Credit Card Processing in a Power Outage – Disaster Planning

Power outages have begun as a result of Blizzard Juno. While merchants and consumers should be home at this time, when the snow is done and people emerge to shop again, how will businesses manage accepting credit cards? The critical issues are power, telephone and internet access. Small to medium, and local retail businesses may especially lack the proper preparation.

“Sometimes a disaster is not the physical environment, but POS systems themselves,” according to Christine Speedy, a payments professional based in Florida. “A couple months ago, a client called because their 3rd party POS system went down and they were told it would be four hours before someone could bring a part to them. Luckily they had a plan B, which was to use our CenPOS mobile app with swiper that I’d recommended for hurricane season.

Backup internet access is critical:  Having multiple internet access methods is optimal so if one is down, there’s another option. For example, phone service may be down, but high speed cable internet up, or vice versa. It’s rare that phone, wireless phone and cable internet are all down at the same time.

Backup power:  How will you power devices, computers, lighting? A separate battery backup for computers can Power to recharge devices as well as power the store lights etc

Separate Point of Sale System (POS) from payments. If you can’t power your POS system, at least make sure you can accept credit card payments. Here’s some options to accept payments in a critical outage:

  • Call to a location in an unaffected area, and have someone key enter transactions into a virtual terminal. Have duplicate receipts ready for signature, and enter authorization code instead of imprinting card numbers.
  • Swipe on a mobile device
  • Call to a location in an unaffected area, and have someone send an einvoice to click and pay.
  • Text amount due and cell phone number of buyer to a location in an unaffected area, and have someone send an einvoice to click and pay.
  • Have an online pay page ready that you can refer customers to.

There’s lots of ways to be prepared, from keeping P2P encrypted card readers on hand to holding drills during slow times to test systems and readiness.

Paper backup plan: A backup plan in a computer is not very helpful if no one can turn the computer on to see the plan. Store the backup plan in notebooks in multiple locations, including off site.

Need a mobile reader as a backup? Ask about our P2P readers to ensure they’re safe and secure until you need them.

3D Merchant Services Powered by CenPOS
2633 NE 26th Ave Metro South FloridaFL33064 USA 
 • 954-942-0483

How do I reset Ingenico ISC 250 or 350 terminal?

ingenico ISC250 & isc350 reset

Ingenico isc250 signature capture terminal.

To reset your Ingenico ISC 250 touch or ISC 350 terminalshold down the minus and yellow clear button at the same time. Unplugging the terminal and replugging while connected to a power source is not recommended and doing so may corrupt the pin debit key, requiring a new key encryption injection.

3D Merchant Services provides payment processing technology for merchants to run Ingenico and other signature capture terminals, without specialized POS software. The credit card processing terminals can be operated with our secure virtual terminal or with integrated solutions that can keep merchant POS applications out of scope for PA DSS. Many recent merchant data breaches have occurred from applications that were in scope for PA DSS. By segregating payments from POS applications, merchants can increase security while reducing compliance burden.


Equinox Optimum L4250 screen blank, dead terminal

Optimum L4250 hypercomIf you’re reading this, chances are your credit card terminals beeped and then suddenly stopped working. If your L4250 hasn’t yet, it will the next time you reboot it. The cause is a manufacturer expired security certificate. It doesn’t matter when you bought the unit because the 10 year certificate was issued in 2004 and expired in 2014.  The sudden mass extinction of thousands of terminals has left merchants scrambling for credit card terminals.

The only instant solution is to replace your terminal. In most cases, a super quick fix is to add a USB swiper. This will get you operational until you can obtain another solution. Units are available at most office supply stores. Because those retail store units do not have P2P encryption, it’s just a quick fix. (Merchants can only buy P2P encrypted units from authorized distributors that can inject the P2P key.)magtek credit card swiperEquinox has a Certificate Expiry help web page where you can request help. Those who have tried the support have reported varied help. On Krebs security, a commenter said 0 of 400 units were able to be updated remotely, but they were given option to mail in at their expense and Equinox would send out a new unit.  Since most merchants will want pin debit encryption, it’s not a simple matter of them dropping a new one into a box. You’ll have some down time waiting, especially with the high demand. Be sure to remove all cables and pen before shipping any unit you return.

The L4250 end of life was announced some time ago. Now is the time to Invest in new EMV terminals. If you’re able to resurrect the L4250’s in the coming weeks, keep them as back ups as long as they’re still PCI Compliant.

The comparable replacement signature capture terminal is the new Equinox L5200, which supports EMV and NFC. CenPOS merchants contact your relationship manager for pricing with overnight replacement and P2PE encryption.equinox signature capture device l5200If your terminal is permanently dead, consider recycling. It’s good for the environment and secure.


3 Reasons A Desktop Credit Card Terminal Is A Poor Merchant Solution

Last week I visited multiple merchants that sell products and services  business to business, most of them whom never see their customers. They all had desktop terminals.


The FD100ti by First Data is a good quality retail terminal, but I wouldn’t recommend for business to business, card not present merchants.

3 Reasons A Desktop Credit Card Terminal Is A Bad Solution For Business To Business Merchants

  1. PROFITS REDUCED: It doesn’t support level III processing, critical for business to business merchants to save money on merchant fees.
  2. INCREASES RISK: It cannot store and tokenize credit card numbers for repeat billing so either card data is stored on paper forms or employees get the number over and over again, either way exposing the card number repeatedly.
  3. INEFFICIENT:  Employees have to key enter full card data every time for repeat customers; data records are limited to whomever has access to accounting software, or waits for reports to be generated and disseminated.

Tip: There are no desktop terminals that support level III processing. Merchants need a virtual terminal or integrated payment solution that supports level III processing.

OpenBravo POS terminals with signature capture

Looking to use signature capture devices with your OpenBravo POS? Ingenico and Equinox terminals are compatible with our integrated payment gateway.

equinox L5200 signature capture terminal

Equinox L5200 is a feature rich signature capture terminal among the lowest cost and high reliability. Equinox was formerly known as Hypercom, the number one terminal brand in US.

ingenico isc350 signature capture

The Ingenico isc350 has a large glass screen and bigger footprint than other units. Stand with angled base is recommended.

  • Ingenico touch ISC 250
  • Ingenico touch ISC 350
  • Equinox L5200
  • Equinox L5300

Older products supported but end of life has been announced include the Ingenico i6580, Ingenico i3070, Hypercom Optimum L4250, Verifone Pin Pad 1000se. Other compatible options include Magnetic Card Swipe reader and mobile card readers.