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Posted: 04 Sep 2018

ID TECH makes and markets a wide variety of payment devices, almost all of which, nowadays, are compatible with “chip cards” (or “smart cards”). Payments made with a chip card are generically referred to as “contact EMV,” or sometimes just “EMV.” (EMV, of course, stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa; the card-brand consortium.) In industry terms, an EMV transaction is one that conforms to the requirements of the four-volume EMV Integrated Circuit Card Specifications for Payment Systems (available from Wrapping your head around this spec takes time. At four volumes, it’s a pretty extensive specification. ID TECH tries to make “EMV compatibility” an easy-to-reach goal for developers, however, by offering a variety of free tools, SDKs, demos, and other resources designed to accelerate time-to-market for POS integrators and others who need...

Posted: 27 Jul 2018

Self-service or “unattended” credit card transactions are increasingly popular, not just at ATMs and gas pumps, but in a bewildering variety of other settings: pay-at-the-table terminals in restaurants,  tap-and-go public transit, airport kiosks, parking meters, vending machines, rental stations of all kinds, etc. Driven (in part) by technologies like Apple Pay and Google Pay, “self-service” has become one of the fastest growing segments of the payment industry as a whole. But note well, to succeed in unattended payments means more than just transplanting countertop credit-card acceptance technology to a kiosk enclosure. Think about it — unattended payment devices typically operate: Outdoors (no A/C, maybe no heat), possibly exposed to rain In locations with poor law enforcement coverage (thus, a built-in potential for vandalism) Where electrical power is at a premium; and/or...

Posted: 27 Jun 2018

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned ID TECH’s patent-pending Augusta chip-card reader, which can run an EMV transaction in as little as 2 seconds using built-in “faster EMV” support (often called Quick Chip). What makes Augusta unique (and patent-pending) isn’t just the ability to do Quick Chip transactions. The patent-pending part has to do with the fact that these transactions can be done with a USB device operating in keyboard mode. That means: You simply dip your card, and character data (representing the TLVs needed for an EMV transaction) come streaming out of the device automatically, suitable for direct consumption by, say, a browser-based virtual terminal app. No special drivers needed. To integrate Augusta into a payment app, you don’t need any special software to “interrogate” the card reader. The reader simply...

Posted: 25 May 2018

When selecting a card reader, or before starting a Level 3 EMV certification, it’s important to know what kind of EMV terminal you will be supporting. The EMV Specs define fifteen different terminal types, depending on whether the payment environment is attended (such as in traditional retail) or unattended (e.g., a self-service kiosk), and whether the terminal goes online or stays offline, plus other factors. The terminal types defined by EMV are shown in the table below, which is taken from Annex A of EMV Book 4: ID TECH offers a wide variety of EMV-ready card readers, but not all of them fit into all of the categories defined above. ID TECH’s current offerings are certified in 5 categories (which we often refer to as 1C, 2C, 3C, 4C, and 5C)....

Posted: 26 Apr 2018

One of the nice things about choosing a credit card reader made by ID TECH is that integration of the device into a POS or payment-app environment can happen quickly and painlessly via a single Software Development Kit, which we call the Universal SDK. It’s “universal” in that it exposes a common API across all supported ID TECH products, and works the same way regardless of environment. Having said that, it’s important to recognize that ID TECH’s Universal SDK comes in several flavors, depending on what kind of operating system you intend to deploy the device into, and the specific programming language you want to use. A C#-based (.NET Framework) Universal SDK is available to support most ID TECH products on Windows, but if you need to support, say, one of...