EMV In Canada May Drive Need For Pay-At-Table Technology

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With Canada's imminent move to chip-and-pin cards by October 2010, it may be time for restaurants to install pay-at-the table terminals, Chris Justice, president of Ingenico for North America, tells CardLine. "EMV in Canada is the big push and I don't believe that enough people have paid attention to it," he says. Justice explains that pay-at-the-table terminals already are common in Europe because most cards require PINs. Canada should soon follow, he adds. With chip-and-pin cards, the customer will have to enter their own PIN to use cards to pay for a meal, meaning restaurants and other venues where customers normally handed over their cards will need new terminals to allow them to pay at the table, says Justice. "Getting that infrastructure done today will pay huge benefits going forward," he says, noting that the price, shipping and installation will be much easier to do sooner rather than closer to the EMV deadline. Justice says Ingenico already is in discussions with clients in Canada to prepare for the change, though he did not disclose clients. However, things are different below the border. He says the U.S. market is less apt to switch to pay-at-the-table terminals because it is so entrenched with magnetic-stripe cards that consumers are used to handing a card to a server to pay. "There is nothing driving it in the U.S.," he says. "In the U.S. you've got infrastructure, with touch screen registers at restaurants and people putting their card in a folio to run the card." He says fraud is not as much of a concern in the U.S. because most fraud is covered by the bank in the case of a card-skimming incident, in which a worker steals card numbers. "It's not like someone can go off with data--there is no financial impact."

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