Payment Processing During COVID-19: Hygiene Best Practices for Safer Checkouts

With restaurants taking all the precautions they can to avoid the spread of COVID-19, it is essential to follow the best practices listed below for handling consumer checkouts. For PAR Pay customers, Aurus published this document with guidelines on hygiene best practices, information on contactless capabilities, and instructions for sanitizing payment devices.

Here is a summary of these recommendations so you can continue operating in a safe environment:

Don’t Require a Signature

Stopping signature collection allows you to provide peace of mind, speed and convenience for your customers during this challenging time. To help you protect your customers, Visa, MasterCard, Amex, and Discover have implemented the following changes:

  • Eliminating signature collection will not cause you to lose chargeback rights, meaning you won’t have to worry about transaction limits or thresholds when updating your POS infrastructure to support signature-free transactions.
  • All in-store transactions still allow for collecting signatures, meaning you won’t have to change CVM lists for new or existing payment terminals.
  • PIN transactions and liability shift rules will not change.

You can avoid collecting signatures in one of two ways:

  • Remove the signature line from your receipt.
  • Train your employees to avoid asking for a signature at checkout.

Promote Contactless Payments

Make sure your payment device manufacturer is certified for contactless EMV like Aurus, which will decrease the chance of spreading the coronavirus. Here’s what you also need to know:

  • Contactless payments are just as secure as chip EMV payments.
  • Train your employees to walk your customers through the contactless checkout option.

For those with an Aurus device, the following will help you with contactless payments:

  • An enhanced UI/UX displays digital wallet acceptance on the payment terminal.
  • Customers can see digital wallet options when SKU item display screen appears.

Properly Sanitize Your Payment Devices

According to the CDC, COVID-19 can remain on surfaces for hours and even days after they are first contaminated. Follow these guidelines to effectively sanitize your payment devices:

  1. Turn off your device and unplug it from the power source.
  2. Gently remove residue, dirt and debris from your payment device using a clean microfiber cloth slightly dampened with water. If needed, use one to two drops of pH-neutral, non-scrubbing soap free of solvents, harsh detergents or abrasive cleaners.
  3. Consult your OEM’s cleaning instructions, as you may need to avoid using alcohol-based cleaners on certain plastic screens. For all other screens, use a microfiber cloth dampened with 70 to 90% isopropyl alcohol or an alcohol-based wipe to gently clean the touch panel display of your payment device. Avoid pressing hard on the display.
  4. Once your payment device is completely dry, you’re ready to plug it back in and power it up.

Before following the steps above, make sure you read these warnings:

  • Never spray, coat or pour cleaning fluids directly onto your payment device.
  • To avoid damage to the plastic and rubber components of your device, never use bleach, hydrogen peroxide, thinners, trichloroethylene, or ketone-based solvents.
  • To prevent a tamper alert on your payment device, do not vigorously shake or rub your device during cleaning.
  • Avoid vigorously rubbing with a dry towel, which can create an electrostatic discharge (ESD) and also trigger a tamper alert.

For more information, download this cleaning instruction document from Aurus. You can also read this post on cleaning tips for POS terminals, drive-thru headsets and fingerprint readers for instructions on cleaning other equipment in your restaurant.