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Fraud prevention meets InfoSec: EMV and tableside payments

EMV Pay-At-Table Transaction using iWL 258Restaurants are getting better about preventing fraud. More are rolling out EMV PIN pads, utilizing point to point encryption and reducing the risks associated with handling payment card data. However, these companies could do more to improve their information security practices. Employee theft accounts for 4% of sales in restaurants.

Establishing InfoSec policies involves assessing a business’s day-to-day practices and figuring out how routines enable employees to steal payment card data. As you probably know, employee theft is a big problem in the food service industry. A study from the National Restaurant Association found that employee theft accounts for 75 percent of inventory shortages and 4 percent of sales.


How can restaurants leverage EMV and tableside payments for fraud protection and to prevent employee theft?

How restaurant employees commit theft
Customers place a lot of trust in their servers. Visit almost any restaurant in the U.S. and odds are you’ll have to hand over your debit or credit card to settle up the bill. In the time it takes for the server to ring up the meal, how do you know he isn’t taking down your card number, expiration date and security code? For restaurants, this presents a substantial liability. If a customer detects fraudulent transactions on his or her credit card and traces it back to the restaurant employee who stole his information, the business could face legal action.

Regardless of the security of the payment environment, the process of handing your card to a stranger is risky. Restaurants can prevent fraud by using mobile payments systems to establish pay-at-the-table processes.

Improving InfoSec and fraud prevention with tableside payments
While EMV cards protect transaction data, tableside payments remove and eliminate the need to hand your card to a server. When it’s time to pay the bill, waitstaff can furnish a mobile PIN pad or tablet directly linked to the Point of Sale with support for EMV, magnetic stripe cards and NFC-based mobile payments. All the customer has to do is follow the prompts on the device to complete the transaction and be on their way – without ever having their card leave their hands.

Want to learn how to enable tableside transactions?