What payment technology do your customers expect?

Small or large, businesses have to meet customer expectations for adequate payment support. This can be generally true of the EMV transition, since many American cardholders now have access to chip-based versions of their previous cards. In a larger sense, businesses should also be wary as customers prove savvy of the latest trends.

The most recent issue of STORES looked at Sam Ash Music, a chain with 44 locations that has made the jump to EMV use, implementing tokenization and encryption to protect data. The source spoke to company CEO David Ash, who said that the payment systems were updated to match the tech-friendly customers they see. In addition, updating also allowed the company to fill holes in its previous service, Ash said, by taking more orders from customers who called in remotely. 

"Our previous system could not conveniently handle card payments made over the phone," he said. "As a result, we had to limit the phone sales to customers we know well. Now anyone can request an order over the phone." Ash also said that the new terminals they added to his stores "required surprisingly little training for our store personnel and did not take long to implement once we had a plan in place."

An FAQ article on EMV cards from CreditCards.com stated that more than 1 billion cards had to be graded to meet the chip-and-pin standards. It also stated that 60 percent of consumers had a chip-based card in their possession by the end of last October.

Transitioning to a new, more efficient card payment system may be difficult, but the possible benefits aren't abstract. It's possible to see real improvement in customer engagement if stores change their credit card POS software to match modern expectations.

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