Heartland Payment Systems has commercially launched its new payment card security technology called E3, which is designed to protect cardholder credit and debit card data, rendering scrambled data useless to cybercriminals.

According to Heartland Payment Systems, E3 features layers of security using both software and tamper-resistant hardware, employing the Advanced Encryption Standard of encryption.

The E3 encrypts all Track 1 and 2 data from the card’s magnetic stripe the moment it is converted from analog to digital data and enters a merchant’s system as scrambled data, never storing card numbers or passing them through the merchant’s system or network.

Bob Carr, chairman and CEO of Heartland, said: “Heartland leveraged its unique experience and knowledge to develop E3, and made the financial investment needed to protect this sensitive information.

“Because E3 does not allow card numbers to exist on or through a merchant’s system or network, when combined with our self-assessment questionnaire assistance services, E3 reduces the cost of PCI compliance and the risk of non-compliance for business owners.

“While not a silver bullet, we feel this technology is a significant leap forward in helping the payments industry, as well as merchants and consumers mitigate much of the risk of cybercrime. We have been working on this solution for two years now and are proud to be able to offer it to the stakeholders of the electronic payments world.”