Credit Card Processing, Security and PCI Compliance

Vantiv’s OmniShield Assure


April 06, 2020

If you’re a business using Vantiv (now WorldPay), you may be wondering about a fee for OmniShield Assure on your bill.

OmniShield Assure is Vantiv’s PCI and security program. The company says that the main benefits are improved security and reduced financial risk. If you’re paying for the program, you’ll probably see it on your statement among other monthly fees.

What is OmniShield Assure?

Most processors offer a security suite, and OmniShield Assure is Vantiv’s. The service is designed to improve security for your transactions, help you achieve PCI compliance, and reduce your financial risk from situations such as data breaches. The company offers this video introduction:

On Vantiv’s website, the company refers to it as “4-point protection.” The 4 “points” are EMV acceptance, encryption, PCI compliance, and breach assistance.

The company offers this infographic touting the importance of security and highlighting the OmniShield Assure solution.

OmniShield Assure infographic

EMV Acceptance and Encryption

Given that EMV chip cards use different technology than old magnetic stripe cards, some processors consider EMV acceptance to be a separate benefit that they offer. That’s apparently the case with Vantiv, as they list EMV acceptance capability as one of the features of OmniShield Assure.

The EMV acceptance feature really just refers to accepting EMV cards. While it’s true that chip cards more secure for in-person (“dipped”) transactions, OmniShield doesn’t offer anything specific beyond that for chip card benefits. You’ll still need a chip-capable terminal to accept EMV chip cards.

OmniShield offers point-to-point encryption for swiped and dipped transactions, which can reduce your risk of fraud. Card payment experts recommend encryption in order to help safeguard sensitive customer data. Traditionally, magstripe cards have not been encrypted at the point of sale, so the ability to encrypt swiped transactions can be helpful.

PCI Assist

Most businesses have heard of PCI compliance, but aren’t sure how to become compliant. Vantiv’s PCI Assist through OmniShield helps you achieve compliance by offering tools and guidance.

OmniShield uses security expert Trustwave’s PCI Manager to offer an online portal for PCI compliance. You’ll have access to monthly network scans, security “to-do” lists, and assistance filling out the PCI self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ). Once compliant, you’ll receive a Certificate of Compliance, but note that PCI compliance is not a one-time process. Rather, it’s an ongoing commitment to security and you’ll need to fill out the SAQ yearly.

Note that every business that accepts credit cards must comply with PCI requirements. It doesn’t matter if you take one credit card a month or have a million dollars in monthly sales.

Furthermore, Vantiv has been known to charge PCI non-compliance fees to businesses that aren’t PCI compliant. You’ll be charged every month that you’re not PCI compliant. Since processing costs are already expensive, avoiding an unnecessary fee is a good idea.

Breach Assistance

Even if you’re PCI compliant, you may still have a data breach. Hackers can target your systems or a rogue employee might cause issues on-site. If you have a breach, it’s going to be expensive. In addition to fines, you’ll need to pay to update your hardware and software after a breach and may be on the hook for costs such as issuing new cards to customers affected by the breach.

OmniShield’s data breach protection helps reduce your financial liability. Vantiv states you’ll be covered up to $100,000 per location or $500,000 per breach event. (Part of the $100k per location amount includes up to $25,000 for upgrades to hardware or software.)

OmniShield Assure Costs

As with most things in credit card processing, there isn’t one set cost. Different processors can charge different amounts for OmniShield Assure.

At CardFellow, we have the unique opportunity to regularly review statement. We have seen the fee listed on statements at $24.95 per month, but your specific cost may be more or less depending on the processor you work with.

OmniShield Assure cost

You can check your statement for OmniShield Assure (or abbreviations of the name) to see what you’re being charged. You can also ask your processing company directly.

Are security suites worth the cost?

It depends. Some businesses find that they’re able to maintain secure systems without an additional monthly fee. If you’re already familiar with PCI and utilize the latest security technology (such as tokenization and encryption) you may not need to add a security suite.

It’s also worth noting that security suites may appeal to some businesses because of the data breach protection. However, be sure to look into what’s actually covered and any liability you have before assuming you’ll be taken care of in all breach situations. Some policies have exceptions to coverage. Additionally, if the primary reason you’re considering a security suite is for breach protection, it may be worth your time to get quotes for breach protection alone. There’s no reason to pay for additional bundled security suite features if you don’t plan to use them.

Note than in some cases, you may not have a choice regarding security suites. Some processors may require the suite (and associated monthly fee) if you process through them. In those cases, you can either pay for the security suite, or look for a new processor that doesn’t enforce mandatory security suites.

Other Security Programs

The OmniShield program is available to businesses that process payments through Vantiv. (This includes direct accounts with Vantiv and accounts through Vantiv resellers.) If you use a different processor, you’ll need to utilize their security solution instead of OmniShield.

Fortunately, the large direct processors and some of the larger resellers all offer security suites. First Data offers TransArmor, while TSYS provides Guardian Security Suite. The programs offer similar benefits, but be sure to check with your processor for specifics. Your processor will also be able to provide a quote for adding a security suite to your existing processing, or a full processing quote plus security suite if you’re looking for a new processor.

If you need assistance finding the most competitive secure processing, start by filling our CardFellow’s free quote request form. You’ll get instant quotes from multiple companies to review at your convenience. CardFellow experts are on hand to answer questions and help you find the right fit for your needs. It’s fast, free, and private – we don’t sell your contact info or provide it to processors, so you won’t get pesky sales calls. Try it now!

Ben Dwyer

BY Ben Dwyer

Ben Dwyer began his career in the processing industry in 2003 on the sales floor for a Connecticut‐based processor. As he learned more about the inner‐workings of the industry, rampant unethical practices, and lack of assistance available to businesses, he cut ties with his employer and started a blog where he could post accurate information about credit card processing. As the blog gained in popularity, Ben began directly assisting merchants in their search for a processor. Ben believes in empowering businesses by providing access to fair, competitive pricing, accurate information, and continued support. His dedication to transparency and education has made CardFellow a staunch small business advocate in the credit card processing industry.

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