EMV and Pay-at-table

Why EMV is Important For Restaurants

If you’re just hearing about EMV now, then I have some bad news for you.

EMV rollout started about a year ago and has since passed one major deadline, Oct 1st 2015, for merchants. This deadline dictated that the merchant is now responsible for chargebacks and fraudulent transactions.

During the rollout of EMV many business owners were slow to adopt the technology. Especially in restaurants where we still see that most if not all are relying solely on magstripe. Many restaurant owners refuse, or delay upgrading over the pure convenience that magstripe has provided them for years. Even though they’re the ones bleeding out cash in fees and chargebacks each month.

Magstripe vs EMV

EMV transactions rely on a small embedded chip programmed with a special token. The chip gives it the ability to dynamically generate a secure transaction between the bank and the card. Every time the card is used the token is updated. This secures cardholder information from being stolen. Whereas magstripe cards can be copied to any other card, such as a hotel-key card.

How It Could Be Hurting Business

With the liability shift, there’s more at stake than just large fees; your merchant account and your sanity too.

Any chip card swiped via magstripe is immediately eligible for a fatal chargeback. The customer can initiate a chargeback and possibly win or if the card was stolen you’ll be held responsible. Not the bank.

This can cause a lot of headache trying to get documents and proof presented to the issuer. In our experience, many merchants get fed up and take the hit because it’s not worth their time for small ticket transactions. Ultimately this adds up in the long run.

How You Can Protect Your Business

One great way to ensure your business is secured is to start accepting chip cards now. Many resturants believe that this change will cause increased difficulties and frustrations among employees and customers.

However, think about the numerous other possibilities you can implement. A gateway-integrated chip and PIN terminal can completely cut the point of sale out of the transaction processing environment. This protects you and cardholders from infected systems.

Another honourable solution is pay at table. This provides a way for customers to pay right at the table, making way for a speedy checkout. Not only can this be used for just paying at the table, retail merchants can provide employees with terminals/scanners. Great for small ticket checkout wherever the customer is in the store (just like at Apple).

These new technologies open us up to new ideas to improve the customer checkout experience and cut the middle man out of transaction processing. While we may enjoy the convenience of having everything packed into one point of sale system, it becomes more of a hassle down the road to maintain, and opens us up to attacks.