Scoria Credit Switch PA-DSS v3.0 Cerified

Posted on August 17, 2015 by admin

The Scoria Credit Switch has make it through the testing and approval bottle neck at PCI, so we now have our PA-DSS 3 certification. That means that the rest of the POS system (ours or anyone's) is out of PCI scope.

To see the PCI certification, Go to

PCI Security Standards

Search for "Millenium Retail Solutions, Inc., dba Crimson Transaction Technologies"
(we changed our name a year ago because "Millenium" was so last century ;-) see this...

PCI Certification

Old School Future-Proofing for New IT Projects

Posted on August 17, 2015 by Greg Dow

Future Proofing

Flexibility in architecture is the key to future-proofing. It allows increased capabilities with reduced support costs. This is nothing new. Architects, and engineers have been thinking this way since the beginning of human history. As the rate of progress explodes, software designers should have the same discipline and forethought to future-proof their creations. Allow me to use two historical examples of future-proofing to demonstrate my point.

The picture above is the Prince Edward Viaduct. It spans a valley 400 meters across by 40 meters deep. It was designed in 1912 with mass transit in mind; the upper deck accommodated electric trams and a lower deck allowed future rail lines. It opened in 1918. It was not until 1966, forty eight years later, that the lower deck was used for a subway line. The forethought eliminated the need for a second structure. This example, is of public works and transportation, rather than IT, but the point is that decisions made in the 1910s saved millions of dollars in the 1960s.

There are examples from centuries before that too. The following story is attributed to anthropologist Gregory Bateson.

New College, Oxford, founded in 1379, has a large dining hall with a roof constructed using large oak beams. In 1859 it became clear that the beams needed to be replaced. The construction would be difficult and expensive, but the real problem was sourcing timber beams of sufficient. It was discovered however that oaks had been planted in the college estates, and these were cut for the hall's replacement beams. It is thought that these trees were specifically planted for this exact purpose. So centuries ago, the New College dining hall had been future proofed against deterioration.

The Scoria™ Retail Suite, by Crimson Transaction Technologies, is designed for flexibility too. It was first released in 2003 under the name "Visionary Retail Suite" and later renamed to "In The Black". The primary focus was to build a solid and flexible architecture that would allow unique customer requirements to be satisfied without adding code branches. Parameters and settings for each line of business are applied without the need to recompile. Parameter changes can be made locally using in house resources without extra expense. Data Interfaces can be made to any number of lines of business' information systems using common interfaces.

Over a decade later, the Scoria™ Retail Suite is on version 1, sub version 25 and there is still one single code base across Crimson's entire client base - no branches. The flexibility built in to the architecture future-proofs the customer investment.

Are you ready for the bad guys?

Posted on April 30, 2015 by Admin

Bad Guys

We here at Crimson spend a considerable amount of time tracking the technology and developments of the payment industry. Last year has been called the Year Of The Breaches, due to the quantity and size of these occurrences. Beyond the general interest, we try to find out specifically what happened in each case, so that we can advise our clients and customers how to avoid these same pitfalls. This exercise has led us to some interesting conclusions.

  • The number and magnitude of the breaches are climbing. Target had 110 million customer records stolen and Home Depot had over 56 million credit and Debit cards compromised. Now 43% of the top 500 retailers admit to a data breach within the last 2 years, and 60% of these had more than 1 breach in that time period.
  • All breaches are caused by some vulnerability in the company's data access. Most breaches occur due to a weakness that had previously been identified, but not rectified. Even Target had introduced a chip and pin program 10 years ago but after 3 years saw little value in this initiative and stopped the rollout. This mandate is now back on with full support and far more cost.
  • For the first time, we saw high executive turnover directly related to a breach. Organizations now realize that they need to understand what's in their data environment in order to protect it. PCI compliance alone doesn't do it. Target was certified PCI compliant.
  • Letting a breach happen is one thing, but dealing with it correctly is quite a different matter. Consumers demand a clear and decisive response. Most organizations have a plan in place but if it has not been implemented and tested it is almost worse than no plan at all.
  • Customers are now more reluctant to give up personal information, particularly if their data has been violated with a breach. The consumer must feel comfortable sharing information with the merchant. This demands the highest level of integrity for the brand. Open and honest communication is the key during any recovery process.
  • When customers shun companies that have experienced a cyberattack, the cost of the breach can be devastating. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of each lost or stolen record containing sensitive information is $201. They attribute 38% of this cost is due to lost customer business and 16% of it is due to legal expenses to defend against lawsuits and provide answers to various regulators.
  • About one third of companies have purchased cyber insurance. These are usually companies with good IT security practices. Your likelihood of experiencing a material data breach over the next 2 years is 23% if you are a public organization or a retailer.

