EMV, which stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa, is a global standard for chip credit and debit cards. As background, the card networks thought that theft via swipe cards was too high: if someone stole your card – or hacked into a point of sale (POS) that swiped your card – they could fairly easily copy the static data contained in the magnetic stripe and reuse it elsewhere. Chip technology via EMV makes the transaction data dynamic so should a hacker gain access to your card’s transaction data the data would be unusable anywhere else: a unique code is generated for each transaction and the same code cannot be used twice.

EMV has been widely adopted across Europe and Canada over the past decade. Citing decreases in fraud, the card networks sought to bring EMV standards to America. As of October 1, 2015 the card networks imposed a liability shift for card transactions at in-store point of sale. This meant that merchants that weren’t EMV-enabled by that date found themselves on the hook for fraudulent card transactions, frequently known as chargebacks.

If the merchant did have EMV-enabled technology, the card issuer was on the hook for fraud, as it had been prior to the liability shift. Most merchants with small check averages viewed the the costs of EMV migration as a gratuitous expense and ignored it. However Visa likes to point out that fraud dollars dropped by 75% for merchants with EMV as opposed to a 46% decline for merchants that didn’t make the move.

Here’s where this gets fun.

POS companies have had plenty of notice to the liability shift, and the onus to invest in the technology to make their POS EMV-compliant was apparent. Yet many of them didn’t start the process in a timely manner, and some still don’t have a workable EMV solution.

Since there are likely tens of thousands of POS providers in US retail alone, we obviously need to limit the scope of the article. Therefore we’re focusing on the major POS systems across US hospitality.

Global Payments, which as one of the horsemen represents over 100,000 restaurants, has had EMV from the get-go. In general, they have support for every major processor on EMV with various hardware solutions including PAX, Ingenico and Verifone. This includes Apple and Google Pay.

Global’s EMV supports store-forwarding (think bar tabs), multi-terminal forwarding (run transactions on one terminal and edit on another), quick chip (mainly for QSR since EMV can take a long time to process), pin-debit, BIN range exclusion (for gift and loyalty cards) and they’re currently working on a full offline solution. They also support FreedomPay and Merchant Link for clients that prefer those carriers. The caveat here are that some of their POS solutions can only use certain devices, like POSitouch is only compatible with EMV on PAX devices.

MICROS went the polar opposite way and decided to boot EMV to third parties. Via their OPI, or Oracle Payments Interface, EMV devices instead are certified with the processors and not MICROS.  This approach allows for faster speed to market around the world.  Therefore all of the EMV-compatible solutions for MICROS are third party. “MICROS puts the burden of certification on the processor. OPI is a semi-integrated solution that keeps customers out of PCI scope. At a high-level, OPI provides the charge amount (e.g. $10) to the device which then prompts the user to insert/swipe the card. The device then directly connects with gateway. In this way MICROS is only seeing tokens,” explained a former MICROS executive.

Shift4 is another horseman and it built what it calls the UTG, or Universal Transaction Gateway. The UTG is both a cloud and on-premises solution with RESTful API that makes it easy for ISVs to integrate with Shift4’s solution: UTG in turn talks to a growing number of compatible devices that are pre-certified on the Shift4 platform. UTG is in use by 300 ISVs and 100,000’s of customers in F&B, hospitality and retail.

Shift4’s UTG supports EMV, PCI Validated P2PE, store and forward functionality, floor limits (when a merchant wants to put a limit on the preauthorized amount) and tokenization. “Our device certifications are done and the POS & hospitality companies in our portfolio can connect with UTG to handle their EMV needs” explained a Shift4 executive.

NCR, in true NCR fashion, is once again the laggard. “NCR doesn’t have an EMV solution that we can trust,” state a number of NCR’s resellers and customers. “When NCR realized that they were 3 years behind the liability shift they rapidly approved some EMV partners but we’ve had trouble finding an approved partner that works well.” NCR offers their own tethered EMV option for QSR via Connected Payments but does not have a solution that work in table service, where devices should be processing EMV dips at the table. The reasoning here is that the EMV card is not supposed to leave the consumer’s hand. In QSR the customer’s food is brought to them at the counter where they pay, but that’s not the case in full service.

Looking over the list of approved table-side partners surfaces another issue: the costs of NCR’s approved EMV solutions are high relative to non-NCR EMV providers. No doubt this stems from NCR’s walled gardens and pricey tolls.

“We tried Softpoint, one of the approved providers, but couldn’t stand it up,” explains one NCR reseller. “The problem as we understand it is that Softpoint relies on Omnivore for middleware integration to NCR’s Aloha. Whenever an issue was encountered Softpoint would point to Omnivore, Omnivore would seek help from NCR, and NCR would wipe their hands,” said another. Softpoint’s co-founder, Christian Rivadalla, countered that they have Aloha sites running, however. “Some you setup and just go and others you got to tinker with it. It’s not an exact science.” This is what we have also experienced with NCR’s Aloha POS as it is an antiquated software starved of the R&D necessary to modernize its connectivity.

