Don’t Let EMV Be an Afterthought for Your Self-Service Solutions

VendingWhen you look at the world of self-service and vending solutions, EMV acceptance is still a big concern. Most merchants that have fixed or mobile payment infrastructure are either already ready to accept chip cards or will soon be. On the other hand, thanks to the card brands, customers are also well adjusted to using EMV cards and understand the security benefits it offers. So why are self-service solutions falling behind when it comes to migrating to EMV? Four main reasons:

1. Cost

Compared to magstripe devices, EMV enabled self-service devices are more expensive. There is a huge cost to certification which often gets transferred to the merchant in some form or the other. Since the margin on the items available on vending machines or the services offered via kiosks is low, merchants may not see the value in spending on the upgrade to EMV.

2. Risk is Perceived

Even though vending and kiosk solutions offer many benefits to merchants and have gained popularity over time, the perceived risk for not switching to EMV is very low as compared to other implementation types. A retailer selling electronics or apparel needs to have an updated solution to avoid heavy chargebacks. However, the risk for self-service solutions is typically very low since the margin on vending items or kiosk services is too small to be risky enough for the merchant to consider upgrading the solution.

3. Compatibility with Payment Provider

Any payment acceptance solution needs to be compatible with the payment provider of the merchant’s choice. In a situation where the merchant may need to switch their provider, the process can be cumbersome and may act as a barrier to upgrade.

4. Emergence of Contactless

Another interesting barrier that came out of 2020 was the rise in popularity of contactless payment acceptance. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed merchants to upgrade to accept NFC/contactless, many self-service and vending solutions followed suit and upgraded from magstripe to magstripe contactless. This was effective in allowing customers to use their contactless cards and mobile wallets on vending machines and kiosks. However, it also made them think they don’t need to upgrade to EMV.

The Benefits Outweigh the Costs

When it comes to providing secure solutions, the benefits of adopting them always outweigh the costs. Self-service and kiosk solutions provide value to merchants as they cater to customers who are looking to shop quickly for the items they need and provide the opportunity to capture impulse purchases when customers aren’t near a store. The self-service experience is here to stay, and more merchants should look to adopt it sooner to provide better a customer experience not just in the present, but in the future.

While as a merchant you may think of the immediate cost of implementation, migrating your solutions to EMV will help future proof your technological infrastructure and provide you peace of mind that the customer card data is safe. It will also help you provide your customers a secure payment experience that is consistent with what they are accustomed to in other in-person environments.

If you would like to learn more and speak with an expert about the benefits of upgrading EMV, get in touch with us.


Bruce Rasmussen is Director of Sales, Strategic Verticals at Ingenico, a Wordline brand

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