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4 Important Considerations When Evaluating EMV Solution Providers


EMV SolutionResearching and evaluating EMV solutions is currently on many hospitality and retail organizations to do list. In most cases, those organizations spend appropriate time reviewing and evaluating gateway providers, processor options, PED (Pin Entry Device) manufacturers, as well as any costs associated with the solution.  While all those things are clearly important, there are a few other considerations your organization should be sure to evaluate.

  1. Discovery-Will your EMV provider spend time understanding and evaluating your organization’s total credit card security needs and EMV site requirements in advance of a proposal being provided? Do they discuss integration requirements to existing Point of Sale or Hotel Property Management Systems? Do they do a proper discovery in advance of a proposal submission? Or will they simply ask how many EMV terminals you need and crank out a quote?
  2. Site Survey-Will your EMV provider offer the option of an onsite site survey to evaluate and confirm things like power and data needs, physical environment readiness, and network and firewall capabilities? Have you discussed where the devices will be located and is there space, power, etc. available? Many times physical readiness at a site is not considered until it is too late.
  3. Installation-What options are available by your solution provider regarding EMV device installation? How does the installation process work? Is it self-installation? Is it remote installation? Is it on-site installation? Is it a combination? What is the installation process? Does your EMV solution provider offer your organization installation flexibility?
  4. Support-Unfortunately, this topic is often neglected or not given the review it deserves when organizations are evaluating EMV solutions providers and they tend to regret it after the sale. Does your EMV solution provider offer 7x24x365 service? Do you have to call multiple entities to support your solution? (Card Brand, Processor, Bank, EMV hardware manufacturer, POS Company, Gateway?) Does the EMV provider have extensive experience and a list of customers in the market you work within? What are the provider’s first call resolution rate and data center uptime record?

At Merchant Link, we place a lot of emphasis on the 4 considerations listed above:

Discovery- All of our sales executives are experienced in the markets they serve as well as the payments industry, and ask the important questions other providers may not consider. We believe in a consultative approach, and we review a number of qualifying questions with our clients in the beginning of the sales process to ensure we provide accurate proposals and set our clients up for installation success upon go live with their new solution. We review all aspects of your credit card security, not just EMV, and aim to provide a total solution that fits your needs.

Site Survey- We know that not all organizations have the luxury to employ full time IT teams to help with reviewing and evaluating site readiness. At Merchant Link, we offer @Your Service, which gives our clients the option of having a Merchant Link certified technician visit your location. They will review power and data needs, physical environment readiness, and network and firewall capabilities in advance of installation. This offering helps reduce curve balls at the last minute and ensure a successful installation.

Installation- We offer many installation options for our clients depending on their requirements, needs, and capabilities including on-site installation, remote installation, and custom offerings.

Support– Merchant Link has been supporting clients for almost 25 years and was originally built upon support as its foundation. We offer 7X24X365 support to all our clients. We have followed a philosophy of “One Call Solves All” Support. A relentless commitment to one-stop shop support service, fully owning a problem versus re-directing it or “ping-ponging” you to your bank, POS provider, or processor to solve the issue.

I strongly recommend you keep these considerations high on your list as you do your homework on EMV Solution providers.