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For EMV Compliance, Seamless Integration at Enterprise Level Is Key

Data breaches and payment card security threats continue to be a top concern for the hospitality industry, and with good reason. Nearly two years after the EMV liability shift, which made merchants responsible for bearing the burden for chargebacks and fraudulent charges, many in the hospitality industry remain critically unprepared and dangerously exposed.
In an industry that allows guests to check in to a hotel with the freedom to charge goods or services to a room – for example, charging $5,000.00 worth of bottle service at a high-end property to a guest room – the pressure of non-compliance can be keenly felt. Yet, hotels continue to lag behind other merchants in the hospitality industry when it comes to converting to fully-compliant payment systems, leaving them vulnerable to significant hits to their bottom line.
In one specific example, a large-enterprise hotel in 2016 suffered a loss of more than $3 million due to chargebacks and fraud before deciding to convert to a fully-compliant and integrated payment platform. In yet another example that demonstrates how exposed non-compliant hotel enterprises are, one property had video footage that clearly showed a guest completing a transaction that was later disputed, but, because the terminal was not fully EMV-compliant, the merchant was not able to successfully fight the chargeback and was forced to absorb the loss.
And while the bigger the hotel enterprise, the more there is to lose, even smaller hotels can suffer damaging losses. For a smaller hotel, hundreds of dollars per week in chargebacks can be devastating to the bottom line.
For any hotel enterprise that isn’t already hard at work implementing a fully-integrated EMV-compliant payment platform, the time to start is now. This article from MiCamp Solutions discusses some important things to consider.
Risk vs. Reward
Most hotel enterprises are faced with the financial dilemma of weighing the cost of chargebacks and non-compliance with the cost of conversion and effect on guest satisfaction. Until recently, point-of-sale (POS) operations and payment card processing were a single integrated solution. With the shift to EMV, these expensive POS systems have become non-compliant and a security risk. Implementing an integrated, compliant solution will substantially reduce chargebacks and continue to drive down overall corporate PCI scope.
Pieces & Parts
A seamlessly integrated solution should not be composed of pieces and parts. Hospitality enterprises with disparate systems company-wide won’t be able to solve legacy issues by applying various third-party solutions.  A lack of integration leaves enterprises vulnerable to data breaches and theft. Instead, implement an integrated platform that will serve as a foundation to support core, mission-critical systems, uniting solutions from the front desk to back-of-house to ensure full compliance. Think past the POS and consider loyalty systems, analytics, recipe management, reordering systems, and property management, among others.
In addition to being integrated and seamless, EMV-compliant payment architecture should be forward-thinking, flexible, and customizable, so that companies can easily adapt to changes in the industry and customize the platform to meet its shifting needs. An integrated, EMV-compliant platform, like the foundation of a house, should be solid and lasting, and built to support the framework that will serve current and future needs.
Having an EMV-compliant platform that begins at the front desk and extends throughout the property means that, from the first swipe of the payment card upon check-in, everything a guest does on property is protected. Integration that starts with the front-end user experience guards against having sensitive card data stolen or compromised, and shields both the property and the guest from fraudulent charges, resulting in greater guest satisfaction and an improved bottom line.
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