What is PIN on glass and how secure is it?

Payment methods have evolved a lot over the years: From good old-fashioned cash to cheques, chip and PIN payments, and most recently contactless payments, how we pay for goods has changed rapidly.

Where once upon a time business owners were cemented to their tills, PIN on glass allows you to use your smartphone or tablet as a smart point of sale (POS) terminal.
PIN on glass makes payments quick and simple. All customers have to do is enter their PIN onto the touchscreen.

Find out more about PIN on glass and how it can benefit small businesses.

What is PIN on glass?

PIN on glass is an easy and convenient payment solution. The pin is entered on a glass-based device – touchscreens such as smartphones and tablets, for example.
Some 90% of adults in Ireland have a smartphone – and this device in the palm of a small business owner’s hand can unlock a world of possibilities. The smartphone or tablet can be transformed into a PIN pad to allow customers to easily pay for their goods.

If you want to add PIN on glass to your business, Square offers a range of solutions including Square Reader, a card reader which also accepts contactless payments and works in harmony with your chosen device.

Benefits of PIN on glass

There are a multitude of benefits PIN on glass can bring, making it an attractive prospect for small business owners:

Convenience
You’re no longer tied to the till – you don’t even need a shop building. Work from stalls, inside shopping centres or even your local market.

Flexibility
PIN on glass adds flexibility for customers in how they want to pay. In 2020, cash withdrawals fell by 40% when compared to 2019, showing a clear drive towards card and contactless payments.

Attractiveness
If you offer a range of payment options, it makes your business more attractive to new customers considering a purchase.

Cost effectiveness
PIN on glass is also cost effective. It doesn’t require a lot of infrastructure and gives the freedom to run your business from wherever you want.

Accessibility
All you need is a smartphone or tablet and you can start taking orders, meaning even the smallest business can use PIN on glass.

Is PIN on glass more secure?

PIN on glass is not much different to entering a PIN on a terminal with physical buttons. Contactless and chip and PIN payments are secure even when using a personal smartphone or tablet, thanks to encryption.

How payments work:

  1. The customer’s card is read electronically in the terminal.
  2. The customer will enter their PIN using the touchscreen.
  3. The card data and PIN are securely transmitted to process the payment and card issuer for verification.
  4. Once verified, payment is confirmed, and the transaction is complete.

A chip reader is far more secure than other methods such as signature authorisation. This is because it’s encrypted to protect the data of the card – the data isn’t seen by anyone.

Square follows industry security requirements that keep data safe, and essential in this ever-evolving world of tech. In fact, Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) revealed that digital banking payments jumped by 67% between 2016 and 2020 – showing that people are confident in digital finances.

What does it mean for Irish businesses?

The research from BPFI also saw an 80% increase in card payments. In January 2021, 42.3 million contactless payments were made, valued at €21.7 million. There are contributing factors, however, that could be the drive behind the contactless increase. The maximum spending limit was raised, and contactless payments reduced contact with surfaces during the pandemic.

Then in June 2021, contactless payments in Ireland broke national records, reaching 2.4 million contactless payments in a single day.

These figures highlight the growing need for different payment options, and a clear want for contactless. PIN on glass is set to be a game-changer for the 248,344 small and medium businesses in Ireland.

What’s the future for PIN on glass?

In 2020, Mastercard revealed that 78% of all its card transactions across Europe were contactless. While there has been a huge drive to contactless payments, there are some areas where a PIN will be needed, and PIN on glass will be a fantastic option for businesses.

PINs will be favoured if:

  • Someone doesn’t have a smartphone enabled for contactless.
  • Debit or credit cards aren’t contactless ready.
  • What they’re buying is over the maximum limit.
  • Contactless isn’t accepted at the terminal.
  • The bank has blocked use of contactless for any reason.

Tips for integrating it into your business

Business owners should really consider the advantages PIN on glass can bring. It can be cheaper than traditional card terminals and doesn’t require lots of hardware.

It opens up more payment options to customers. Not everyone carries cash and sometimes contactless payments don’t work, so offering chip and PIN gives another option.

One of the biggest downsides of PIN on glass, and any wireless device, is that you may lose connection or have a delay due to poor connection. However, your customers are likely to understand if there is a slow connection.
The use of contactless and cashless payments for businesses gives consumers more options. And Square can help small business owners every step of the way with different payment options to suit their business.

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