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YARDLEY, PA and PHOENIX, AZ – Activant Solutions Inc., a leading technology provider of business management solutions for distributors and specialty retailers, and Element Payment Services, Inc. today announce an agreement through which Element will offer data security and ease PCI compliance for Activant customers using the Activant Distribution Suite software solution.

Consumer credit and debit cardholder data compromises are a growing concern. In 2008, 285 million records were compromised, according to a recent report by Verizon Business.

“This relationship with Element enables Activant to offer its customers secure credit card processing,” said Kevin Roach, executive vice president and general manager of Activant. “Element’s processing solutions surpass compliance mandates required by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and are fully integrated with Activant’s Distribution Suite, which includes our Prophet 21, Eclipse, and Prelude products,” said Roach.

Rapidly approaching deadlines in the credit card processing industry mandate that all businesses accepting credit card payments use software applications that meet the Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS). By July 1, 2010 all merchants must ensure this mandate is met in order for their own businesses to comply with the PCI DSS. If not, businesses risk the loss in ability to accept credit cards from customers.

“Activant wants our customers to have access to cost-effective PCI compliant payment solutions,” explained Roach. “By leveraging Element’s Hosted Payments solution, users of the Activant Distribution Suite can continue to offer their customers secure credit card processing without incurring annual costs associated in maintaining PA-DSS compliance,” stated Roach.

“Hosted Payments work by transferring the risk and liability of handling sensitive cardholder data away from Activant and its distributor customers to Element’s Express Processing Platform,” explained Sean Kramer, president and CEO of Element. The Level 1 PCI DSS compliant payment processing system incorporates cutting-edge technology including end-to-end encryption and tokenization.

Through this business relationship with Element, Activant customers benefit from simplified PCI DSS compliance. “By completely removing cardholder data from the distributor’s processing environment, their scope of compliance is drastically reduced. Distributers qualify to answer Payment Card Industry Self Assessment Questionnaire (PCI SAQ) C instead of the much longer and more complex SAQ D, saving time, hassle and money,” said Kramer.

The costs of PCI compliance range from hundreds to millions of dollars depending upon business size. In 2008, Gartner reported merchant spending to protect cardholder data and become PCI compliant increased nearly fivefold during the previous 18 months.
About Element Payment Services, Inc:

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Element Payment Services, Inc. provides fully integrated PCI DSS compliant payment processing solutions to merchants through relationships with leading business management software providers. Engineered using service-oriented architecture, Element’s Express Processing Platform allows for easy integration and supports advanced technologies such as end-to-end encryption, tokenization and authentication.

Processing over $4 billion in annual transaction volume, Element’s simple and secure payment solutions allow customers to easily comply with industry security requirements such as PCI DSS, and PA-DSS (PABP), significantly reducing the risk associated with handling cardholder data. Element’s innovative technology, Hosted Payments, was the first payment processing solution on the market to take software providers out of scope for PA-DSS compliance requirements.

Element Payment Services, Inc. is a registered Merchant Service Provider with First National Bank of Omaha.