News & Events

5 tips to spring clean your Point of Sale!

Spring is just round the corner, which means it’s the perfect time to give your Point of Sale a new lease of life with a thorough spring clean.

Not only will everything look better but evidence shows that looking after your payment terminal results in increased up-time, increased sales and reduced costs. So, let’s get started!

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1) De-clutter

Wherever there are people, there’s clutter, and Points of Sale are no different.

Take a good look at your cash desk. Are there items getting in the way of your customers making a quick payment? Be ruthless and move those items somewhere else.

Is your payment terminal getting lost in the mess? Lift it up and give it pride of place on the counter by making sure it’s on a stand. That way it’s protected from every day dirt and wear and tear, and it stays in a fixed place so you and your customer always know exactly where it is.

Are you bombarding your customers with too many instant purchase choices and multiple messages? Remove all but your most popular and profitable impulse buys, and prioritise which message you want customers to take in as they pay.

For example, is it obvious amongst all the clutter that you offer contactless payments? Regular customers love being able to tap their card for a quick turnaround on their daily paper or shot of caffeine, so make sure they know they can.

And on the subject of contactless payments, did you know, MasterCard recommends plastic stands for contactless payment terminals?

2) Clean your terminal

Now your payment terminal is sitting pretty in a clutter-free zone, give it a good clean.

A sticky, grubby looking payment terminal isn’t just off-putting for the customer, its sending out all the wrong messages about the business. ‘Customer Damage’ is the most common fault code assigned to payment terminals and PIN Pads when they come back for repair and if a device is found to be broken because it hasn’t been properly looked after, the merchant can expect a sizable repair bill. Here’s how to clean your payment terminal properly:

Step 1: disconnect all cables and make sure the terminal is powered off before you start.

Step 2: apply denatured alcohol to a clean, soft, non-abrasive, low-lint cloth and carefully wipe the terminal all over. DO NOT use undiluted ammonia or abrasive cleaners.

Step 3: use anti-static compressed air to clean in and around the terminal’s printer mechanism.

Step 4: while you’re cleaning the terminal, check there’s nothing attached to it that shouldn’t be there. Sometimes criminals put chips on the underside of Point of Sale terminals or add readers to the card slots, so it’s important to check regularly that your terminal is clean of criminal additions as well as dirt.

3) Clean your readers

Did you know that even low usage terminals should have their card slots cleaned every week to reduce transaction failures? And you should make that a daily clean for high usage machines.

If the outside of your payment terminal is looking grubby, you can bet the card reader is the same. The surface of a credit card has oil and dirt on it, which is transferred into your card reader at every transaction.

There are a variety of flat and textured cleaning cards on the market that make the job incredibly simple. You just insert or swipe the cleaning card into the reader in the same way a customer inserts their payment card. The card will safely remove dirt, oils and other contaminants from the optic sensors in your terminal. Job done!

4) Tidy up cables

Passing your payment terminal backwards and forwards to your customers multiple times a day is good for your bottom line but it puts a real strain on the terminal’s cables.

Cable damage is one of the most frequent reasons that payment terminals fail and can occur in as little as four months for a high traffic Point of Sale where the terminal is handed back and forth frequently.

By mounting your payment terminal on a stand like Tailwind’s FlexiPole you can route the cables down the stand’s pole and fix them safely below the counter. This keeps the cables out of sight, clear of possible accidental damage and safe from criminals who might want to tamper with your terminal. 

Channelling your cabling has the added advantage of helping your business to acheive P2PE (Point to Point to Encryption). A supplementary document to PCI DSS, Skimming Prevention – Best Practices for Merchants states:

"Limit exposed terminal cable and wire or non-secure channels for communication infrastructure when possible. So, to achieve the best possible security standards for customer data and to achieve P2PE validation, physically securing Point of Interaction is vital and cabling needs to be channelled and invisible to the observer."

5) Make it secure

No spring clean would be complete without checking that you’re complying with the PCI Data Standards and requirement 9.9.

It’s now mandatory to physically protect payment terminals and PIN pads at Point of Sale and non-compliance puts businesses at risk of fines of up to $200,000 in the event of a data breach.

So while you’re applying a bit of spit and polish to your Point of Sale (not actual spit and polish, please! We refer you back to steps 2 and 3 above) think about how to ensure your Point of Sale is physically secure.

One answer is a lockable card payment machine stand that’s securely mounted to the counter. If the stand is fully secure, an opportunistic thief can’t steal the payment terminal and cables are inaccessible to criminal tampering.

If you choose a high quality stand like Tailwind’s FlexiPole, the bespoke backplate or PEDPack also prevents criminals accessing SIMS and SAMS at the back of the machine with chipping or machine skimming technology.

So, now you know our top 5 insider secrets for keeping your payment terminal in good shape and out of harm’s way, just don’t wait until next spring to do it all again!

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