Pin Pads in the Wild #4

Located at favorite seafood vendor.  The owner of the operation offered thoughtful points on why the machines are sometimes more of a hindrance than a help.

  1. The machines are difficult to set for dual chip/no-chip authorization.  Currently, her machine is set to chip which means she a) needs to pay for a second line, machine for non-chip holders or b) send non-chip card customers away.
  2. The pin pads are not set for visually impaired customers.  The machine on the left has a single raised orientation dot on the number 5.  Plus, the raised rubber gets worn with use and leaving the choice to either do nothing or buy a new machine. Guess what businesses do. Similar to the reports of many visually impaired customers, the owner reports her staff frequently end up asking for and entering the user’s pin.   In her words, “how secure is that?”
  3. Authorization times are longer.   Chip/pin authorization is longer than using the slide method.  The owner reckons it could be her bank – Chase – but anecdotal experience suggests she’s onto something.  I suspect it’s the software.  The code for the chip reader was likely just bolted on to an existing program and that situation is always clunky at best.
  4. Visa and MasterCard have different protocols.  If you have a chip-only machine with a bank issued MasterCard branded debit card, the protocol will **only** accept the card as a debit card.  Visa branded debit cards will go as either debit or credit.  Why is this a big deal?  Debit means entering a pin, which means more time;  debit means visually impaired customers run into the pad button location issue; and, debit means the machine needs to be handed to the customer and passed back to the staff (an ergonomic issue due to counter height, display case width).

The owner agrees that a standardized process is sorely needed.



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