Sunday, October 30, 2016

Troubleshooting Chip-Based Transaction Terminals

The following is a guest post from Brian Thompson at Transaction Services:

With the recent rollout of chip-based credit and debit cards with next-generation security precautions, many merchants have found themselves coping with the troubleshooting that comes with new technology alongside trying to educate customers about the transition to the new technology. Between that and the uneven nature of the upgrade, it can be very difficult to make transactions go smoothly and to keep your registers moving at a regular pace. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your terminal so that you can concentrate on helping your customer.

Connecting the Terminal

Most companies these days are opting for high-speed transaction terminals because they can piggyback on the data connection your company already pays for, and on top of that they also run much more quickly and with fewer dropped attempts. If you’re trying to make a new terminal work, it’s important to start by troubleshooting the basic connection and testing it before you open for the day. To do that, follow these steps:

  • Check to be sure that you have the data cable plugged into the appropriate port.
  • Look at the indicator lights for the model. If any are not lit, consult the owner’s manual to see what to do next.
  • If the terminal still does not work, reboot it by shutting it down and unplugging it for thirty seconds or so before powering it up and letting it initialize itself.
  • Last but not least, confirm that the internet connection itself is working correctly by checking to see if a connected PC or mobile device can access the internet through it.

Troubleshooting Your Digital Services

Sometimes, the connection and the hardware are both in great shape, but it is still impossible to get information through. This tends to happen when high-speed terminals are put on the same connection as a VOIP communication device. For technical reasons, VOIP tends to complicate the ability of the terminal to perform downloads. When that happens, you may need to connect the terminal to an analog phone line to let it download the new software it needs via dial-up.

To coexist well with VOIP services, it is important to know how to switch between VOIP and regular data connections on the device and to use the actual data connection for downloads and transactions. The reason is because the VOIP service will not provide the same kind of network connectivity that an analog phone uses, and the terminal is not able to make use of its analog data connection to send a signal along VOIP. Instead, it needs the regular data connection that other computers use.

The simplest way around this is to connect the high-speed terminal directly to the router instead of going through a VOIP device, but if that is not possible, then the next best choice is to remember to switch from voice to data when you are attempting to process transactions or downloads.


There are a variety of other issues that might pop up besides those with digital services, including problems stemming from needing to dial an outside line to use an analog phone system. To find out how to troubleshoot those specific problems, consult your terminal manufacturer’s literature. That way, you will have all the information you need to successfully implement your chip reader.

This guest post by Brian Thompson has been provided by our friends at Transaction Services.
Brian Thompson is a business man who means business.  He has helped several companies thrive in the business world, and in his spare time writes for several blogs.
Follow him on Twitter @Biz_Gab