5 Myths about EMV Credit Card Processing for small business

5 Myths about EMV Credit Card Processing for small business

You are working hard to make your business successful. If you are running a restaurant then you always think to add new delicious item to your menu, you are concerned about cleanliness of your restaurant, you keep your customers happy, you reply to every yelp review and you work day & night on marketing your business.

EMV Credit Card Processing Myths

You are most likely to succeed, but there are little other things that you should be aware of to avoid any unexpected losses.

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.”

— Colin R. Davis

Starting Oct 2015, credit card fraud liability is shifting to merchants if any fraud happens at your location while using non-EMV compliant credit card processing terminal. For example, if you swiped a counterfeit credit card at your business instead of using chip (because your payment processing system is not EMV enabled), then you will be held liable for the loss.

It’s better safe than sorry. Small businesses like restaurants, café, retail stores and pubs should consider an upgrade to EMV enabled credit card processors before Oct 2015.

There are few myth’s attached to EMV credit card processing.

Myth 1: There is no business loss by ignoring EMV upgrade

Truth is that you may incur losses in case of fraudulent transactions if happen at your credit card terminal. You will not be able to argue with credit card issuing bank or processing company for the misuse of card. Earlier it was their responsibility to refund theft amount to the customer but now you will have to incur the losses happened at your terminal.

Myth 2: EMV upgrade require compliance with PCI (Payments Card Industry)

No compliance is mandatory with PCI. Your credit card processing will be more secure after upgrade to EMV technology. Also note that you will not become automatically compliant with PCI if you upgrade to EMV, if you wish for compliance then you have to apply separately.

Myth 3: Magnetic Strip cards can’t be processed with EMV machines

You can still process magnetic cards with your EMV enabled credit card terminals. Magnetic cards are not going to disappear immediately, but banks will keep upgrading credit cards to EMV.

Myth 4: EMV will be enforced on Restaurants by government

No government agency is going to enforce you to upgrade to EMV. It is not a federal or state law. EMV upgrade is encouraged by payment industry to safeguard business’, banks and customers from fraud. Banks or credit card service provider will not take the liability of credit card fraud. That is the biggest reason of upgrading to EMV enabled POS terminals.

Myth 5: Customers don’t have EMV cards

As per estimates, 20-30 percent of the credit card issued in US EMV enabled cards. Banks are issuing new cards with EMV and number of EMV cards are increasing at fast pace. It’s very likely you have at least one chip card in your wallet. Customers also feel secure when they use chip cards. If they have multiple credit cards in their wallets they will more inclined to use card with EMV chip..

As a business owner, you don’t want to land into a situation where you have to incur losses due to small ignorance. Upgrading to EMV not only  makes your payment environment secure but also assures your customers,  you care about their financial security.

When it snows, you are the first one to spread salt since  you don’t want your customers to fall and get hurt. Why not protect yourself and your customer from financial hurt by upgrading to EMV?

3 Guaranteed Ways to Increase Your Yelp Rating

3 Guaranteed Ways to Increase Your Yelp Rating

OK, so I am sure you have heard of Yelp. If you have not heard about it or just don’t know how yelp can break or make your business, do yourself and your small business a huge favor – visit yelp.com and look up your business rating.

In fact Yelp brings in more NEW customers in your small business than Google – For FREE. Yes, Google is definitely a place you have to be, but if you own a bar, café, or restaurant you should focus more on yelp if your business goal is to bring in new customers.

If you have been in business and open for a while its very likely you are listed on yelp and maybe have some customer reviews. Some bad, some average, and some good. Without saying, more positive reviews equals more stars which in turn gets you new customers, business, and more money!

Yelp is one of the most powerful website that plays a major role in increasing or decreasing your online reputation. Positive reviews can drive 20% -30% of your business, so its important to make sure each and every positive review is factored in to make up the best overall stars rating.

The key to better your rating is to move positive reviews stuck in yelp’s recommendation software that filters inactive and unauthentic positive reviews. Moving few five-star reviews from filter to a main page can increase 3 stars to 4 stars.

If your business is rated 3 stars or less on yelp, your business is suffering.! Follow the proven ways listed below to increase your star rating.

#1. Understand and Fix Negative Reviews

If you have many negative reviews, read through each of them and try to understand and find the pattern in those negative ratings. Maybe customers don’t like your service. Maybe customers are complaining about the payment options. Maybe dirty restrooms, maybe rude servers. Again, look for a pattern instead of focusing on individual negative reviews.

