What POS Vendors Are Doing to Prepare Booksellers for EMV Chip Cards

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Point-of-sale (POS) vendors are currently working on transitioning bookstores to EMV chip card technology by fall 2015.

By October, retailers not equipped with EMV chip card technology will face potential liability for fraudulent purchases. Among the steps necessary to prepare for the transition, booksellers will need to purchase terminal technology that their POS vendors recommend. Booksellers working with standalone sale systems will need to implement certified terminals that work with the credit card processors they use.

Below, six POS vendors provide details about their work on the transition to EMV chip cards, as well as contact information for booksellers looking to learn more.

Anthology

Anthology is working with Element Payment Services (EPS) to bring EMV technology to the POS vendor’s bookstore clients. Anthology and EPS are introducing a variety of devices for retailers large and small in the second quarter of 2015, all capable of accepting EMV chip cards as well as contactless payment methods, such as Google Wallet and Apple Pay. Entry-level units will cost about $250, and more sophisticated terminals can range up to $750. Most booksellers working with Anthology will not experience additional costs for software updates; the few that are not part of Anthology’s support program may need to purchase a software upgrade. Those that use the older credit platforms PC Charge or PayWare Connect will need to transition processing solutions to triPOS, Anthology’s payment processing application, in order to attain the encrypted tools and the new EMV and contactless capability. 

“Cost is certainly a factor for any business,” said Anthology’s director of sales, Jim Bean. “However, the larger picture is protecting the security of the credit card data, limiting the exposure and liability of the business, and keeping the reputation of the bookstore strong. A data breach like that of Home Depot or Target would likely be fatal to a small business. We are working hard to ensure that never happens to our customers by providing the latest technology and encryption.”

Booksellers working with Anthology will be hearing from the vendor by next quarter with information about the devices they will need to purchase in order to be prepared to accept EMV chip cards. In the meantime, questions can be addressed to Bean at jim@anthology.com or (800) 819-0095, ext. 103.

Basil

Basil is currently communicating with its credit card processing partners and making software and infrastructure changes to ensure that compatible hardware that supports EMV and other payment options is available to booksellers in the near future. Booksellers working with Basil should have recently received an e-mail with details about possible hardware solutions; more information will be sent by Basil as soon as it becomes available.

“We are working with our processing partners to get the new EMV equipment as early as possible to do our validation and integration,” said Gary Costello, Basil’s director of sales, who added that all booksellers should be prepared for expenses that may be incurred from hardware purchases due to the transition. “Once we have been notified of the equipment that will be needed to support the new EMV chips, we will be coordinating that transition with all of our customers.”

Questions about the transition can be addressed to Costello at gary.costello@addicosolutions.com or (678) 245-4599, ext. 107. Technical support can be reached at BasilSupport@BasilSoftware.com or (678) 267-2974.

Booklog

Booklog is currently offering two devices — the Verifone MX 915 and 925 — that allow for contactless payment, including Google Wallet and Apple Pay. The devices can take up to 10 weeks to ship, so Booklog is encouraging booksellers to consider purchasing their devices now.  Booklog V12 upgrades will be available this fall to enable these devices to accept EMV chip cards, and a new device, the Verifone VX805, will be introduced. The cost for upgrading to Booklog V12 is free for customers on a current maintenance agreement; however, with this upgrade, a Sybase database upgrade will be required for a nominal per-seat fee. Pricing for customers not on a current maintenance agreement will be available this summer.

To prepare for the transition, booksellers need to determine whether they’ll be using standalone terminals without POS integration, or if they’ll be using the VeriFone Payware Connect or Mercury Payments gateways with Booklog (both are EMV compliant) and one of the VeriFone devices.

“They need to prepare themselves for the change in hardware, including equipment and support costs,” said Booklog Regional Sales Director Gwen Fishbeck. The VeriFone MX devices require a static IP address with external access to the Internet, which may mean an expense in terms of network support. Booksellers should also be ready for the change in how transactions are handled at the register, she said.

With EMV, the customer will insert their card into the device, where it will remain until the transaction is completed. “There is going to be some retraining of the cashiers and customers on the specifics of EMV transactions; there will be a lot of nuances and learning all around,” said Rick Donagrandi, director of programming and development for Booklog.

Bookstores working with Booklog are entitled to free phone support to help switch out and configure their equipment and services. Sales questions and questions about pricing should be directed to Fishbeck at gwen@booklog.com.

Computac

By the end of the first quarter of 2015, Computac retail systems [i]Merchant and Square One will be integrating with the VeriFone Point system, providing Computac’s retail customers the capability of accepting credit, debit, and gift cards embedded with EMV chips, as well as contactless payments. The VeriFone Point system does not require local software; it is a cloud-based solution that will send the card information directly from the card reader to the processor without ever being stored locally.

Computac is currently in the process of testing and selecting equipment best suited for its customers. Over the following weeks, Computac will make a selection and inform its customers of their options.

Booksellers with questions or concerns about [i]Merchant and Square One can contact retail support at (603) 298-5721 or retailsupport@computac.com. Stores not currently using Computac that would like more information about [i]Merchant or Square One can contact Mark Warner in sales at mcw@computac.com or (603) 298 5721, ext. 142.

IBID

Information Resource Technology, Inc., which administers the IBID point-of-sale platform, will be working with Creditcall, a company based out of the United Kingdom. The company is not tied to a single piece of hardware, which will allow bookstores working with IBID to have more options when purchasing terminals for their store registers, said IRT president and owner Dave Walton.

Booksellers should be actively thinking about this move to EMV chip cards, said Walton. “Our stores will have to buy, for each POS station, one of these EMV-compliant devices. We’re trying to get the cheapest one that will work — we’re not doing the fancy stuff,” he added. IBID is narrowing down the list of compatible devices and carefully analyzing pricing, and will be reaching out to booksellers as soon as possible to inform them about the supported devices they will need to buy.

Booksellers with questions about the transition to EMV technology with IBID can reach out to Walton at irtdaw@aol.com or (412) 369-5990.

WordStock

A PDF on WordStock’s website offers basic information about implementing EMV technology and the company’s plans for the transition. Stores working with WordStock will need to acquire EMV-capable devices for each register accepting these types of transactions.

“WordStock has been working with card processors since last summer on the chip and PIN issue, reviewing both the specifications and the certification requirements,” the company said in a statement. “In addition, we’ve evaluated, and will continue to evaluate, various EMV/PIN devices to find one or more that provide a cost-effective solution for our users. As with other aspects of the project, we expect to provide updates on both of these topics via our Web page.”

WordStock expects certification of its terminals to be completed by the end of the second quarter and will post updates as soon as they are available. Booksellers working with WordStock who have outstanding questions can contact Daniel McCamley at dsm@wordstock.com or (800) 753-9673, ext. 212.


Booksellers looking for a better understanding of their current point-of-sale system and those looking for a new one are encouraged to attend the Winter Institute’s “Roundtable Discussion on POS Systems,” to be held on Wednesday, February 11, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., in the Grove Park Inn’s Heritage Ballroom B. The roundtable discussions will allow users of any of the POS systems discussed above to share questions, experiences, and insights. The discussions will be led by an independent bookseller who uses a particular system.

In addition, representatives from Anthology, Basil, Booklog, and IBID will be available to meet with booksellers at the Winter Institute’s Consultation Station, open in the Grove Park Inn’s Skyline Room on Tuesday, February 10, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Wednesday, February 11, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.