See Also: 7 Tips for Better Inventory Management
Our blog has already covered many of the key POS features that every retailer should be looking for. We’ve also talked about pitfalls to watch out for when shopping for your POS, and put together a point of sale buyer’s guide, including how much you can expect the cost of your POS system to be.
So today, let’s take a short look at the hardware behind the POS, particularly your payment terminal. The payment terminal is where the card meets the point of sale. With more advanced technology and new regulation, this part of the process has become even more important. Consider the following as a guide to your payment terminal purchase.
Most retailers have already adopted EMV payments with their payment terminals, but we can’t stress enough how important it is for the rest of you to do the same.
Failing to implement EMV payments at your store means leaving your business less secure and you on the hook for potential credit card fraud. The technology began to be adopted in the United States following several mass security breaches of consumer credit card information. Magnetic strips carry the same information on them as long as the card is active, allowing thieves to use the payment information over and over again.
Since October 1, 2015, U.S. federal law has now transferred all liability for any fraudulent swiped transaction to the retailer rather than the credit card company. A fraudulent chipped transaction, on the other hand, is still the responsibility of the credit card company (though this rarely occurs).
Take a look at our more in-depth analysis of EMV payments as well. The biggest thing to take away from it all is simple: get an EMV supported payment terminal if you don’t have one, which may mean looking for a new POS system.
In addition to having an EMV-compatible terminal, also consider one that accepts the EMV payment as a debit transaction.
Many retailers only accept EMV credit transactions which are also known as chip and signature. While safer than a traditional swiped transaction, a signature is far less secure than a pin. Signatures can easily be forged and are rarely checked by employees at the register.
The hardware for chip and pin is no more expensive than credit-only EMV terminals. Just make sure that the hardware is compatible with whatever POS software you’re using. Unfortunately, many POS systems have yet to integrate with chip and pin hardware.
Similarly, invest in hardware that is ready for the next step in payment: NFC. This form of payment allows two compatible devices to communicate with each other through RFID (radio frequency identification) signals. This technology has been used in other devices for decades, from internal dog ID tags to garage door openers.
The communication begins when the devices are within a few inches of each other. The process is faster than cash or swiped payment methods. It’s also secure, using the same dynamic technology that EMV payment uses. There is also no need for anything to exchange hands or touch the point of sale, avoiding mistakes and wear and tear.
Many consumers are already regularly using Apple, Android, and Samsung Pay, and many more are using the services of smaller contactless payment companies. The majority of consumers in Europe already use contactless payments. The United States is a few years behind, but quickly catching up.
Invest in all of these at once to save costs down the road, and to ensure that your customers are making the safest forms of payment at your store. Like EMV technology, again check that your POS system is compatible with NFC payments. Also be sure that your POS solution is not involved in your credit card processing.
A terminal which faces the customer adds to the transparency and ease of the transaction. The forward-facing terminal is also most convenient for the newer forms of payment mentioned above. It’s safe for the customer to use and easy to navigate. This way, both you and the customer can enjoy more peace of mind.
These types of payment terminals also enjoy a few added benefits:
- They reduce paper waste. Paper receipts will quickly become a thing of the past. Instead, they’ll simply be indexed within a payment app or emailed to the customer.
- Large, front facing terminals also make it easy to ask for an email address. If someone would like an emailed receipt, you will have the customer’s email on file, allowing you to boost your email marketing game.
- There will be fewer exchanges of the card. This keeps the area around your POS cleaner and minimizes the chances of mistakes or misunderstandings during the transaction.
How Do You Know Which Payment Terminal to Choose?
There are many great hardware options out there to choose from. The most important thing is to find a POS solution which integrates with EMV payment, chip and pin on debit transactions, RFID NFC technology, and features front-facing terminals.
This will ensure that your retail store is ahead of the game and can safely process whatever transaction is necessary. The added security and convenience will be just one more reason to shop at your store.
To find out more about how your point of sale can help with your payments, click below! KORONA integrates will each of these payments and offers a free trial on our software so that you can see if it’s a good fit for your store.