A host of new technologies have arrived to help SMEs make the switch to PIN, as the signature becomes a thing of the past in purchase verification for credit cards.
As of today, all point-of-sale transactions in Australia involving chip credit and debit cards will require a PIN to verify purchases, marking the end to the decades-old practice of signature verification.
According to PINwise, the industry security initiative made up of a collection of Australia’s major financial institutions and card schemes, the move will enhance the safety of payments in Australia.
While retail groups have welcomed the switch, café and restaurant owners say they have been lumped with higher costs as a result of having to increase their number of payment terminals.
In response, a number of companies have launched new products to ease both SMEs and card users into the transition from signature to PIN.
PayPal Australia’s Pay at Table addition to its mobile app andPayPal Here
This year PayPal Australia has released two new innovative products in response to the chip and PIN mandate: PayPal Here andPay at Table.
PayPal Here is an app and Bluetooth enabled chip and card reader that turns a smartphone into a payment solution. It supports payment by MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards (in addition to a PayPal option), while also allowing businesses to generate and distribute invoices and send receipts to customers.
PayPal Here costs businesses $139 per unit, with no monthly subscription fee. Instead a fee is charged for each purchase: 1.95% for credit card payments via the card reader; 2.4% + 30c for invoicing; and 2.9% + 30c for credit cards keyed into the app (without use of the card reader).
The technology will require businesses to have Wi-Fi access and a mobile connection and customers to have an iOS or Android smartphone.
A PayPal spokesperson told SmartCompany the switch to PINs will affect all kinds of businesses, service providers and casual sellers and the biggest challenge will be acquiring new technology and updating payment infrastructure to accept PIN and chip payments.
“PayPal Here provides SMEs with a cost-effective, simple to use and easy to set-up payments solution that will allow them quickly enable chip and PIN payments and ensure they don’t miss out on sales,” says the spokesperson.
PayPal’s other offering – Pay at Table – is an extension to its popular mobile application targeted at restaurant owners, which allows PayPal customers to pay their restaurant bills from the convenience of their tables.
PayPal customers will be able to check into a restaurant on their mobile and enter their table number to pay their bill at the end of dinner – with the added option of leaving a tip.
A spokesperson for PayPal said in a statement the feature is intended to “bring the restaurant and customer closer together by solving real customer pain points”.
“The Pay at Table feature delivers a tailored solution that gives restaurants and cafes direct access to over 5.5 million account holders using the PayPal digital wallet online, on-the-go and in-store,” he said.
First Data Corporation’s new mobile Eftpos terminals and [email protected] application
First Data Corporation’s mobile Eftpos terminal and [email protected] application are also directed at SMEs, particularly the travel, entertainment and hospitality sectors.
First Data’s mobile Eftpos terminal is a lightweight, portable device with a touch-screen interface that is functional with 3G or Wi-Fi connectivity. The [email protected] application enhances this portability by streamlining the payment process from the customers table, with the added functionality of split billing and tipping.
First Data managing director John Tait said in a statement these products were unique in the market.
“Our product is the only one in the market that delivers this level of service by facilitating split billing, prompting customers to tip and letting them do so on a split bill,” said Tait.
“It encourages tipping and streamlines the payment process for consumers – all at the table.”
Tait said First Data’s mobile terminal could save businesses time, and in the process, improve their customer service.
“The transition to PIN-only transactions could be time-consuming for businesses – especially if there are limited point-of-sale terminals available,” said Tait.
“It’s likely that congestion can occur at the counter when multiple transactions need to happen at once, and people will be less likely to tip if slowed down and not prompted. The mobile terminal eliminates these potential problems by being mobile within the store and encouraging customers to reward good service,” he said.
First Data’s new technology is available through its subsidiary business BWA Merchant Services.