Once you find the reason for those negative reviews, first thing should be to work on fixing those issues. You can probably never eliminate negative reviews but you can reduce them. Once the issues are taken care of , try to reach out to those yelpers with negative reviews via Yelp messaging platform and invite them to visit your business again. Be honest and explain them about the changes you have made. Offer them a discount to entice them to give you another shot.

When they do visit again, and if things go well, you can always ask them to update their review from negative to positive.

#2. Help Yelp identify authentic users.

One of the fastest and easiest ways to increase your star ratings is to move stuck positive reviews marked as irreverent or inauthentic in yelps recommendation software. These positive reviews when stuck bear no value to overall rating. Your job should be to help identify these authentic users.

You can find these reviews at the bottom of your business page on yelp, right after the last review on the page.

Click on “ Other reviews that are not currently recommended

The main reason these reviews are filtered is yelp marks these users as fake or spam. These are several ways you can have them authenticated.

Option 1

Follow yelpers with positive reviews stuck in “not recommended” list. This should get the user on the authentic user list automatically, most of the time.

Option 2

If following them does not work, message them using yelp messenger. You will have to be logged in as a business owner on yelp for this option to work. Let them know you appreciate the positive review but unfortunately that is not displayed in yelp. Request them to update their review.

Option 3

If the options above did not have any significant impact on your ratings, message those yelpers requesting to prove yelps algorithm they are humans.

  1. Ask them to upload a picture.
  2. Add few friends on yelp.
  3. Check in on their cell phone while visiting business’
  4. Write more reviews

#3. Ask customers to write reviews

More positive reviews help mitigate occasional negative review’s effect on overall stars. Always ask your customer about their experience and based on their positive response request them if they can write a yelp review. If they are genuinely satisfied they will be more than happy to write a positive review.

It’s simple and gives you a great insight into customer satisfaction.

Hope this article helps small business’s harness the power of over 50 million yelpers!!

11 Mistakes to avoid while designing your restaurant, café or bar website

11 Mistakes to avoid while designing your restaurant, café or bar website

You know that all businesses have an online presence because customers check the website & online reviews before visiting a restaurant or café. You are excited to launch your website and contacted a web development agency to build a stunning website for your business.

Someone told you the simple steps to build your brand online and grow your business

  • Launch a Website
  • Create Social Media accounts on Facebook and Twitter
  • Spend Money on Google Adwords, Facebook Page promotion, and Twitter Ads.
  • Customers will flock to your website
  • Your business will grow double in few days

This dream can come true if you avoid few mistakes while building your website for your restaurant, café, pub or retail store.

#1. Unresponsive Design for Mobile

More than 50% of your customers would be checking your website on the mobile phone rather than on a laptop. You have to make sure that your website design is optimized to display text and images properly on mobile phone. Search for responsive themes when picking your website design.

You can find hundreds of responsive designs over the internet, but my favorite restaurant website themes are curated by Theme Forest.

#2. Too much information on the front page

Good design is a minimalistic design. You have to impress your visitors in first few seconds so that they can explore your website for more information.

If you put all of the information on your front page, then your visitors will get confused & lost. You should keep as low information as possible to describe your product & services.

Mention the specialty of your restaurant or bar, showcase some testimonials of your customers, tell your customers what deals you have to offer.

#3. Low Quality Images

Images are the best way to showcase your products to your customers, especially in the food business. If you are running a business related to delicious food, then display high-resolution pictures of your restaurant dishes.

Hire a professional photographer and get a photo shoot of your real dishes along with your chef and staff. When customers visit you, they will have the similar experience of food that they would have imagined on your website.

#4. Colors that do not appeal to eyes

You can have a good design of the website with high-resolution images, but the poor color combination will spoil the user experience. Flashy colors do not appeal to eyes, and too many colors will not convey any message.

Do you know that every color tells it’s own story. Colors of the website should match with your product theme. Orange is the color of social communication; Blue is trust and Black conveys the message of hidden secret. Learn more aboutcolor psychology before finalizing your website theme.

#5. Too many distractions

Customers are visiting your website, looking for best options for food and drinks. Don’t piss them off with unnecessary popups and Ads.

Your primary business is selling you food products, not earning income by showing advertisements of other companies. Clean up your website and let your potential customer learn about your business.

#6. Missing Call to Action

Often, website makers put all their energies on the design, content and images but forgot to highlight the Call-to-Action.

You customer is impressed with the information on your site but clueless about the next steps. You should think yourself, what you would like your customer to do on your website.

Should he call you, leave his information by filling contact form or email you directly?

Highlight your call to action on each section/page where you think that customer is going to make a decision (of contacting you).

