Need An EMV Terminal? 8 Questions Distributors Must Ask

emv smart card

EMV chip smart card.

Thinking about updating to an EMV compliant terminal to accept chip cards? Do you accept payments online today or plan to in the future? Choose a cloud based solution that will address all omnichannel sales needs current and future. Once you’ve narrowed your list of prospective vendors, use these questions to quickly identify differences.

Questions to ask before the demo:

  1. Is the terminal EMV certified today for my processor? This is critical because many companies are behind schedule.
  2. Can I use with any merchant processor? The average company will change processors. Flexibility is key to business continuity.
  3. Does the gateway support level III processing for retail?
  4. Does the gateway support 3D-Secure?

An no answer to any of the above is a deal breaker. Accepting a yes will inevitably lead to pain sooner or later.

Questions to ask to identify virtual terminal differentiators during the demo:

  1. Can you demo a swiped transaction with a commercial card requiring level III data?
  2. Can you demo how a token is created and use in a transaction? Do you perform a zero dollar or a one dollar authorization when a token is created?
  3. Can you show how to manage users and their permissions (roles)?
  4. Can you show how to research transactions?

EMV stands for Europay, Visa, Mastercard, the three companies that developed the standard for the security chip.
3D-Secure, including Verified by Visa or Vbyv, are optional security standards for online payments.
EMV certified – terminal approved for use and can be activated immediately.
EMV capable or ready – hardware is certified; equipment and or application is not yet certified
Virtual Terminal – web browser based solution to securely accept payments

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

What’s a Class B credit card terminal?

What’s the difference between a class A and a Class B terminal credit card terminal? Manufacturer and payment processor support. Most importantly, if something goes wrong, acquirers will not provide any troubleshooting assistance.

Class A terminals are fully updated, and receive Class A support from the manufacturer and merchant services provider, including troubleshooting and technical support.

Class B, or any Non-Class A terminals, are terminals no longer in production and do not have manufacturer support, or acquirers are not providing assistance if there’s a problem. Replacement parts and inventory may be difficult to find.

EMV Chip Terminal Buyers Guide

Merchants and developers are racing to implement EMV terminals to accept chip cards ahead of the October 1, 2015 merchant liability shift deadline. Buyer beware- some ‘EMV Ready‘ terminals may never be certified.


Credit card terminals advertised as EMV Ready, EMV Capable or EMV Compliant are terminals that ‘could’ accept chip cards in the future. But, the terminal must be certified to the processor. Due to the expense and time, not all terminals will be certified. If the terminal is driven by a POS application or payment gateway, both the solution and the terminal must be certified to each processor or merchant acquirer.

Tip: Beware language like “this terminal will get you ready for EMV”.

The image below from First Data shows specific terminals that solutions partners have submitted that their integrating, however, there’s no guarantee any will ever be completed.

CenPOS, an end to end payment engine, offers the only independent payment gateway with US EMV certified terminals available for all major processors today.

CenPOS has offered gateway driven certified EMV terminal solutions since January 2015. Is CenPOS right for your company, POS, or ERP?  Click here to view the full EMV Buyers Guide.

Christine Speedy is a global authorized reseller of CenPOS, specializing in B2B, omnichannel and integrations.

ICVerify Software End of Life & Replacement Options

ic verify replacement alternativeFirst Data announced today the end of life for ICVerify® Software, also known as First Data Payment Software for Windows®. Following a similar announcement by Verifone for PCCharge in May 2015, It was inevitable that ICVERIFY Software, another PC based payment software solution would also be deemed obsolete. What will software companies and merchant users replace it with?

What does ICVERIFY Software end of life mean?

Product development has ended. First Data has a timeline to stop selling and stop supporting ICVERIFY. The product owner does not have to immediately change, but should review the timeline and consequences for future business decisions.


  • June 17, 2015 End of Development Date: Effective immediately, there will be no new development for the ICVerify product. This includes development work requested as a result of a support issue.
  • July 31, 2015 Final Order/Shipment Date: No new orders or licenses. No new MID/TIDs or adding users to existing licenses.
  • June 30, 2016, End of Support Date: First Data support discontinued. Up until that date, both level 1 and level 2 telephone support for existing users.

