# Frequently Asked Questions
- What does the Poynt Commerce Services consist of ?
- Are there any hardware requirements for the terminals to be compatible with the PCS ?
- Are there any software requirements for the terminals to be compatible with the PCS ?
- We already run Android OS on our terminals - why would we need the PCS ?
- Are there any licensing fees associated with this ?
- How does the Acquirer/Processor integrations work through the Poynt platform ?
- Are there any certification and compliance requirements ?
- What are the system security permissions required by the PCS ?
- Who will manage the App Store for merchants ?
- Do we need to build a billing solution for our terminals ?
- How does this affect our current PCI Compliance ?
- Does this invalidate the existing apps on our terminals using our own SDK ?
- Does this enable our terminals with Poynt Mission Control ?
- Can we manage our terminals through our Terminal Management Systems ?
- How does the Payment Application work ? How will the Poynt Commerce App PCS communicate with my existing card reader software that is already certified (L1-L2)?
- Who owns the Payment Application ?
- How does the encryption key management work ?
- How will we get new updates from Poynt ?
- Who owns the Payment Kernels and Secure Card Reader Firmware ?
- How does the device activation work at the merchant location ?
- Is a new L3 certification required for all existing Processors/Acquirers our terminal is already integrated with ?
- Is a new L3 certification required for all existing Processors/Acquirers that Poynt is already integrated with ?
- I downloaded the package, what do I do next ? What does the full end to end process look like?
- What lang/locales is the PCS localized for ?
- Who manages the Card Reader EMV Configuration ?
- How to validate HW/SW compatibility for PCS ?
- Is there a Poynt Certification process for new Terminals integrating PCS ?
- We have hardware with different screen sizes and orientations - is PCS compatible with all ?
- How do I sign up?
- I don't have an EMV payment solution yet. Can I license Poynt's EMV's EMV payment firmware (L1-L3)? If so, can I get reference HW designs and other documentation?
- What transport methods are supported by the PCS? Besides USB, can I use something like Bluetooth?
- My company is considering payment services such as Poynt's with customized payment hardware but we have trouble getting started. Can Poynt help? Who to contact?
# What does the Poynt Commerce Services consist of ?
Poynt Commerce Services (PCS) consists of the following Core Services and Applications, coupled with advanced Cloud capabilities:
A modern intuitive experience built for easier access to core functionality, faster payment processing and quick application switching.
Poynt Commerce Services with standards that support Order Management, Transaction Management, Customer Management, Catalog and Product Management, Business Management, and Billing.
Poynt Payment Applications that provide a unique payment experience to merchants and customers while providing a simpler host integration approach that reduces time to market for newer processor integrations.
Business ready applications like Terminal, Register, Catalog and Settlements to get merchants started in minutes rather than days and weeks regardless of vertical.
An Omni-Channel platform that allows merchants to process and manage their payments, orders, inventory, catalog, customers, data across multiple channels (mobile, web, traditional POS systems and the like) out of the box.
A Certified EMV gateway with several processors and acquirers around the world with a single integration, including a simple configurable approach to adding newer integrations with no-code.
An advanced cloud based Device and Estate Management System for acquirers and large merchants to easily manage thousands of devices from day 1.
Simple Open standards based APIs for integrations both on the cloud and on the terminal that extend and enhance the functionality for the merchants, and support various kinds of accessories used for different use cases.
# Are there any hardware requirements for the terminals to be compatible with the PCS ?
2GB RAM, Single or Dual Cameras, BlueTooth, USB (serial), Network connectivity (wifi, mobile, ethernet), optional built-in printer, card reader supporting MSR, CT, and CL, EMV L1/L2 Certified, PCI PTS Certified.
# Are there any software requirements for the terminals to be compatible with the PCS ?
Android KitKat (version 4.4) or later.
# We already run Android OS on our terminals - why would we need the PCS ?
PCS instantly makes any Android Payment Terminal hardware more attractive to the market with 11 merchant apps, 17 acquirer integrations, [xx] hundred third party applications, a merchant portal & app, omni-channel services and a standard that the market already knows. Android OS is great (we love it) but is built for consumer devices with no support for business/commerce use cases. Building commerce apps and services from scratch on a basic Android OS requires a lot more features and functionality built into the apps itself and not to mention all the security and compliance requirements that need to be met.
