explain all the information we publish in plain English so that you don’t have to be an IT genius to understand it. We must warn you: this article breaks from that tradition.

Phasing Out Traditional Offline Mode

We’re happy to report that, contrary to the Mayan Calendar, the world didn’t end on December 21, 2012. However, during this first quarter of 2013, the world of traditional offline mode in DOLLARS ON THE NET® will be ending. Over the next few months, we will be upgrading all users who are still using traditional offline mode to Enhanced Offline Mode, which has been used heavily for more than two years.

3 Steps to Smooth Payment Processing

In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, here are three tips we hope you’ll put into practice to make sure your payment processing goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible.