Symbol Upgrades to Meet New VISA Security Standards

Sean Michael Kerner

Symbol Technologies introduced a payment transaction terminal Monday that complies with Visa International’s new encryption requirements. Visa Online PIN security requirements support a new, higher grade of transaction security and is scheduled to take full effect in 2005.

The new Symbol PD 8500 is Windows CE .NET-based and is a signature-capture and payment transaction system with an interactive color display. The IP addressable device is targeted for retail enterprises as well as financial institution and healthcare point of service (POS) applications.

“Theyre (VISA) basically raising the level of security across the entire transaction processing network starting with POS and with ATM,” Scott Allan, vice president and general manager of Symbol’s payment and kiosk business unit, told

Symbols strategy is to move away from proprietary systems that are prevalent in POS offerings in favor of standards based systems like Windows CE .NET. According to Allan, the move to such a system reduces costs and improves scalability.

“It plays into the CIO’s desire to deploy products that solve today’s business problems but dont lock them out of how their business can evolve,” he said.

Integration with existing systems is a critical concern for retail enterprises and its something that the new Symbol device deals with in a number of ways. In addition to a suite of software tools, the device is IP addressable, including onboard Ethernet and wireless (WiFi) connectivity.

“Were seeing interest from retailers to use that as a means to bypass legacy or traditional point of sale and move it more into the IP management type of environment,” Allan said.

In addition to the PD 8500 device, the company also made two other product announcements at the National Retail Federation trade show being held in New York. The Clientele 1:1 Solution Suite is a new in-store software-based system to enable retailers to offer personalized service to loyal customers. The software runs on Symbol devices and is driven by tools founded on retail selling best practices. The software includes a full range of sales force automation tools.

Symbol also announced the MK 1100 Micro Kiosk, a new Web-enabled, self service in-store kiosk. The micro-kiosk is designed to help improve the shopping experience and improve efficiency by giving employees access to real-time information to help drive sales.

“There is a lot of innovation that we’re investing in all the areas of our business,” said Allan, who explained Symbol, as part of its “capture, move and manage” methodology, is looking to unlock the full potential of its range of mobile computing devices, data capture devices and switches in an effort to be more of a one-stop shop for strategic store level infrastructure.

“Were investing in the value-adds that connect all these devices and make the sum greater than the parts,” he said.

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