# Are there any licensing fees associated with this ?
There are no fees associated with the platform for terminal vendors. Poynt makes money when merchants and partners upgrade to premium paid services. In fact, Poynt has a revenue sharing agreement when sold into acquirers and merchants.
# How does the Acquirer/Processor integrations work through the Poynt platform ?
All Acquirer/Processor integrations are done in Poynt Cloud using our acquirer integration platform. The integration is as simple as field mappings and processor endpoint configurations without requiring any custom code to be written. We've built tools so anyone can complete an integration through the Poynt Cloud in a fraction of the time.
# Are there any certification and compliance requirements ?
As the hardware vendor, you will be responsible for EMV L1, L2, PCI PTS and any other country specific consumer electronics certification requirements.
# What are the system security permissions required by the PCS ?
In order for the PCS to work on your terminals, the following changes must be done at the Android OS level:
Create Poynt UserId and give required permissions
Modify activity manager and package manager to give additional privileges to applications running as Poynt User Id.
Please refer to the documentation for more details including the exact location of files that need to be modified in Android OS source code.
# Who will manage the App Store for merchants ?
Please refer to Poynt App Ecosystem Principles (opens new window) to understand how Poynt acts as a custodian of the ecosystem to ensure mutual, balanced benefits to all participants. Poynt commits to never compete in the partners core business and will provide filters to distribution partners so they can help manage local requirements.
# Do we need to build a billing solution for our terminals ?
Poynt App Marketplace comes with a billing solution that provides flexible ways to create and manage merchant subscriptions for Apps and Services. Poynt Billing already supports variety of Payment Methods for the merchants to pay for the software and hardware fees.
# How does this affect our current PCI Compliance ?
PCS runs on your existing PCI compliant Payment Terminal, and follows the industry best practices to ensure the security and privacy of sensitive payment data. We recommend you to run your compliance tests just like any other applications running on your terminals.
# Does this invalidate the existing apps on our terminals using our own SDK ?
No, PCS adds a platform on your existing software and doesn't invalidate any of your existing applications. They can co-exist along with applications installed through Poynt App Marketplace.
# Does this enable our terminals with Poynt Mission Control ?
Yes, provided the necessary OS security changes were done as mentioned above.
# Can we manage our terminals through our Terminal Management Systems ?
Yes, your existing apps and services would remain the same and continue to co-exist on your terminals. So you can continue to manage your terminals through your own TMS. All Poynt specific features and functionality can only be managed through Poynt Mission Control.
# How does the Payment Application work ? How will the Poynt Commerce App PCS communicate with my existing card reader software that is already certified (L1-L2)?
Poynt has defined a Payment Service Provider Interface (SPI) for terminal vendors to add the necessary functionality required by the PCS. The SPI implementation must be done by the Terminal vendor utilizing their existing SDK/Payment Applications. Once the SPI Implementation is provided and configured, the Poynt Payment Application would work out of box without requiring any further customizations. This allows terminal vendors to take advantage of all their localization investment while allowing the rest of the Poynt ecosystem to take advantage of it out of the box.
# Who owns the Payment Application ?
Unlike traditional Payment Applications, Poynt Payment Application is a collection of 3 distinct components.
Payment Experience - responsible for building the merchant and customer experience
Card Reader Integration - responsible for interacting with card reader for different card interface types (MSR/CT/CL)
Host Integration - responsible for routing the request to the host (Poynt Cloud)
As you can see, by implementing the Payment SPI, you will be making your Payment Application/SDK plugged into the Poynt Payment Application with little to no effort. You will still be responsible and own the Card Reader Integration component.
# How does the encryption key management work ?
Encryption keys will be managed by the vendor's secure card reader firmware. The payment SPI provides a way to remotely inject keys using the Poynt Remote Key Loading process. But once the keys are loaded, they will be managed by the secure card reader firmware.
# How will we get new updates from Poynt ?
Poynt releases period updates to PCS through Poynt Mission Control system. All major version updates would have a beta testing period during which HW vendors will be given a chance to test and confirm both existing and new functionality. All minor releases will be enabled for merchants to install during the regular device maintenance windows as configured by the merchants. All Poynt releases go through rigorous testing to ensure reliability and stability for merchants. It's very essential that all HW vendors ensure all Poynt provided compatibility tests pass before deploying terminals with PCS.
