7 Key Terms for Understanding Pay at the Table Payment Processing for Your Restaurant
Regardless of whether your restaurant is part of a large chain or an intimate bistro, an EMV compliant pay at the table system dramatically advances your service capabilities. Payment processing done right there at the guests’ table provides convenience, ensures security, and increases efficiency.
The first step is to become familiar with industry terminology to make your restaurant payment processing systems EMV compliant and offer pay at the table.
Restaurant Business Terminology
- Merchant: That’s your restaurant. Your restaurant sells goods and services and accepts debit and credit card payments.
- Acquirer: The bank with which you, the merchant, will be working. The acquirer will open a merchant’s account. Through this merchant account, the acquirer will handle payment processing on terms that both parties agree to, including policy considerations like chargebacks and refunds.
- Cardholder: That’s the customer or guest who will be paying the merchant for goods and services. Other than cash or the occasional cheque, cardholders will use debit cards or credit cards to pay at your restaurant.
- Issuer: The bank with which the cardholder holds an account. The issuer supplies debit and credit cards to the cardholder and handles payment processing at the cardholder’s end.
Restaurant Pay at the Table Payment Processor Providers
- Point of Sale System Provider: The technological brain of your business – how it runs, and how it’s managed. Point of Sale systems track inventory, text and email receipts, analyze customer and sales data, perform invoicing, manage employee schedules, and gratuity consolidation.
- Hardware Provider: This is the company that manufactures the physical – metal and plastic – hand-held device. This device is called the payment terminal, or a point of sale terminal, or a credit card terminal. This device houses the software payment processor allowing merchant and cardholder to manually enter information about the transaction and also insert, dip, or swipe a credit or debit card. The device comes in a wireless, portable format that allows you to perform pay at the table payment transactions.
- Software Provider: The software that performs the transactions between cardholder and merchant, and merchant and acquirer. This software reconciles payments. They connect to various card associations and supply authorization and settlement services and move money from the issuer to the acquirer. As complex as this process is, software payment processors can complete this task within seconds.
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