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Restaurants: Become EMV Compliant Without Buying a New POS


Now isn’t the time to become EMV compliant, because it should have been done two years ago. Since October 1, 2015, whichever party is the least EMV-compliant in a fraudulent card present transaction has had to pick up the tab. If your restaurant hasn’t adopted EMV technology, or chip card technology, as it's sometimes referred to, that means you.

Some restaurants have hesitated to adopt EMV technology because they believe EMV adoption isn’t cost effective, which is why only 17 percent of Visa’s merchants had adopted the new tech by March 2016, five months after the EMV deadline. While the traditional thought has been that adopting EMV means having to replace entire POS systems, there are other options restaurants can explore to become EMV compliant without having to break the bank. This article from Tidal Commerce will discuss some of those options available to restaurateurs.

  1. Third-Party Integrations

EMV compliant terminals and software now exist that can integrate into an existing POS. This means there’s no reason to do a complete overhaul of your system. One example is POS integration platform eThor. The software sits on a POS, and sends customer check data automatically to a mobile EMV device. Once it’s paid, the bill is simply closed back on the POS. In addition to securing restaurants from fraud, the product can actually help them run more smoothly, too. It can save servers from running back and forth to a stationary POS - making it easier to turn tables more efficiently and, consequently, bring in more cash.

  1. EMV Terminals Not Connected to the POS

Technically, EMV terminals don’t have to connect to the POS; rather, simple EMV terminals can run on their own. And the best part? They can cost as little as $150 each. It works like this: restaurants can keep the same POS system they’ve always had, but the ultimate payment goes through a different EMV terminal adjacent to the POS. The cashier cashes out the POS, then keys the transaction into the terminal to run the payment. Basically, it’s the manual process for the integration platform mentioned in point number one. If you’re interested, check out what brands Verifone, Ingenico and Dejavoo have to offer.

  1. Ask Your POS/Payment Processor About an Updated EMV Solution

It never hurts to ask. Restaurants should contact the POS provider and payment processor to ask for an update on their EMV solution. If an update is already on the horizon, it’s probably most cost effective to wait before switching POS systems. Better yet, the provider might be able to work with the restaurant to craft a custom solution. However if it looks like there are no updates on the table, and none of the options above work, restaurants should engage with a different payment processor with expertise in EMV.

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