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How Restaurants Can Benefit from Semi-Integrated Payments

Semi-Integrated System in use at a cafeAlthough about 70 percent of U.S. storefronts now accept EMV chip card payments, the restaurant industry generally lags behind other types of merchants in adoption. When the U.S. flipped the switch and began accepting EMV payments in October 2015, some restaurant owners were skeptical whether they needed the technology designed to stop card-present fraud, and some were concerned that the technology would require changes that they didn’t want to make to their payment and tipping processes.

Since October 2015, however, when liability for fraudulent charges shifted to merchants if they didn’t have EMV-compliant payment technology, some restaurants have had to deal with and cover costly chargebacks. They’re also beginning to realize that their customers — who use their EMV chip cards for many other purchases and understand that they’re designed to protect their accounts — also expect to be able to use them at restaurants.

Besides, over the past four years, payment solution providers have addressed restaurateurs’ original concerns that upgrading to EMV would mean they have to change long-standing processes and make the payment experience awkward for their customers. Restaurateurs can accept EMV payments at the counter or the table, allow customers to add tips, run tabs, and cap off dining experiences with a fast, convenient, secure way to pay. 

If your client has moved beyond their original objections and decided it’s time to upgrade to EMV technology, the next hurdle you’ll need to overcome is their objection to the time and cost it will take to fully integrate EMV technology with their point of sale (POS) system. But a semi-integrated payment solution can provide your client with a simpler, more cost-effective path.

What are Semi-Integrated Payments?

In a fully integrated payment environment, a cashier totals the sale at the POS terminal and transmits the total to the payment terminal. When the EMV card is inserted or “dipped,” the card data travels from the payment terminal into the POS system and then on to the payment gateway or processor for authorization.

Semi-integrated payment technology works in a similar way, but payment data bypasses the POS system. Payment data is sent directly from the payment terminal to the payment gateway or processor.

Benefits of Semi-Integrated Payments

  • Security: Payment data never passes through or is stored in the POS system, so the risk of a data breach is significantly reduced.
  • Reduced PCI-scope: Since payment data never passes through the POS system, so the system is not included in the scope of PCI — which can make compliance easier and less costly.
  • Quicker implementation: Semi-integrated EMV solutions are pre-certified, so that restaurants can put them into use more quickly than a fully integrated solution.
  • Agility: With electronic payments addressed separately from the POS system, new payment technology or POS upgrades are easier to manage.

Benefits for ISVs and VARs

In addition to the benefits semi-integrated payments provide to restaurants, they also have plusses for your business. By taking advantage of pre-certified solutions, you can reduce development time and costs to implement an EMV-compliant payment technology for your clients.

Also, because semi-integrated solutions work with multiple devices and point of sale software, it’s easier for you to build a total solution for your restaurant clients that meet their unique needs, such as mobile payments and pay-at-the-table solutions.

Easy and Cost-Effective way to upgrade restaurant merchants

Semi-integrated payment solutions do one more thing for your business: They help you deliver practical solutions that help your restaurant customers transition to updated payment technology, helping them expand the scope of payment types they accept and do so more securely. As a trusted advisor, you can assure your restaurant customers they have a viable option for upgrading their payment technology, avoiding fraud and chargebacks, and meeting customer expectations.

Start using a Semi-Integrated Payments Solution today!