Another of NCR’s approved EMV providers, eTouchMenu, wanted to head off the difficulties that come with integration through NCR’s traditional program; thus they built a direct integration under their Mobile Pay approval. eTouchMenu offers guest facing pay at the table with a la carte options like gift card. eTouchMenu has had EMV working across Landry’s, a staple NCR Aloha account, since early 2018.

PayMyTab is another solution that is a little broader in their offering. While they use Omnivore for their POS integrations – meaning another cost would normally be passed to merchants if PayMyTab didn’t absorb the fee – it allowed PayMyTab to focus on feature delivery and iteration. “We do table side ordering and pay at the table. Ironically the former is becoming more popular in many states that are raising the minimum wage as restaurants seek to control their labor costs,” said Tom Homes, PayMyTab CEO. PayMyTab offers guest analytics and loyalty along with their core values of EMV. “We’ve been told we’ll be one of only two recommended solutions by NCR in 2019.”

A consistent gripe we heard from the above solution providers was that Aloha was the only POS company charging them for integrations, adding costs to the merchant. This at least confirmed our observations as to why Aloha’s EMV options were so much more expensive.

After the four horsemen we have the major cloud POS providers.

Qu, formerly Gusto POS, has a semi-integrated platform solution. Niko Papademetriou, their head of Business Development, noted that it’s not a “cloud” EMV implementation nor is it a heavy on-premises solution, as the former often can’t support internet outages and the latter often requires a back office server. Qu’s EMV accepts all card and payment types with one integration, including Apple and Google Pay. It acts as a gateway to almost every acquirer and facilitates mobile EMV acceptable with Bluetooth, wifi or even device-level cellular connectivity.

Qu’s solution has full store and forward capabilities (when the internet or processor are out) for their transactions and supports multiple devices from Ingenico and Verifone, but has had trouble finding success with other cloud-EMV integrations and non-leading manufacturer EMV devices.

Revel started supporting EMV via Vantiv’s TriPOS in late 2016. They’ve had pay at the table since 2017 though they’ve seen no real interest in the technology due to lack of pin requirements. “Customers weren’t required to memorize pins here like they do in Europe or Canada so they still give their servers their cards and the servers run it on a machine in the back,” explained Revel CTO Erick Kobres.

Toast has had EMV running for over 15 months. Toast’s handheld device, Toast Go, became EMV-compliant three months ago and has a bevy of features: pay at the table, table side ordering, order-ready notifications, and the ability to collect guest reviews. Their EMV now has a customer-facing display as well. Toast has seen good speed in their EMV dip times at 2 seconds – which matters to QSR and fast casual brands who seek fast turnover.

Upserve had stand-alone EMV since the liability shift for $230. Recently they announced an integrated EMV play with table side ordering on Android. Previously Upserve was only available on iOS and the new EMV kit doesn’t cost any extra. The tablesides will be available in early 2019.

You tell us: is it acceptable for a “software” company to not have a functioning EMV solution more than 3 years past the deadline? Or more importantly, can a “software” company that doesn’t comply be one you should trust to run your critical software operations?

Probably not.

Original article from Reforming Retail here.


Partnership brings together digital menu leader with leading point-of-sale Innovator.

LAS VEGAS, April 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — eTouchMenuTM (a wholly-owned subsidiary of House Advantage, LLC) has announced its partnership with Squirrel Systems, a leading technology provider to the hospitality industry, as an integrated provider in point of sale software, enhanced EMV and mobile payment solutions. eTouchMenu provides the tools to turn order-taking and point-of-sales transactions into new opportunities for building customer loyalty and heightening brand engagement. Together, eTouchMenu and Squirrel Systems streamline operations, elevate the customer experience, and provide the most advanced and secure restaurant management platform.

“With the proven platforms and increased efficiencies, Squirrel Systems helps restaurants enable amazing customer experiences,” said Jon C. Wolfe, Chief Executive Officer of House Advantage and eTouchMenu. “Squirrel Systems point-of-sale fits seamlessly with the eTouchMenu suite of products and works hand-in hand with our core goal of extending the value of existing current products and systems through new and innovative fully integrated solutions, such as Squirrel Systems point of sale technologies,” concluded Wolfe.

About eTouchMenu:
Since its founding in 2012, eTouchMenu has quickly become the leading digital menu and payment solutions provider in the hospitality industry. As the industries only agnostic provider, the eTouchMenu suite of products deliver unparalleled success in providing immersive digital menu experiences, pay at the table EMV compliance and transforming the overall customer experience. eTouchMenu provides new opportunities for building customer loyalty, heightening brand engagement and creating high levels of ROI. For more information on eTouchMenu, please visit  www.etouchmenu.com

About House Advantage, LLC:
House Advantage loyalty marketing technologies, reinforced by strategic expertise and deep industry experience, empower the world’s most successful entertainment brands to seamlessly integrate powerful new marketing strategies and tools. Brands using House Advantage, increase customer engagement, generate vital business intelligence, and boost per-customer share-of-wallet with seamless integration and total support for their existing systems. House Advantage is headquartered in Las Vegas, NV, with offices in Macau SAR and Memphis, TN. For more information about House Advantage, please visit www.houseadv.com  

About Squirrel Systems
Squirrel Systems is proud to be celebrating 35 years as a technology provider to the global hospitality industry. Squirrel revolutionized the industry with the first touchscreen restaurant POS system and continues to introduce market leading innovations to help shape the industry. With a proven platform, extensive domain expertise, and industry leading service and support, Squirrel helps food and beverage operators enable amazing guest experiences. For more information, visit squirrelsystems.com.


