The State Payment Terminals & Credit Card Machines
When the Electronic Data Capture (EDC) terminal came out, merchants no longer needed to physically bring their manually imprinted sales drafts to the bank. With the click of a button, these sales slips were electronically transmitted via the credit card machines. This was a wonderful improvement in convenience and time savings.
Today, stand-alone payment terminals are still in use but their numbers are dwindling. When a stand-alone device is deployed a merchant needs to enter payment information into their register or accounting system as well as the payment terminal. This double entry is a ‘tax’ on the merchant’s time. It requires duplicate entry and reconciliation.
To solve for this, payment software was developed which provided both payment services and merchant specific software. The issue, however, was that the merchant software was insecure and many merchants were breached and their payment data stolen.
Today’s terminals have advanced and the ideal state is where the payment data is stored securely and the device is semi-integrated into a merchant’s software. In this fashion, the payment device may securely store the data, maintain the integrity with EMV (or chip) specifications while interfacing with a merchant’s software so that payment details may be passed along and in a non-PCI environment. This allows for secure transactions while minimizing a merchant’s PCI scope.
Semi integrated terminals allow the software vendor to continually upgrade their solution without the burden of conforming to strict PCI requirements. Merchants benefit further in that by using a software solution which is semi-integrated to their payment device, they are free to transfer payment processors if their vendor increases their fee. This is often not the case in the context where the software and payment service are bundled as the software vendor typically will not allow their clients the freedom to price compare vendors.
Speak with eMerchant if you are considering an upgrade to your software or if you wish to learn more about semi-integrated payment terminals.