Point-of-sale (POS) systems help businesses with processing payments, tracking sales and managing inventories, but the prevalence of skimming attacks should prompt owners to consider upgrading to a system that’s compliant with Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards.
When choosing among different bar and restaurant POS systems, you can easily pick the most suitable one based on the price, features, user-friendliness and technical support. It should also process payments from cards with the Europay, Mastercard, and Visa (EMV) technology. Most credit and debit cards in the U.S. now have EMV security chips, so it’s pointless to have a POS system that can’t process them.
The PCI Standards
Non-compliance with PCI standards can hurt your business. Take fraudulent credit card transactions as an example. If your POS system often becomes the source of online crime due to non-compliance, you can be liable for at least $5,000 per month in penalties. Banks and credit card issuers may also raise transaction fees, and you may need to spend money on compensating customers for certain damages.
You can easily avoid these risks by having a POS system with the 3.2 version of the PCI Data Security Standards, which is the latest one launched in May 2018. The current version can only do so much for regulatory compliance, as you also need to be proactive in safeguarding the hardware and software security of your POS system.
Some of the preventive measures against hacking and other illegal activity include a routine inspection of PIN entry devices. Never buy or use tools from unauthorized vendors. You should also change network passwords at least once every three months, and make sure that each of them is unique. Limit administrative access to select employees. Insider threats pose an even greater threat than outsiders when sensitive information fall into the wrong hands.
For instance, a rogue employee may install a skimming device on PIN entry tools or download malware to collect cardholder data. It can be tricky to catch the culprit red-handed, so it’s easier to inspect devices regularly. Always check for firewall and anti-virus software updates. Once you establish a sense of security, your clients will likely use other means to pay for products or services when they don’t have enough cash.
Technical Support and Warranties
Most business owners often decide on a POS system based on the upfront cost. However, technical support and warranties are often overlooked yet these should influence your decision. A cheaper POS system may save money from the onset, but what will you do when your system suddenly goes offline on a busy day?
Consider an extended warranty and 24/7 technical support to cover such scenarios. Technical assistance should be available through different communication channels
Bar and restaurant owners who plan to expand or dabble in franchising will have to consider accepting other modes of payment. An investment in a new POS system doesn’t only allow you to accept credit cards, but also streamline your inventory and sales records. When in doubt, consult a POS system vendor to know more about your options.