Enhanced customer experience due to combined digital menu tools and solutions that provide better, faster service.

LAS VEGAS, November 8, 2018 /PRNewsire/ – eTouchMenu™ (a wholly-owned subsidiary of House Advantage, LLC.) announced SkyWire as its strategic partner to provide eTouchMenu customers with a secure point of sale solution. SkyWire caters to the gaming industry, restaurant customers, along with hotel, hospitality, and food and beverage customers among others. The company’s marketing, technology products and customer segments align seamlessly with eTouchMenu’s digital menu technologies, strategies and customers.

“Our partnership is going to expand the capabilities of mobile ordering and payment. Now, a guest will be able to digitally order on a variety of mobile devices as well as complete their point of sale transactions, giving them complete control over their dining experience,” said SkyWire CEO Dennis Montellano. “We anticipate that the SkyWire eTouchMenu strategic partnership will be highly valuable to guests and look forward to continuing to surpass the industry standards.”

“Having SkyWire as our eTouchMenu point of sale system partner will help our customers manage day-to-day sales, and also help grow their businesses with our built-in loyalty and marketing software, and business intelligence,” said Jon C. Wolfe, Chief Executive Officer of House Advantage and eTouchMenu. “Working together, our customers will have unparalleled products for all verticals, integration of new hardware for more choices and so much more. We look forward to SkyWire’s contribution to this for a very long time to come” concluded Wolfe.

About eTouchMenu™:
eTouchMenu is your “always-on” digital menu and payment partner for excellence in implementing, managing, and optimizing payment and guest ordering solutions. The industry’s only agnostic provider with a comprehensive suite of digital menu solutions delivers the guest experience, service speed and EMV pay-at-table compliance that customers require. eTouchMenu provides certified integrations with most POS providers, multiple loyalty, payment processors and PMS solutions. As seen on Innovations with Ed Begley, Jr. on Fox Business News, the eTouchMenu tablet and kiosk solutions are transforming traditional restaurant menus into immersive digital experiences with high levels of ROI.

For more information on eTouchMenu, please visit www.etouchmenu.com. To watch the Innovations with Ed Begley, Jr. segment, please click here.

About House Advantage, LLC:
House Advantage loyalty marketing technologies, reinforced by strategic expertise and deep industry experience, empower the world’s most successful entertainment brands to seamlessly integrate powerful new marketing strategies and tools. Brands using House Advantage, increase customer engagement, generate vital business intelligence, and boost per-customer share-of-wallet with seamless integration and total support for their existing systems. House Advantage is headquartered in Las Vegas, NV, with offices in Macau and Memphis, TN.

For more information about House Advantage, please visit: www.houseadv.com.

About SkyWire:
SkyWire is an award-winning provider of enterprise-grade technologies for the hospitality industry. SkyWire’s cloud-based solution set includes Point-of-Sale, Mobile Marketing, Spa & Activities, and Time & Attendance Systems, enabling customers to optimize their management and marketing efforts by using cutting-edge hardware and proprietary software solutions. SkyWire delivers world-class, core enterprise technologies that are versatile, secure, and resilient.

For more information, visit http://www.skywire.com.

For Press related info regarding eTouchMenu/House Advantage, please contact:
Constance Aguilar
The Abbi Agency

For info regarding SkyWire, please contact:
Katherine Rapp Leon
Strategic Initiatives Manager
SkyWire Inc.

For Product related information related to eTouchMenuTM /House Advantage/ please contact:
Jeff R. Baldi
Vice President, Sales
House Advantage, LLC. / eTouchMenu
702.240.4655 x1167


Partnered companies to work together in delivering exciting, innovative and seamless mobile solutions for merchant customers.

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — eTouchMenu™ (a wholly-owned subsidiary of House Advantage, LLC.) has announced its strategic partnership with Ingenico Group, leveraging the technology firm’s mobile point of sales (POS) platform and hardware to provide customers with a full array of mobile ordering solutions and functionality.

Ingenico Group’s technology enables merchants of all sizes to accept electronic forms of payment where ever they need to serve customers—whether it be at a countertop, in an aisle, at the table, or in the field. This allows merchants to order to create a consistent and engaging experience across all channels that drive customer loyalty and success.

While eTouchMenu’s suite of digital menu offerings, marketing strategies, and other products is already extensive, Ingenico Group’s hardware and software solution will extend the company’s reach to a broader range of touch points and devices—including Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms. The extended reach and technical capabilities gained from the Ingenico-eTouchMenu partnership will, consequently, help the companies optimize their product offering and market segmentation efforts.

To read full article, please click here.