#7. Force Menu Download

Many restaurants post a downloadable link to their menu instead of displaying it on the page. Lots of times, either the menu cannot be downloaded because of operating system issues or security settings on their computers.

Even in cases when it’s downloaded, they either do not have the right software on their computers or tablets that support opening such files. The problem is worsened when they try to open the downloaded menu on their mobile phone.

There’s a reason Dominos, TGIF and all the major restaurant chains display their menu and not force a download.

#8. Not optimized for SEO

Only good content is not sufficient to make a successful website. You can have brilliant content, but a few people to read, then what is the point of putting so much effort?

You must create content for humans and machines, that means you should learn the basics of Search Engine Optimization so that search engines like Google and Bing can display your website to users in their search results. I have a brilliant SEO guide for beginners to share with you.

#9. Old contact information

You did everything perfect, and your potential customers start hitting your website. But you forgot to update your contact number!!

Your customer will never turn up to your business if they fail to communicate with you. Make sure you always have correct and updated contact information on your website.

#10. Complicated Contact Forms

Make things simple for your customers. Don’t ask unnecessary information in the contact forms.

Ideally, you should ask Name, Email and Phone so that you can stay in touch with your customers. If you need to ask more information, then make it optional in the contact form.

I am sure, you don’t want your genuine customers to leave your website without filling up the contact form.

#11. No Social Media Integration

Everyone is on social media today, and your business should leverage the power of social media. Make your presence on popular social media where your target audience hangs around.

Integrate your social media with your website and promote your business on relevant social media.

For more detailed insights, we suggest you read some of the excellent free guides.


You can improve the effectiveness of your restaurant website by fixing simple things mentioned in this article. I am sure you will have more customers in your restaurant, café or bar.

While we are not web designers, we would love to refer any business’s looking for the right web design company. Just contact us.

Impact of Yelp Review on the Restaurant Business

10 tips to greatly improve small business income

10 tips to greatly improve small business income

It does not matter if you are running a restaurant, bar or retail store -small business owners can improve income by playing smart. You might be running your business alone or with help of 10 people, you can grow your business by making conscious choices. These tips will assist you in going an extra mile.

Money saving


1. Assess your income and expense

Most of the businesses keep an eye on their revenues and cost, but not all analyze on the monthly basis. Spend some time on understanding the cashflow. You will find some points where you can increase your income and reduce your expenses. Small improvements can yield significant results with time.

2. Improve marketing

Don’t just rely on walking in customers. A small investment in marketing can improve your business. Do some offline and online marketing to find out what works for your business. Google & Facebook help local businesses to spread the word in their vicinity.

3. Online Reviews

Get yourself listed on popular online review platforms like Yelp. Be prepared to face angry and happy customers who write their experience with your business. Politely answer each review and resolve their concerns. An excellent opportunity for you to improve and provide better service to your customers.

4. Set Goals

You may lose track of your progress without having any goals. You should know whether you are growing your business as per the plan or not. You will put extra efforts when you have goals in front of you.

5. Business Trends

Be aware of what’s happening in the market. There might be new product launch in the market, or some brand is giving away discounts as a promotional strategy. You must grab the opportunity to be part of trends in the market

6. Train your Employees

When you are not around, your employees take care of your business. Invest time and money to improve their skills. A bad employee can hit your business growth while a good worker can help you boost your revenues.

7. Find better Salesmen

Marketing does a job of bringing the customer to your door; it’s salesman who sells to make you money.

Once an owner saw that his agent sold a hat to the customer who was buying a fishing rod, “Sir, summer is on a peak. This hat will protect you from direct sun while fishing”. The owner appreciated his salesman for his smartness of cross-selling.

His agent said, ”Actually, the customer wanted sanitary napkins for his wife. I asked him that what you will do for three days? Why don’t you go for fishing.”

A good salesman can sell $100 stuff to the customer who came to your store for $10 item.

8. Motivate your staff

Everyone have different reasons for motivation. Some need extra money; some need appreciation and some need extra free time. Understand your team and do whatever it takes to keep them motivated.

9. Customer is always right

It’s no secret, you should not argue with your customer. An unhappy customer will tell ten other people about his bad experience with your business. It’s better to lose one customer than many. If someone is not happy with your services, then try to address his concerns. If nothing works, then return his money and let him go with neutral feeling than negative.

10. Take a break

Get some time for yourself. Go for vacation and re-ignite your passion into your business. You will have a good relationship with your business when you have a better relationship with your family.


While your business is to make money, it’s wise to invest some money in marketing, sales and improving employee skills. Look for opportunities to increase your income and cut your expenses.

We, at Onesto, help you save money on your payment processing solutions.