Swiping your debit or credit card at your favorite retail store or an ATM initiates the transfer of information from the magnetic stripe on the back of the card to the terminal. But what happens to the information on the credit card processing machine itself?
Credit and debit cards are one of the most common forms of payment in today’s fast-paced consumer landscape. As consumers, we understand what we need to do with our old credit cards once they are no longer necessary, but what about the credit card processing machines themselves?
How Credit Card Processing Machines Work
The technology behind reading credit and debit cards has improved by leaps and bounds the last couple of years. While we have the ability to read credit cards without swiping into a machine, magnetic strips still work and are still used widely.
The electronic devices designed to read stored information from a magnetic card do so either when someone swipes the card through a slot in the reading device or holds the card next to a magnetic card reader. About a hundred bytes of information can be stored on a magnetic card.
When the card is swiped through the terminal the information on the card is sent to the bank in order to complete the transaction. Your information is transmitted through either a dedicated network connection or a modem phone connection.
The computers then use this information to verify the account of the cardholder to make sure they have enough credit to cover the purchase.
What Happens To All That Data?
All credit card processing machines retain historical batch reports and banking information that can be retrieved for long periods of time. When retailers and businesses are ready for a new terminal, properly discarding the old one is key to protecting not only business information, but the information of customers as well. The information held within these tiny computers can easily be compromised if obsolete credit card processing machines end up in the trash or left aside for wandering hands to steal.
Don’t Discard. Destroy.
More and more businesses are moving towards technologically advanced point of sale processing equipment. If you are ready to get rid of your own terminal, remember, federal law governs the management and disposal of electronic terminals that collect, store or transmit personal and business financial data. If you are carelessly throwing these pieces of equipment in the trash, you run the risk of non-compliance, not to mention opening yourself up to a serious data breach.
Onsite data destruction is the best defense against loss of private data from credit card processing machines and point of sale terminals. Legal Shred can come to your place of business and safely and securely destroy your old equipment so that you remain compliant and keep your customers safe.
The equipment we use renders old equipment useless. After physical destruction, we insure your destroyed equipment is disposed of in an environmentally safe and ethical manner.
Contact us today and let us help you with your old credit card processing machines.
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