Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Manual Credit Card Imprinters Becoming Obsolete

Since the introduction of credit cards in the 1960s, cards have had the card number, expiration date, and the cardholder’s name embossed or raised on the surface of the plastic card. Mechanical devices were developed and used to print credit card charge slips from those raised alphanumerics. Those slips were then deposited into the merchant’s bank account for many years, like checks to prove the transaction. Until recently, cards were affixed with a magnetic stripe and swiped through electronic devices that read and transmit card information to processing centers for verification and sales authorization.

Electronic processing is now so standardized that last year Visa announced that they were going to eliminate the embossing of card information on the surface of the card and that future cards would be “flat”, with card information printed but not on the back. With the strip will be accessible only magnetically. , Other card associations – Mastercard and the rest – will soon follow suit.

Some merchants still take card prints manually, with the exception of merchants accepting card payments for delivery of goods or services ordered by telephone – such as pizza restaurants, for example. They do this to verify that the physical card is presented to the merchant during a transaction, in order to prevent fraudulent chargebacks.

I have an ePassporte Visa Electron card in my wallet and the numbers are flat. No print can be taken.

And now there is no need to take any impressions. The new standard is to always swipe the card through a terminal, whether that terminal is in store, next to or part of a cash register or point-of-sale system, or through the use of a wireless terminal that a driver carries with the customer. leads to For payment at the time of delivery.

If your business takes orders by telephone or mail and you are manually entering credit card numbers into your terminal, you are spending a lot of money in additional card processing fees. Manually keyed transactions are processed as “non-qualifying” transactions, at a rate no more than double your original rate, due to the risk of the card not being physically present.

The fact is, the card imprint is no longer a protection against fraud, as any criminal can create counterfeit credit cards and use an addressograph machine to imprint stolen credit card numbers onto them. Encoding a magnetic stripe on the back, however, is nearly impossible to duplicate. The stripe contains not only the card number but other coding which, when swiped through the terminal, verifies to the bank that the actual card is present and being swiped, not manually keyed in.

What can a trader do?

Aside from purchasing some sort of portable photocopier to copy customer’s cards and perhaps IDs, all you have to do is embrace 21st century technology and equip your drivers or delivery personnel with wireless credit card terminals. Terminals can be bought or leased from your credit card processor and they pay for themselves quickly, because now all transactions they process will be under the same rate as card-present transactions.

These terminals include a printer so that you can obtain a signed receipt from the customer after the transaction is completed and authorized, and you can print a duplicate receipt for the customer. As if the customer was physically in your store.

I’ve equipped many mobile merchants with these tools: food delivery, locksmiths, massage therapists, computer technicians, handymen, plumbers and other repair workers – the list is growing every day as more businesses go mobile and allow customers to access their provide goods and services. The terminals are also great for fairs, shows, conventions and other venues where no landline telephones are available.

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