Why It's Important to Stay Current with the Latest POS Processing Equipment

In the 21st century, technology is constantly evolving--whether we're talking about computers, printers, tablets, smart phones or televisions.

The same holds true for credit and debit card terminals and point-of-sale (POS) processing equipment.

In fact, POS processing technology is changing so fast that systems and hardware often cannot keep pace with the latest software developments or compliance requirements. This is true across all types of devices and in all industries--especially with regard to cardholder security, which is one of the most important issues in merchant card processing today. All of these factors and more make it absolutely critical that merchants keep their POS terminals, processing equipment and corresponding software up-to-date. Operating your business with old, outdated terminals and equipment can end up being very costly from a number of different perspectives.

Benefits of Staying Current

Merchants may realize many benefits by staying up-to-date with the latest POS terminals and processing equipment. The biggest benefits include the following:

Alleviate risk -- Perhaps most important, staying up-to-date with POS terminals and processing technology is one of the best ways to make sure that you are offering your customers payment security. Today's sophisticated security features require more processing capability than many older terminals possess. Security solutions like encryption and tokenization can bolster the security of the entire payment transaction, but cannot always be enabled on older terminals. Without the latest POS terminals and processing equipment, you cannot ensure your customers of maximum payment security.

Access to value-added solutions -- Taking advantage of value-added solutions, like gift cards, from your merchant services provider often requires additional processing power and memory that older terminals and equipment simply don't have. Value-added software cannot be written for terminals that don't have adequate memory.

But processing power and memory aren't the only things that can become outdated--so can hardware. For example, older terminals may not have slots for EMV (Chip Card) transactions or additional USB ports, and they may not enable your business to accept gift, loyalty and EBT cards.

Staying in warranty -- Some merchants have learned the hard way that when older, out-of-warranty POS terminals and processing equipment go down or are damaged in a storm or electrical surge, the cost can be much greater than just having to replace the equipment.

For example if a terminal is damaged and out of warranty, it may take a week for the merchant services provider to bring them a new one--during which time the merchant could lose significant sales opportunities. However, if the merchant is using current equipment that is still in warranty, the terminal may be replaced in a matter of days.

Keeping up with the latest software -- Like computers, POS terminals have a limited life because their technology is fixed, while software demands are constantly changing. In the same way that you probably aren't operating your business with computers that are five years old or older, you shouldn't use old, outdated POS terminals and equipment either.

Also keep in mind that, with updated terminals, you can receive auto-downloads, helping you stay current for compliance purposes and Association mandates.

Higher levels of customer confidence and satisfaction -- When customers are confident that their payment information is secure, they feel safer swiping their cards through your terminal. Using old card imprint machines or outdated terminals can instill worries in your customers about payment security.

For example, some studies show that, due to security concerns, many customers prefer to swipe their card through a PIN pad themselves, rather than hand it to a checkout clerk or employee. Offering this payment option shows customers that you care about their security concerns and providing them with their preferred payment method.

The ability to accept payments from mobile devices -- Making payments via mobile devices is one of the biggest trends in payment processing today. Younger customers, in particular, want to be able to pay for goods and services using their smart phones and mobile wallets. You don't want to lose customers and revenue because your processing equipment can't accept these types of payments.

Long Term

Yes, equipment can continue to work, but is it working at optimal levels for your business? You could be missing out on potential sales or be vulnerable to security issues due to older, possibly non-compliant equipment. Be sure to check with your processor if you're not sure that you're working with the most current and up-to-date POS terminals and processing equipment.

PNC Merchant Services® is a leader in the payment processing industry

We provide businesses with innovative payment acceptance capabilities and back them up with service, financial strength and stability to help keep your receivables flowing.

Supporting merchants throughout the United States, ranging in size from single-outlet merchants to super-regional enterprises with thousands of locations, you can count on PNC Merchant Services. We have the industry experience, personal attention and customer service you need to keep your payment processing systems secure and operating smoothly. Contact us at 1-800-742-5030 to discuss how PNC Merchant Services makes payment options easier for your customers, and better acceptance options for your business.

Important Information and Disclosures

Merchant Services provided by PNC Merchant Services Company and are subject to credit approval.

PNC Merchant Services is a registered trademark of the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.