Expanding to other countries: what to do when preparing POS for other standards

It may seem natural for a business to be mostly concerned with the standards of credit card technology dominant in their particular area of the world: after all, this is what is most relevant to them. But it can also help to break out of the "tunnel vision" one can get with too much focus on domestic practices, especially if the business concerned sees a regular influx of tourists or foreign nationals with different expectations of credit card processors. This may serve as a means of researching what trends are guiding consumer habits in other countries, and could prove important if those practices end up migrating into the shop owner's place of business.

For example, a recent piece on the Seattle Times blog discussed the particular use of "chip-and-pin cards" in Europe and other areas outside the U.S. Instead of the swipe-based system, this mode of card processing has been prevalent in other areas for some time, to the point where it's the only kind of card accepted in certain places. The article describes a new card created by Bank of America that employs some of this technology so it can be used both in and out of the country. If awareness of it grows in the States, the practice might eventually emerge here as well.

This of course doesn't mean that a store has to junk their existing POS card processing software system in favor of a new one: companies should simply seek ways of accommodating more customers, and a more worldly understanding might help them stand out over less aware competitors.     

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