Cashier/Staff Education

I hear that my cashiers will no longer handle the customer’s credit card. Is that the case, because that would impact staff training?

Posted On: March 21st 2011

That depends on the terminal. Some terminals have separate PIN pad which need to be given to the customer. But with PIN chances are that indeed customers no longer give away their card. So always educate your staff (this is fairly easy and quick).

That is correct, however, it might not always be the case. If the customer is asked to sign the receipt the cashier will need to ask for the card in order to check for a signature. In the early days of conversion your customers will still have the habit of giving the card to your staff, if they recognize a chip on the card, they should instruct the customer to insert the card into the PIN Pad.

The chip card should not leave the customers hand; test cards are available from ICC Solutions to facilitate staff training.

As a card accepting merchant – your cashiers must be trained on the basic procedural differences between magnetic-stripe and chip card acceptance and you should evaluate creating a brief cashier / cardholder instruction guide to help ease the transition to chip:

  1. Chip cards are inserted into the chip reader and remain inserted for the duration of the transaction. This differs from the magnetic-stripe method where the merchant swipes the card and immediately removes it, all in a single motion.
  2. The chip card must remain in the terminal during the transaction and should not be removed until the transaction has completed. Early removal of the chip card from the reader will terminate the transaction.
  3. As terminal messages vary, you need to clearly identify the terminal message that your device signals when a transaction is completed. You should instruct cashiers and if appropriate, the customers, to remove the card from the terminal only after seeing this message.
  4. At unattended devices, such as ATMs or cardholder activated terminals, the terminal should have instructional prompts and signage to support cardholders through each phase of the transaction.
  5. General Care of the Terminal

It depends; I have seen Canadian merchants use both approaches. Some have staff insert the card and guide the customer through the process. Others leave the customer to complete the transaction on their own (with a predictably higher failure rate due to the customer's lack of familiarity).

If the chip doesn’t work can we use the stripe or key in the card number?

Posted On: March 21st 2011

Yes, There is fallback to Magstripe or manual entry whenever the Chip does not work.

If the chip is physically damaged or cannot be read by the card reader, it will ask the customer to re-insert the card a number of times (generally 2-3). If the card still cannot be read, then the terminal will accept the use of the mag-stripe and treat the transaction as a 'technical fallback'. Whether or not these type of transactions are approved is based on the issuing banks decisioning.
Processing manually keyed transactions can also be done, but might impact your chargeback rights on the transaction in question.

As a card accepting merchant, you could process this cardholder transaction using fallback (to magnetic stripe or key in) cardholder data. There could be liability shift consequences for the merchant.

That is a matter for the card scheme rules. In Canada, that would not be possible for a chip card being used at a chip-enabled merchant.


How much training do I need to do with my cashiers and IT staff? Will materials and training classes be available?

Posted On: March 21st 2011

Usually a vendor or processor will make training material available (short movie or website or brochure) on the changes. There are no real training classes available for Cashiers, I also think that a brochure or short movie is more than enough. If you have your own central system, than I would recommend sending the IT personnel in charge to an EMV technical training. Collis organizes open EMV training courses through US/Canada and will me more than adequate for your IT people. Training would benefit your team as well with respect to identifying future functionalities (contactless and NFC?) and help you stay ahead of your processor and/or vendor (which questions do I need to ask? What are the points of attention for my system? Etc.)

You acquiring bank and major payment schemes should have some information available for your staff. Training should be done in intervals as your staff will not encounter many chip cards at first and will forget most of what you trained them on.

Again, contact your acquirer who will assist.

Impacts on merchant systems as a result of EMV conversion that may need to be modified and should be evaluated include the following: Terminal-to-merchant host interface; Terminal-to-retail workstation interface; In-store terminal controllers; Merchant-to-acquirer host interface; Back-office systems for major merchants that support their own back-office systems; Capacity planning for merchant networks that process, capture, log, and back-up transactions.

Merchants should work with your point-of-sale servicer, acquiring processor, payment brand and payment group organization for off the shelf materials that could be used / modified to your specific merchant environment.

Operationally, develop training programs:

  • Train the Trainer / Supervisor classroom raining / Incorporate into existing standard cashier training
  • Point-of sale devices – get your supplier to sponsor training on how to use, Integration with ECR, and Troubleshooting or swap out
  • Merchandise refunds and returns should work the same in the magnetic stripe world.
  • Training Materials – Quick reference and FAQ sheets
  • Inform Customer Service and Cashiers of toll free Number for level 2 support
  • Web Training - Access to Website and how to Use/Navigate

That is an important matter for your acquirer to answer for you.