Do your EMV and POS systems play well with others? Or more importantly, do they play together at all? As the fast-approaching October 1st deadline looms, we are focused on providing helpful information about upgrading your systems. Merchants of any size or industry should take this opportunity to explore the options of EMV chip-ready technology and how it integrates with existing POS devices and systems. We’ve defined the different options below to help you determine what will work best in your business.
Option 1: Standalone
Standalone means your transaction device serves only one purpose: to authorize and clear payment card transactions. This device stands alone without any connection to your electronic cash register or other POS device or system. Upgrading will mean a change out of your current transaction device. For smaller businesses with simple processing needs, a standalone device is a quick and effective tool for processing payments. The available features and options will be limited to those offered by your processor.
Option 2: Semi-integrated
Semi-integrated means your transaction device connects to your POS device, usually over a local area network that is then connected to a payment controller. Mid-sized merchants typically utilize the semi-integrated device for the flexibility it offers. This option gives you a choice of PIN pad manufacturers, acquirers, processors, and third party vendors as well as a network for multiple registers or check out stations. Upgrading to EMV chip technology requires device upgrade and software changes to support the new devices and data exchange.
Option 3: Fully-integrated
Fully-integrated means your store’s POS system controls all the components, and the integrated POS platform physically incorporates the transaction devices. Software called middleware is required for full integration. This option will also require the support of an IT system integration expert. And because of these requirements, this option is the most complex and most costly to implement. But it is also the most feature-rich and efficient way to manage your systems and process. Large, multi-location merchants favor this option due to the flexibility in choice of equipment and processors as well as communication with the systems that control inventory and revenue reporting.
So now you have a better understanding of ‘playing well with others’ when it comes to EMV technology upgrade and your existing POS environment. Many details contribute to determining what type of devices and software would be best for your specific business. Regardless of which option fits your needs, remember that Evolve Systems is your one-stop merchant services provider.
We have the technical expertise in-house to support any option you choose. So choose wisely, my friend.