3 challenges to EMV use in restaurants

They may be known as secure alternatives to traditional credit card systems, but the chip-based EMV units still pose problems to American restaurants looking to convert. Just with all other businesses that use POS software, it's best to research the possibilities before committing to a new system, taking costs and benefits into account. Though some chains have implemented the new chip-friendly pay methods, restaurants may face a long slow slog to adoption, despite the threat of credit card breaches at these establishments.

Below are a few examples of the problems associated with the EMV conversion and why they are daunting to restaurant owners:

  • Customer disruption: In a Payments Source article, Mercator Advisory Group's Tim Sloane says that "restaurants are concerned about how EMV will affect operations." He later added that this technology could lead to a rise in pre-set levels of tips that customers choose from. "If they standardize it by starting at 10%, there is a fear that most diners would think that is OK and choose the lower tip," he said.
  • Slower speed: The same article notes that EMV cards typically take more time to "dip" than those with just a stripe. This may make it more difficult for staff to handle multiple cards at once, the way they can with the more common models.
  • Unnecessary effort: Not all threats to credit card data security require the same solution. The National Restaurant Association noted last year that counterfeit credit cards have been more of a threat to retailers than eateries. At the same time, the source advocates for encryption.

The right payment processing software needs to fit the business' needs, including how efficient installing it and regularly using it will be. Unlike many retail outlets, restaurants have the added components of wait staff and timing to consider.

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