As a brick-and-mortar retailer, it doesn’t take much to begin accepting credit cards. All you need is a merchant account and terminal — and you’re good to go.
Despite how easy it is to get started, an estimated 55 percent of small businesses throughout the U.S. don’t take plastic. They simply can’t justify the upfront cost of installing expensive credit card readers at every checkout counter.
For them, accepting cash is both easier and cheaper.
Moreover, many merchants who do accept credit cards have yet to transition to the more secure EMV standard. They continue using legacy readers despite the high probability of paying stiff penalties if — and when? — fraud occurs within their payment environments.
Again, cost is largely to blame. Experts estimate that it would cost the retail industry $2.6 billion to replace all of its legacy terminals with newer EMV alternatives.
However, PIN on Glass (PoG) is an emerging payment technology that some believe will revolutionize the retail industry. If these predictions come true, credit card processing could become substantially cheaper for merchants — and more secure for customers.
How Does PIN on Glass Work?
PIN on Glass is a payment technology that eliminates the need for bulky and expensive hardware, such as credit card readers. Instead of using a standalone terminal at the point of sale, merchants can use pre-existing smart devices, such as a mobile phone or tablet, to process in-store payments.
It’s worth noting that mobile payment processing isn’t new. There already exists a number of solutions that allow customers to dip or swipe their cards through a mobile-enabled reader. Thereafter, they can provide their signatures — either on a printed receipt or directly on the mobile device itself.
Because signatures are easy to forge, the readers offer little protection from fraud. This partially explains why the major card brands decided to drop the signature requirement in 2018.
With PIN on Glass technology, however, retailers can turn their smart devices into fully-featured EMV readers that are capable of accepting personal identification numbers (PINs) directly on the touchscreen (i.e., glass).
This could be a game changer. With PIN on Glass, merchants receive the security benefits of a standalone EMV terminal — without incurring huge costs. Those savings can be substantial.
A typical EMV reader might set you back $500 to $1,000 per unit. If you have multiple checkout counters in your business, those costs can really add up.
By contrast, most businesses (and employees) already have smart devices. This means that with some detachable readers and a few software updates, you could turn every phone in your store into a credit card processing machine.
Will PIN on Glass Truly Be a Game Changer?
It’s too soon to tell what PoG’s true impact will be, but it could revolutionize the retail world. This is precisely what companies such as MagicCube and Clover Flex are hoping as they continue to push the technology.
If their efforts prove successful, the retail industry will look very different than it does today.
Below are just some of the advantages that proponents believe will emerge if PIN on Glass becomes mainstream:
- Credit card processing will become more affordable for those who have delayed upgrading their payment environments due to cost.
- Merchants and customers alike will benefit from much greater fraud protection, as PIN on Glass leverages the same security technology that already comes standard with most chip-enabled EMV readers.
- Higher credit card acceptance will mean more transactional volume (and fees) for payment processors and banks.
- PIN on Glass is truly a mobile solution, so transactions will no longer be tethered to a single location. Businesses will be able to securely process credit card payments off-site at conferences and tradeshows.
All of these benefits fit into the payment industry’s long-term goal of placing less emphasis on “hardware” as it moves toward a more software-based approach. This transition will make updates, tracking and analytics easier to manage across the board.
Is PIN on Glass Right for Your Retail Business?
If you’ve already purchased EMV readers for your store, it might not make sense to move to this new payment technology. The direct switching costs are quite low, but there are many indirect costs once you factor in things such as employee training and software configuration.
Therefore, you may be better off sticking with your current setup until your EMV terminals need replacing.
However, PIN on Glass might be just what you’re looking for if:
- You currently lease your EMV readers for a monthly fee
- You’re using legacy credit card terminals in your store
- You don’t accept plastic — due to cost or security concerns
- You want to process credit cards payments at off-site events
If you fall into any of these categories, PIN on Glass may be a perfect fit for your business.
Getting Started With PIN on Glass
Want to learn more about this innovative payment technology? We’re here to help. To get started, schedule a free consultation with our team today.