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If you accept card payments - Are you ready? - Bank equipment - Top tips

Top tips for introducing chip and PIN

Here are some tips to help you and your staff introduce chip and PIN smoothly:

Familiarise your staff

The more they know about chip and PIN, the smoother the transition in your shop will be. If staff are asked by customers, they should have an understanding of why chip and PIN is being introduced and knowledge of how the system works.

Inspire confidence

Most people will take to chip and PIN very easily as it's just like using a cash machine to withdraw money. However, some people may be a little more nervous especially if they are using chip and PIN for the first time. The more confident and reassuring your staff are, the more confident your customers will become.

Be sensitive

It is important to pay particular attention to older people and disabled people. While the system will be easier for most people, some groups may find chip and PIN more difficult. In practical terms, make sure that PIN pads are easily accessible for everyone and that helpful staff are on-hand to assist customers when they need it.

Be discreet

PIN numbers are secret and should remain so! The new PIN pads found at checkout counters have in-built privacy shields to help ensure this, but you need to make sure your CCTV cameras cannot see the PIN being entered. Staff can help as well by being discreet and not looking at customers when they key in their PIN. Never let a customer tell you their PIN - even if they want to.

Who inserts the card?

As this can vary, ensure your staff know the routine in your shop. In some instances the card will be handed over to shop staff to insert into the card reader. In others, customers have a choice of whether to insert the card themselves or to hand it over.

Put in procedures for 'locked' PINs

Ensure all staff know what a 'locked' PIN is and the correct procedure. If a PIN is locked, it means that a customer has entered the wrong PIN three times in a row when trying to make a purchase and the card is made temporarily unusable. Staff should advise customers to ring their card company who will tell them how to unlock the PIN or to go to their cash machine and use the unlock service there.

Declined cards - what to do?

There is no reason to change procedures for declined cards. Cards will be declined for the same reasons as under the old system - because the card is over its limit for instance - and your staff should understand this.

Make sure staff know your refund policy

If a purchase has been verified by PIN it will usually be indicated on the receipt. Make sure your staff know whether they need to ask customers to re-enter their PIN to make a refund.

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