First Data will honor valid ICVerify support contracts for customers that have purchased annual support, prior to June 17, 2015, through the end of their annual term. Effective immediately support contracts will not be renewed. This includes contracts for Level 2 integration support for First Data clients as well as Level 1 support agreements for non-First Data clients. Level 1 support for First Data clients will remain free until June 30, 2016.

“This is an ideal time to examine long term omnichannel payment needs to avoid transitioning to other outdated technology,” according to Christine Speedy, a cloud payments expert. “At their core, all payment gateways enable merchants to process web based transactions securely with cloud solutions. Beyond that, there are many differences, and even bleeding edge solutions could lead to further disruption, if the new technology disappears when ideas don’t catch on or venture capital dries up.”


Is 3-D Secure (Verified by Visa and MasterCard Secure) for card not present transactions supported?
Are there any EMV certifications? If not, what is the roap map time frame? (note- EMV certified is not the same as EMV ready or capable)
Is the gateway processor neutral to provide maximum financial flexibility? (Critical for integrations.)
If business to business, for which sales channels does the gateway support level III processing? (mobile, retail, EBPP, kiosk, online payments, ecommerce, other) Can the user bypass submitting level III data on eligible transactions?
Is ACH supported? (If no, this is a red flag as lagging in innovation.)
What type of audit trail is available for PCI 3.0? How long is the data accessible?

Do you need a new payment gateway for your application? Or to replace your ICVERIFY account? CenPOS is a flexible omnichannel gateway with EMV, 3-D Secure, tokenization, and Level III processing. CenPOS solutions, including virtual terminal and electronic bill presentment and payment, can significantly impact EBITDA, PCI Compliance, and efficiencies. Contact Christine Speedy at 954-942-0483 for integrations and new accounts.

Apple Pay EMV Ready Terminal Ad Review

applepay emv terminal

Apple Pay EMV terminal advertisement.

I received this attractive ad today in an email. At first glance, it looks like an Apple offer, but the fine print below says “Apple does not sponsor, endorse or promote this offer.
Apple Pay is currently available only in the United States.” Let’s review the ad and the landing page at

The merchant fees advertised by Total Merchant Services, a First Data ISO, are 1.59% plus $.19 per transaction. The fine print of the offer is not shown. However, this type of offer is for ‘bundled’ pricing. That means it starts at a low retail swipe rate for certain cards, but other types of cards and key entered transactions will be at a much higher rate to achieve the desired profit margins. Nothing wrong with making a profit, but this type of plan is only suitable for certain small retail businesses because bundled pricing always costs more than interchange plus pricing. Additionally, they’ll need to recoup the cost of the free terminal either through a long term contract or high profit margins or both.

The ad message is clear that your business needs to be ready for EMV Compliance and buying this terminal will get you there.  While the terminal is EMV ready, as of today, the unit has not been EMV certified on First Data. Since they’re promoting it, someone is probably working on the certification, but for now, the terminal is EMV capable, or in their words “EMV Compliant”.

“YOU will be RESPONSIBLE for CREDIT CARD FRAUD if you do not have an EMV-compliant terminal by October 2015.” Beginning October 2015, either the issuer or merchant that is the cause of a contact chip transaction not occurring will be financially liable for any resulting card present counterfeit fraud losses. Lost and stolen card use is not applicable for Visa, but is applicable for MasterCard. The card brands also have differing exceptions and extra incentives to encourage adoption of EMV. Refer to EMV deadline misinformation is rampant for more information.

apple payIs it an Apple Pay Terminal? That’s just sales jargon. The terminal supports NFC or ‘contactless’ payments, including Apple Pay and Google Wallet.

Ingenico iCT250 emv terminal

Ingenico iCT250 emv capable countertop terminal.

Note, the iPhone and iWatch are not included and it’s not a mobile terminal. The Apple products shown are items that consumers can use to make payments with Apple Pay.

In summary, nice ad, and easy way for small businesses to update their terminal with a quality brand. If you like their deal, I’ll match any offer they make – and offer an additional incentive- because I know it’s going to be profitable!

My core customers process over one million annually; They’re not required to change processors and this isn’t the solution I’d recommend for them.