In-store point of sale systems generally require some standard hardware so you can easily take care of all transactions. Countertop pinpads are one of those pieces of hardware that sometimes need to be integrated. Even if you have a business with mostly contactless unattended pay points, it is generally required or recommended to have some sort of recourse for chip & PIN payments. Most point of sale systems will come with a countertop pinpad. However, the level of integration with your point of sale can vary from being non-integrated to fully integrated. This article will go over the 3 types of integration countertop pinpads have.
Non-integrated pinpads mean exactly what they sound like. These will not be connected to your point of sale in any way. Any transactions you process will be separate of your point of sale information. This is because the two systems will not be able to communicate any information to one another. This means that these terminals will be independently EMV certified and PCI compliant. The process of making a sale with this system is as follows: you open a new transaction and process the item through your point of sale, then choose the method of payment your customer is using, input the payment required manually on the countertop terminal and have the customer complete the sale, then finally you can close the sale on your point of sale system and finish the transaction.
This method is usually pretty slow and if you sell many of the same items with the same price, it can be difficult to tell which transaction on your POS belongs to which transaction on the countertop pinpad. While this is a good way to ensure all the sensitive information on the card is protected by the terminal rather than by your POS, it is a cumbersome process for high-traffic retailers.
Semi-integrated payment terminals take some aspects from both ends of the spectrum. These countertop pinpads are increasing in popularity due to their being an affordable solution to upgrading from non-integrated terminals. The process of using a semi-integrated pinpad is more similar to the fully-integrated version. It comes with the added benefit of bypassing having to ensure your entire POS system is PCI compliant. The process of taking a semi-integrated payment is as follows: the sale is opened and processed through the POS system, the system then relays the necessary payment to the pinpad, the pinpad takes the payment from the client;s card and processes it independently through the payment processor, then the processor relays whether it was approved or not to the POS and the sale is completed. This process removes the cardholder’s data from the POS so financial information remains secure and merchants are protected.
These solutions also allow for merchants to use the payment terminal even when the POS is offline. It gives you more freedom to continue operations and keep customers happy.
A fully-integrated pinpad is completely connected to the point of sale system. These are essentially just an extension of the larger computer processing the transaction. With fully integrated payment terminals, merchants can put the order through their POS and have the pinpad ask for the correct amount. What fully-integrated actually means for merchants is that the card information is processed through their point of sale. This is instead of the payment processor in the terminal doing it. This means that any fully-integrated POS systems must have full PCI compliance and EMV certification themselves.
While this is convenient way to handle high-volume operations, it can be a costly alternative to semi-integrated terminals. This is because the entire computer and POS have to be certified along with the terminal. Once an integrated payment solution is in place, the merchant is responsible for their POS system being updated regularly for PCI and EMV compliance.
No matter which type of integration you choose for your pinpad, make sure your provider offers reliable service and support whenever you need it.