Chip and PIN Advances Card Reader Technology

by Alexandra Lyon

Chip and PINUse of Chip and PIN technology is expanding in the United States as an alternative to the familiar credit/debit card “swipe,” allowing customers greater acceptance rates when traveling and security with reliable transactions both locally and internationally. “The EMV/chip in the card uses a dynamically generated string of data with each transaction that makes chip cards difficult to counterfeit,” says Betty Reiss, spokesperson for Bank of America. “These are benefits both to our customers and to the bank.”

Though the technology has been around for almost a decade, the number of credit card programs implementing the new technology has recently increased, branching into AAA Members Rewards, Alaska Airlines and MasterCard branded credit cards with Sam’s Club, Target and Walmart. “Walmart is supportive of adopting Chip and PIN in the United States,” says Walmart Director of National Media Relations Randy Hargrove, “and we believe this technology is effective in securing in-person payments.”

Gearing up to meet the anticipated demand in this technology is Heckler Design, a local manufacturer that provides the countertop stands for card readers used in point-of-sale transactions. Owner Dean Heckler, who works with companies that provide the software to small businesses to ensure they meet the needs of the industry, is currently working on a new design that will be the frame holder for the new Chip and PIN technology. “The tablet-based point-of-sale companies are aware that they have a responsibility to help migrate their customers to Chip and PIN,” Heckler observes. “The trick is how to transition small businesses without forcing them to buy hardware and software that’s outside of their budget.”

Referring to PayPal and similar companies he works with, Heckler notes their increased interest in working with small operators. “These huge companies are really focused on what small business needs and wants and how to deliver it at a very competitive price point. … Now we are working with them to figure out how this transition will impact small business, and what they will need for their point-of-sale systems going forward.”

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