Results of a survey on credit card security and PCI compliance among attendees of the 2008 Multi-Unit Restaurant Technology Conference indicate that the primary credit card worries in the hospitality industry are corporate reputation and customer concerns about data security. The survey was conducted by Merchant Link.

Respondents ranked “security of customer credit card data” the highest among a range of credit card transaction concerns, and 68 percent indicated that customer worries regarding credit card data security have increased over the past couple of years.

While most of the respondents reported that their companies are either payment card industry data security standards (PCI-DSS) compliant or very knowledgeable concerning compliance—and virtually all consider their restaurants’ systems to be secure—more than a third said they find PCI compliance requirements confusing and expensive.

When asked what steps they would take toward PCI compliance, a majority of respondents indicated they would look for a solution that takes data away from their POS systems and keeps it secure. Other strategies included using a software system that encrypts sensitive data; upgrading the existing POS system, using a solution that masks sensitive data; and replacing the existing POS system.

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