EMV for Restaurants and Tip-Accepting Merchants

EMV cards process differently than the standard, magnetic swipe cards. This has implications for merchants who accept tips – read below to learn more!

What's the deal with EMV for Restaurants?

EMV cards (otherwise known as “Chip” cards) are the way of the future. If you haven’t seen them already, you will soon as merchants are required to start accepting EMV transactions in October of 2015. For many retailers, this transition will be easy and smooth. Instead of swiping a credit card, you’ll instead “dip” the Chip-card into the slot in the front of your terminal, and the sale carries on like normal. But for merchants who accept tips, the EMV switch could cause a change due to security requirements.

Only a few terminals are currently certified to adjust tips for EMV transactions, so it’s important you have the most up-to-date hardware. Since EMV is a new technology, not all terminal manufacturers have certified all aspects of EMV acceptance. For example – many terminal manufacturers are certified to accept simple EMV sales, where the authorized amount is equivalent to the settled amount. As you can imagine – restaurants often settle transactions at differing amounts than their authorization due to tips. So, it’s important that you purchase a terminal that allows for tip adjustment on EMV sales! Only a few have this capability right now, so make sure you purchase a terminal that allows for tip adjustment if you intend to take payments at the table. Dharma recommends the FD-130 terminal and Clover Mini.

Use the FD-130 terminal for tip-adjustment

If you operate a sit-down restaurant, chances are that your guests are used to paying at the table. This presents a challenge for EMV sales, since many terminals don’t currently allow for EMV tip-adjustment. For this reason, many merchants are opting to utilize the FD-130 terminal. It’s one of the few terminals that allows for tip-adjustment as well as Chip+PIN acceptance. That’s the most secure form of EMV.

  1. Chip+PIN for transactions where your customer is present at the terminal.
  2. PIN-Bypass: if a PIN is requested, easily “override” the PIN request by asking the issuing bank to run as Chip+Signature. The issuing bank keeps the liability, and you can still adjust the tip later.
  3. EMV Tip adjustment. Adjust your sales at the end of the day, just like you do with old magnetic stripe cards.
  4. Use the WiFi connection to place the terminal in a central location in the restaurant, without the worry of too many wires. All you need is a power source.

The FD-130 provides a true solution to the EMV problem many restaurants have. Learn more here.

Use a Full-Featured POS like Clover Mini

Clover Mini has every feature you’d ever need in a POS system. No compromises were made when designing this system, and it shows! Merchants have been clamoring for this system for many reasons – most notably the ease of use and simplicity   with all of your data in one easy-to-manage location. Get access to upper-level features, like:

  • Accept any kind of transaction – EMV, Pin-Debit, Chip+PIN, and Apple Pay.
  • Accept tips however you’d like – either on the device during the sale, or on a printed receipt that you can later adjust. Clover makes it simple to edit tips – just quickly scan the barcode on any receipt (using the built-in camera) to instantly call-up past sales to enter tips, or see all “open tips” from a single screen.
  • Real-time inventory.
  • Employee permissions/roles.
  • Easy-to-create reporting with detailed breakdowns.
  • Touch screen with front-facing camera.
  • Internal thermal printer.
  • Connects via Ethernet or WiFi.

Use an external PinPad with your device

If your customers pay by approaching the counter AND you want to separately ask for tips, then you’ll likely want to use an external PinPad. This allows you to have a customer-facing device on which to request tips. That way, you’re still giving your customers the privacy they need to discreetly choose a tip, and in addition, you don’t need to “adjust” sales at the end of the evening by manually reviewing each tip. In this scenario, a typical sale will flow like this:

  1. The merchant will input the base sale amount in the credit card terminal sitting behind the counter.
  2. The customer will be prompted on the PinPad to enter their desired tip amount.
  3. After entering the tip, the customer will be prompted to swipe or dip their card through their customer-facing device.
  4. After the sale is authorized, the customer will be prompted to remove their card and a receipt will print from your base terminal.

The VeriFone Vx520 terminal and Vx805 customer-facing PinPad are fully EMV compliant, and also accept NFC (Apple Pay) payments as well. This is a perfect solution for countertop merchants who wish to accept tips! Watch a video of an EMV sale with tips on a Vx520, or watch an EMV sale with tips on a Vx520 + Vx805 to get a better idea of how this works. Note – the VeriFone terminal line is currently certified for Chip+Signature, and will be certified for Chip+PIN soon. For a Chip+PIN solution today, we recommend the FD-130 terminal or Clover Mini.