What happens if my Chip & PIN card machine loses signal?

The UK officially adopted Chip and PIN back in 2006, as a way to significantly increase the security surrounding payments made by credit and debit cards.

In 2016, payments made by Chip and PIN cards overtook payments made by cash, showing that it is vital for all businesses to be able to accept credit or debit cards in order to properly trade.

However, like all machines, there can sometimes be problems with Chip and PIN, often involving signal being lost. In these situations, there are three easily actionable solutions.

1. Call your machine issuer.

In the vast majority of cases, a Chip and PIN card machine losing signal is just a temporary blip, which will sort itself out quickly. However, if you find that your machine is out of action for longer than expected, you should call your issuer, who can give you specific and tailored advice for your machine.

It is likely that they will be able to offer troubleshooting advice over the phone, which will solve your problems.

2. Use manual dockets.

Manual dockets are a way of recording the information from a customer’s card, and storing them for processing at a later date, without forcing the customer to use an alternative form of payment.

While there are a number of different systems for manual dockets, all involve taking a print of the front of the customer’s card and recording the details of the receipt and the payment which is to be taken from their account.

Once your Chip and PIN machine is back up and running, you can then process the payments using the information you have stored from the customer’s card.

When using manual dockets, it is vital to keep these in a secure location to prevent fraud and is worth keeping the information for six months in case of chargebacks. After this date, the information should be securely destroyed.

3. In an emergency – ask your customers to use cash.

Customers are often very understanding and can relate to technology faults.

As such, they are unlikely to mind heading to a cash point to complete their purchase, especially if you can point them in the direction of the nearest free one.

Equally, if you temporarily place a sign somewhere obvious within your establishment that you are currently unable to process Chip and PIN payments, customers will actively seek to withdraw cash before attempting to make a payment.

Remove the sign once you have your signal back.

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