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Payment technology

Progress looks like updated technology

Part 2: Tablet POS, mobile payments, and EMV®

In part 1 of this series we covered some of the main technology transformations that occurred in small to midsize businesses in the 1990s and 2000s.  In part 2 we’ll take a look at the current trends that are driving business owners to increase efficiency and customer satisfaction today. 

Integrated point of sale (POS) systems and electronic cash registers  are the norm in most businesses today.  They provide merchants with much more than the ability to accept credit cards quickly and efficiently.  They also perform functions that help merchants operate their business like employee scheduling,  data analysis and capture, inventory control and more. 

But that doesn’t mean that merchants or consumers are content with the current norm.  Consumers are demanding even more convenience, and security is top of mind for everyone in light of rampant data theft that is plaguing businesses and consumers alike.  Many of the sought after technologies satisfy both demands: convenience and security. 

Mobile payments    

Some of the hottest new payment types use mobile technology to make purchases as convenient as making a phone call.  With wide-spread mobile phone usage across all age groups, mobile payment technologies are catching on and growing in popularity quickly.

Most mobile solutions are inherently more secure than standard credit card transactions because they reduce or eliminate card handling and keep cardholder data safe throughout the transaction.  Mobile technologies  are changing how consumers interact with merchants, and how merchants reduce bottlenecks during high-demand times.  Plus, shoppers are now using their phones before, during, and after their shopping experience which has merchants acting quickly to have a presence online via ecommerce websites, social media, and in-store mobile promotions. 

Tablet based POS systems

Consumers aren’t the only ones looking to go mobile.  Tablet based POS systems are making huge gains in the marketplace.  They ditch the old model of desktop POS systems that are not portable and take up a lot of counter space in favor of sleek, streamlined, and most importantly, portable tablet devices.  These systems typically pack as much punch as a traditional POS system, but are light and have a small footprint.    Merchants can swipe credit cards through card readers that plug into the USB port. 


One of the most anticipated and talked about technologies emerging today is EMV, which is a secure technology for processing chip-based credit cards.  Chip cards, also known as “smart cards,” are credit cards that have sensitive cardholder information embedded in a data chip in the card, as opposed to traditional credit cards where the data is stored in the magstripe on the back of the card.  An EMV-enabled device must be used in order to read the chip on these cards and process a payment with EMV technology.

EMV technology increases card data security mainly by making it virtually impossible to create counterfeit cards, and by requiring cardholder authentication that verifies that the card belongs to the person using it.  Banks and other credit card issuers are currently issuing these chip cards to cardholders en masse.  Considering that the card associations will soon be shifting the liability on card-present fraud to merchants who do not use EMV technology to process them, many merchants are looking to add EMV-enabled terminals to their systems.

This is a very brief overview of current technology trends.  Read on for more information about mobile payments, tablet-based POS system, EMV and payment security.

EMV is a registered mark belonging to a third-party that does not sponsor or endorse Vantiv Integrated Payments, LLC.

At Your Fingertips

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