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If your restaurant, bar, cafe, spa, salon, or other tip-accepting business accepts credit or debit cards and you haven't made the switch to EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) chip cards, it's time you started seriously thinking about using the EMV chip for tips. How customers pay is continually evolving and with new technology being developed all the time, you need to be ready to accept those payments.

Payment Forms Are Changing

Before, cards were swiped through card terminals, but going forward, customers will be able to use EMV-enabled chip cards to pay for their purchases. Chip cards are just like normal plastic payment cards. The main difference is that they contain an embedded microchip which greatly lessens the odds of the card being counterfeited. Simply put, chip cards lessen the likelihood of counterfeit card fraud.

Rather than swiping the chip card, the card is inserted into the point-of-sale terminal during the transaction. Other payment forms that are being used by customers increasingly include contactless cards. Instead of inserting or swiping the payment card in the chip card reader, the card is simply tapped or waved in close proximity of the contactless card reader securely transferring the transaction data wirelessly. This is a very fast and smooth transaction.

Also growing in popularity are mobile wallets such as Apple Pay where customers complete the payment transaction just by placing their smartphones next to the contactless reader.

Tips for Adopting EMV Chip Technology

Whichever solution you choose to go with, you must follow these tips if you want to make your business's transition to accepting EMV cards as smooth as possible:

  • When you add EMV transactions, you must also consider upgrades like encryption, contactless payment, and tokenization. Such add-ons will help you provide that extra layer of convenience and security that your customers will appreciate.
  • Be prepared and stay vigilant. Fraud will be on the increase in card-not-present channels like mail payments, phone payments, online payments. EMV adoption shifts card-present fraud to cross-border and card-not-present fraud.
  • EMV protects in card-present environments. Think ahead and choose a payment processor carefully and you will be able to protect yourself against other kinds of fraud. As a business owner, you should approach payment card security in a holistic way.
  • EMV is only part of the whole picture. You should seek out payment technology that addresses point-to-point encryption, tokenization, and protects any card data that you may have to retain (for example, for recurring payments). Having encryption and tokenization in the payment environment will provide the widest fraud protection.
  • As a bonus, there are also marketing opportunities when you adopt the new payment terminals. By being able to accept those forms of payments that are being used by your customers, you make transactions easier and faster which leads to increased customer satisfaction.

With the liability shift, there is no reason to take risks by putting off the transition any longer. In fact, making the move now will not only be beneficial for your customers, but it will also help to protect your business.

To learn more about installing EMV technology and protecting your business, get in touch with us today and we will be happy to answer all your questions.

EMV Chip-Card Transition for Tip-Accepting Businesses

Is EMV Costing You Tips?

Swiping a magnetic-stripe card is different from dipping the EMV chip card in that when you swipe a credit card at the terminal, the POS system ensures that funds are available and authorizes the card, and stores the data. This allows you to come back and add a tip after the card has been swiped.

With EMV chip card transactions, on the other hand, after authorizing the final amount, a unique code is created but nothing is stored in your system except that unique transaction ID. This makes it impossible to add a tip after dipping the card. If you are a credit card holder who is worried about data breaches that result in credit card information being stolen then this sounds like an option that is a lot more secure.

If you own a business that accepts tips such as a restaurant, bar, cafe, pizza shop, salon, or spa then it's worth noting that when you implement EMV solutions and educate your staff about the processes, then EMV will only serve to enhance your business and customer satisfaction. After a brief transition period, it will be business as usual with satisfied customers and happy staff who never have to miss out on tips ever again.

EMV Costing You Staff?

Improper implementation of EMV processes will lead to your staff missing out on a lot of tips. If you own a business that accepts tips then you obviously (probably... hopefully?) have friendly and professional staff who help you to attract and keep loyal customers. They work tirelessly to make sure all your customers are satisfied with your service and they deserve the tips that customers leave for them.

Unfortunately, even if you had all your terminals switched to the EMV chip card process to protect yourself from fraud and to protect your customers from credit card data theft, if you didn't implement the new process and get the training that goes with it, then you staff will still be delivering the bills but not getting their tips.

The tips are a major motivator for good staff, and if you don't want to lose them to competitors who have already implemented EMV solutions in their business, then it's time to ensure that you have your system set up the right way.

EMV Costing You Customers?

In some parts of the world it may be considered normal to ask a customer if they would like to leave a tip, but in our corner of the world, it can be very awkward indeed. Imagine a scene where a customer is at the till paying their bill for the service received at a restaurant, bar, spa, salon, massage parlor, or any other type of tip-accepting business you can think of.

After the customer pulls out their card, the cashier notices that it's an EMV chip card and promptly asks the customer, “You're using a chip card. It means we can also process the tip right now. Would you like to leave a tip for the service you received?”

The customer is immediately thrown into a very uncomfortable situation where they don't have the privacy to reflect on the services they received and calculate appropriate adjustments. You'd be lucky if that customer ever came back!

If you want to avoid such scenarios then it's vital that you get the proper assistance from specialists to help you implement unique solutions that will allow your customers the privacy that they are accustomed to.

Would the Switch to EMV Cost Too Much?

You don't have to pay huge amounts of money just to switch to EMV. While the switch is not mandatory, it's important to understand that without the switch to EMV-equipped terminals, the bank will not insure any fraudulent charges that are made on a chip card and processed using the magnetic-stripe instead of a chip card reader.

This is a decision that merchants should make carefully after considering the advantages and disadvantages of the EMV chip for tips.


Whether you own a restaurant, a pizza shop or a nail salon, we have ideal solutions for your business so that you can start using the EMV chip for tips. We will make the best recommendations for your tips, staff, customers, and your business bottom line. Call us today and speak to one of our merchant services specialists.