Improving Credit Card Data Security Using Full Point to Point Encryption

2017 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Hennepin County, Minn., MN

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About the Program

Category: Financial Management (Best in Category)

Year: 2017

In 2016, Hennepin County completed the rollout of their full Point to Point Encryption (P2PE) system to offer a new way for residents to interact with the county. Residents making payments to the county can now use various credit cards securely. Credit card fraud is a growing problem for businesses and customers. Point to Point Encryption is the most secure solution that is available today. Hennepin County’s solution exceeds the standards set by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS). Hennepin is the first county in the US to use a full P2PE solution for payments. Point to Point encryption involves encrypting the data at the point of interaction and it uses tokenization, which replaces the user’s credit card data with a token, so that no card holder data is stored on or transmitted by the county’s machines. In addition, Hennepin County’s solution involved an entire change to their business processes. Prior to this roll-out, departments in Hennepin County either did not offer the ability to pay with a credit card, or they used a method that was not as secure. The Hennepin County Point of Sale (POS) team made changes to the configuration of their enterprise level cashiering system, iNovah by System Innovators, and worked with Elavon and US Bank, to design the P2PE system to meet the county’s needs. Through improvements in business processes and creative solutions in equipment, Hennepin County staff never need to handle a resident’s credit card during the transaction, even in secure facilities like the Department of Corrections. This speeds up the transactions and protects the county from potential tampering. Hennepin county staff also worked to find solutions that meet accessibility standards and allow access for all of our residents to enjoy the convenience of using a credit card.

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