# Who owns the Payment Kernels and Secure Card Reader Firmware ?
As the Terminal manufacturer, HW vendors own and provide the Payment kernels and the necessary secure card reader firmware. They are also responsible for L1, L2 and PCI PTS Certifications of the card reader.
# How does the device activation work at the merchant location ?
PCS includes a device activation wizard that allows a merchant to activate the terminal after receiving it. As the terminal vendor, you or your partner can upload the merchant information through Poynt Mission Control and even trigger an email notification to the merchant with the activation info.
# Is a new L3 certification required for all existing Processors/Acquirers our terminal is already integrated with ?
In order to utilize the complete benefits of PCS, we recommend using Poynt Payment Experience and Poynt Cloud. This would require a new L3 Certification if this is the first time you are doing the integration and certification for a new device family.
# Is a new L3 certification required for all existing Processors/Acquirers that Poynt is already integrated with ?
Yes - every new device family typically requires a new L3 Certification. But since Poynt Cloud is already Host Certified by the Processors/Acquirers we are currently integrated with, only Terminal Certification is required.
# I downloaded the package, what do I do next ? What does the full end to end process look like?
Downloaded package contains the necessary documentation to guide you through the process. For partners who are already familiar with android, this process should take less than 6 weeks. At a high level, the next steps are:
Make required changes in your Android OS to provide necessary privileges to Poynt
Implement Payment SPI to integrate your Secure Card Reader and PIN Pad with Poynt
Run the Compatibility Test Suite to ensure all necessary functionality is supported
Submit to Poynt for certification including your EMV LOAs and PCI approval.
Poynt approves the application, posts to our partner forum and allows you access to Poynt cloud.
# What lang/locales is the PCS localized for ?
Poynt updates the supported lang/locales on a periodic basis. At this Poynt, the PCS is localized for the following lang/locales: en-US, en-GB, en-IR, pl-PL, en-CA, es-AR, pt-BR, en-IN, and it-IT.
# Who manages the Card Reader EMV Configuration ?
Card Reader EMV configuration is typically managed by the Processor/Acquirer based on the L3 Certification. Poynt provides the necessary tools to generate and manage the EMV Configuration for the Processor/Acquirers.
# How to validate HW/SW compatibility for PCS ?
Poynt Commerce Compatibility Test Suite provides the necessary tests needed to validate the HW/SW compatibility. These tests include verifying the HW components like CT/CL/MSR readers, Bar/QR Code Scanner, Printer, BlueTooth, Networking (Wifi/Mobile/Ethernet), etc. and SW components like Payment Applications, Poynt Services, Poynt Store and Poynt Mission Control Agent.
# Is there a Poynt Certification process for new Terminals integrating PCS ?
The process is the same for New or existing devices.
# We have hardware with different screen sizes and orientations - is PCS compatible with all ?
Poynt Applications are compatible for a wide range of screen sizes, and for both landscape and Portrait modes. Please refer to the documentation for minimum screen dimensions.
# How do I sign up?
Terminal vendors can download the PCS package to try it out. They can sign up from Poynt developer portal to get access to Poynt tools for testing.
# I don't have an EMV payment solution yet. Can I license Poynt's EMV's EMV payment firmware (L1-L3)? If so, can I get reference HW designs and other documentation?
PCS is for Smart Payment Terminals that already have an embedded/attached card reader that's L1/L2/PCI Certified. If you do not have a card reader we recommend you sign up as a reseller of either Poynt or other vendors that bundle PCS. If you do have a card reader but looking for Payment Application software including kernels, L1, L2, etc., we recommend you work with a software vendor that offers those solutions.
# What transport methods are supported by the PCS? Besides USB, can I use something like Bluetooth?
PCS is integrated with Card Reader via the Payment SPI. Payment SPI enables it to be hardware and transport agnostic, and leaves integration from Payment SPI implementation to the actual card reader up to the vendors choice.
# My company is considering payment services such as Poynt's with customized payment hardware but we have trouble getting started. Can Poynt help? Who to contact?
Poynt offers hardware solutions built by Poynt and it's HW partners. We recommend you contact Poynt Sales team for more information on how you can utilize Poynt enabled payment hardware.