Merchant Special Categories

Certain types of merchants such as hotels, restaurants and petrol stations have special needs. Here are some suggestions to help you research and follow best practices for your particular business:

  • Contact trade associations.
  • Contact specialist suppliers.
  • Consider specialist assistance.
  • Tailor your plan to the special requirements of your situation.
  • Learn from similar projects in countries that have already migrated to chip technology.
  • Watch worldwide chip implementation in your particular category for success stories.

You can find out more about what special needs apply to your industry by consulting current trade publications and the Smart Card Alliance website.

Industry-Specific Best Practices

Certain industries face special challenges unique to their environments. Here are two key categories and the issues you should consider within each of them.

Hospitality industry, including hotels and restaurants

  • Reservations – Bookings are usually taken over the phone or online, so the card can’t be read by a terminal. Charges for guaranteed reservations (“no-shows”) should not be processed as chip transactions unless an EMV transaction has been performed.   
  • Check-in – A normal EMV transaction is completed at check-in to verify that the card and cardholder are genuine and guarantee funds before the final transaction amount is known. Acquirers or merchants will determine an appropriate amount to be authorised.
  • Express checkout (or card not present checkout) – It is not necessary to perform a full EMV, card read transaction once the final transaction amount is known.
  • Gratuities – It is recommended that any gratuity be added to the transaction amount before the EMV transaction starts. This will ensure that the final billing amount is both presented to the card during the transaction and displayed to the cardholder at the time of PIN entry (if required).

Self-service petrol stations
For chip transactions in the self-service petrol environment, a pre-authorised EMV transaction for the maximum amount is normally completed before fuel is dispensed. If PIN entry is required, it is best practice to display the maximum transaction amount to the cardholder before the PIN is entered.  

When the final purchase amount is known, a payment transaction is generated using the chip data from the pre-authorisation. The final billing amount will normally be displayed to the cardholder either on the device’s screen or via a printed receipt if requested by the cardholder.