We realize that payment technology is very complex. There’s a lot of moving parts, and things are always changing. That’s why we’re now starting our efforts to get you ready for the next big deadline in payment processing: the TLS changeover deadline in June 2018.

The earlier you get started, the easier things will be for you. We’re trying to make sure you have all the information you need to be ready well ahead of the deadline—because if you’re not ready in time, it could cost you in revenue.

Here’s 5 essential questions to help you get a handle on the situation.

1. What are the basics of the situation?
On July 1, 2018, an encryption method called TLS 1.0 will no longer be approved by the Payment Card Industry (PCI). Merchants must update to a newer version of TLS before that day, or they can no longer process card payments.

2. What is TLS?
Transport Layer Security (TLS) is an encryption protocol approved by PCI.

Its details are complex, but what’s important for merchants to understand is that it keeps customer data safe through encryption and ensures no third parties can eavesdrop or tamper with messages when servers and clients communicate. It’s involved in every step of the payment chain: your POS, your processor, your acquirer—every step from you to the credit card companies and back.

3. Why was this decision made?
PCI declared that TLS 1.0 is too far out-of-date—hackers have developed too many ways to exploit it. Merchants must upgrade to a new version, either TLS 1.1 or TLS 1.2, by the July 1, 2018 timeline.

4. What happens if a merchant doesn’t update?
If a merchant doesn’t update before July 1, 2018, they will no longer be able to process card transactions as of that day.
If they wait until that date and their processing stops, it will be difficult for them to quickly determine why, exactly, it happened—they will have to call everyone involved in their payments, starting with their POS company and processor, to determine which piece needs to be updated. As they’re doing this, a merchant will likely be losing sales and revenue because they cannot process cards.

Some experts have estimated that the US economy could stand to face $20 billion in lost transactions if merchants don’t start to update in time.

5. Isn’t that far away?
While it is more than a year away, prior history with large payment tech changes indicates that merchants should plan far in advance. Most notably, the EMV chip card switchover and the SHA update created difficulty for processors and merchants alike.

It’s important to us to build awareness about TLS, and we encourage you not to delay the process. If merchants start updating soon and don’t delay the process, July 1, 2018 will come and go without any headaches. Getting started early makes all the difference.

​​5 Things You Need to Know About the TLS Deadline