Amid the recent spate of alarming, high-profile retail heists of confidential customer data, Intel (INTC) is offering new technology baked into point-of-sale (POS) platforms to encrypt consumer and financial information.

The chip giant said its Data Protection Technology for Transaction, developed in collaboration with POS specialist NCR, aims to help retailers not only to secure data but also to retain consumer confidence, particularly in light of the tens of millions of credit cards that reportedly have been compromised this year in breaches at Target, Home Depot, Kmart, P.F. Chang, Neiman Marcus and others.

For security-centric channel partners selling into the retail POS segment, Intel’s transaction solution may offer another option for their customers.

Intel said its POS solution combines retail optimized client software with hardware running on an Intel Core or Atom chipset to provide an enhanced level of security from the start of a transaction until transaction data is stored on a bank server. The solution adds another layer of protection in the payment process and is intended to complement Europay, MasterCard and Visa credit card authorization, tokenization and other data protection technologies, Intel said.

"This solution introduces a significant improvement in today's retail transaction data protection without costly hardware upgrades, and provides retailers a path for adopting new Internet of Things technologies," said Michelle Tinsley, Intel Mobility Retail and Payments director. "It also sets the stage to expand to other industries such as financial services, health care or even government agencies."

Intel said the solution initially will be available on its second- and third-generation Core and succeeding Core processors, as well as tablets with Bay Trail-T Atom processors. Future Intel Atom processors also will support the technology, the chip maker said.

Here are some more Intel-supplied highlight of the transaction solution:

  • Creates a secure pathway between the transaction endpoint, point of sale (POS) system and server networks to securely carry consumer information.
  • Helps mitigate risks by establishing a secure pipeline through which transactions can request payment authorization and provides a common security management capability for retailers to utilize regardless of the original POS or peripheral vendor.
  • Supports Europay Mastercard and Visa, magnetic stripe and near field communication (NFC) transaction readers, including Google Wallet, Softcard and Apple Pay.
  • Works with all retail POS form factors that have select Intel processors in their retail POS networks, including tablets.

The full solution will be available to retailers in the first half of 2015, Intel said. The client software is available now.