At Crimson we are focused on the security of sensitive payment transactions. We have moved beyond PCI compliance and are actively installing EMV ready solution with our customers. This chip and pin technology will not prevent a breach but will reduce fraudulent transactions. This is a key requirement for all merchants as the responsibility shift of October looms. Our leading clients are installing P2PE solutions for security in their payment processing systems. Even if encrypted data is stolen, it is useless to anyone not authorized. We have become good at payment transaction security over the last few years. At Crimson we have a solution for every size and budget. This year we will continue to work with our customers and partners to stay 3 steps ahead of the bad guys.

Inside Crimson TT @ RSPA

Posted on August 8, 2014 by Admin

As the Crimson TT team was preparing to go down to Orlando for RSPA's annual RetailNow convention and conference, we truly did not know what to expect from this year's show. Located at the beautiful and luscious Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center, the conference housed thousands of industry experts and professionals with various interests in this industry. They were not kidding around with the show's slogan being, "Where the industry meets".

The Crimson TT team was invited by Wincor-Nixdorf to feature our software in their booth on the new Beetle/iPOS+ Advanced hardware. This hardware is a touch-based, all-in-one point of sale terminal ideal for Scoria Cashier product. The hardware is very sleek and modern and is a great addition to any retailer's checkout counter.


As the attendees swarmed the show's floor, the Crimson TT team met and discussed our software with anyone who happened to come in the booth. We met many interesting people from around the continent. As much as the show is an opportunity for our company to educate the attendees about our product, the educating flows both ways. We learnt about so many new and interesting facts and trends in the industry that the sky is the limit on the potential for our industry. Crimson TT is always looking to modernize and adopt the current (and future) trends of the industry so we can provide the best software solution for our customers.

Thank you to everyone at Wincor-Nixdorf for inviting us and allowing us to be a part of your booth at RSPA. We would also like to thank RSPA and their organizers for hosting a marvelous few days that will surely not be forgotten.


New Image and New Potential

Posted on August 1, 2014 by Admin

Welcome to Crimson TT!

Welcome to the new Crimson TT Website! On August 1st, 2014, Millenium Retail Solutions (Millenium) has become Crimson Transaction Technologies (Crimson TT). Our newly designed website was developed to showcase our new brand, products and image but with the same customer driven focus our customers recognize us for.

Crimson TT will continue to be an industry leader in developing customized point-of-sale systems, fee collection systems and secure payment processing applications. "Our organization will strongly benefit from this new image," said Angelo Kalpakis, co-Director and CTO of Crimson TT, "Millenium has traditionally been an industry leader in point-of-sale solutions since 1998 and the Crimson TT name will continue that tradition and go beyond."

In the sixteen years as Millenium Retail Solutions, our company has devoted every second of every day making sure our clients have the most secure and easy to operate point-of-sale solution that is customized for each client's unique needs. Our clients know that they could always rely on the team at Millenium for anything. The devotion to every client by the Millenium team will be embraced under the Crimson TT name as we are 'Transaction Driven'.

As part of our rebranding efforts, Crimson TT would also like to announce that the former "In the Black" (ITB) family of products will now be known as Scoria. The Scoria family of products and solutions will continue to be the top-flight solution ITB offered our clients.

Our new identity and image will impact the industry and build on the success of Millenium and ITB. Retailers and government organizations will be ecstatic with our new identity and image and delighted that our customer service and industry-leading and dependable solutions are still available.

Retailers and government organization will not find a more dedicated team of point-of-sale solution providers anywhere. Please feel free to look through the website and if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please email

Contact Us

Address: 160 East Beaver Creek Rd
  Unit #16
  Richmond Hill, Ontario L4B 3L4
Telephone: 888-380-2677
FAX: 905-709-8683