3 challenges with EMV, "Chip Card" Technology and Thermal Paper Rolls

Posted by Mike Wood on Nov 27th 2016

3 challenges with EMV, "Chip Card" Technology and Thermal Paper Rolls

Being Merchant Services brokers since 2013, we immediately saw the need to try and help our business owners with solutions to some huge challenges thrown at them with the migration to EMV or “CHIP” technology. 

Some of the problems people are talking about include the following: 

-The new machines only accept small rolls of 2 ¼ Thermal paper. (50ft max)

-The new terminals needed wall mounts, stands and other accessories.

-It is preferred that the new terminals be on the internet and not just a phone line.

Roll Capacity 

In March 2015 we began deploying new EMV, "Chip" terminals to our existing merchants and the first thing we discovered was that the Verifone VX520 credit card machine and the Ingenico ICT 220 and ICT250 credit card machines that most merchants would be using only accepted a 50 foot roll of thermal receipt paper. This would turn out to be a big issue.

Verifone originally designed the first VX520 terminal to accommodate the 85 ft. thermal paper rolls that retail merchants across the US had been using for 15+ years. However, since this original VX520 terminal was NON-CONTACTLESS it was not capable of performing NFC functions such as ApplePay, AndroidPay, etc. The demand for these NFC functions grew rapidly with mass advertising and therefore Verifone quickly developed the newer "CONTACTLESS" terminal by essentially reducing the paper roll capacity to squeeze in the NFC (contactless) reader. 

Ingenico mfg. went with 50 ft roll capacity from the beginning in their terminals and when Verifone and Ingenico both introduced their contactless terminals the merchants receiving these credit card machines were very frustrated that they couldn’t use up their old 85 ft thermal paper rolls and it was also frustrating that they could only buy paper online instead of Office Depot or Sam's club, etc. Additionally, the cost per ft is higher for smaller rolls as well. 

Besides these initial speed bumps the biggest issue we heard from our business owners was that they were having to change paper way too often with the 50 ft rolls. EMV, "Chip" transactions use approx 6-7 inches for a single receipt, so, if you give every customer a receipt, you will get less than 50 transactions per roll depending also on the reports that are pulled. Some of our merchants were suddenly changing paper 4 and 5 times during a lunch rush while the line of customers never stopped. 

Amazing Revelation

About this time we found that the 2¼ thermal paper could be fed thru the hinge on the Verifone VX520 without any modifications so we decided to design and manufacture a holder for the largest roll of 2 ¼ thermal paper available (230') and have some manufactured strictly to see if we could help some of our merchants and maybe make a couple dollars. The response was amazing and over 90% of our business owners purchased one and so we decided to file for the patents and and market them in the United States. 

Accessories for New Terminals

As our sales and contacts grew, we began seeing the need for other low cost solutions like our wall mounts, stands and, of course, paper adapters to fit the Ingenico ICT220 and ICT250 terminals. After having a banner year in 2015 we were anxious to expand our product line and have since introduced several more, low cost, POS solutions and look forward to designing and carrying many more. 

Internet vs Dial Up Land Line

The new EMV, "Chip" machines really should have internet to process efficiently. They will work on Dial UP but seem to have more connection issues than IP machines. A lot of processors are automatically updating machines overnight now and this only works with IP connected terminals.

Most businesses have an Internet service and router these days but there are still several that either dont have/need  internet service or, the router may be located in a back room or office and there may not be Internet available at the retail counter. 

If the latter is an issue then we carry the NETGEAR Powerline 500 Wireless Internet Extender!
This device uses your buildings electrical wiring to extend your Internet access to any electrical outlet! Really!

Be sure to check out all of our product videos for complete demonstrations and installation instructions.

Feel free to contact us with any questions and please like us on Facebook. 

Our mission is to provide low cost, functional POS equipment and solutions. 

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