EMV Transition Has Been A Nightmare For Businesses. This Guide Should Help.

EMV Chip Card

EMV Transition Has Been A Nightmare For Businesses. This Guide Should Help.

EMV Chip Card


Transitioning to accept EMV chip cards has been a nightmare for businesses, small and large. And the result of this confusion has been loss of millions of dollars and growing, in fraudulent chargebacks!

So here is a must-read EMV transition guide that will walk you through everything you need to know step-by-step.

What is EMV?

EMV stands for Euronet, masterCard and visa. It is a security standard adopted by the payment industry to reign in on billions of dollars of credit card frauds committed every year in US alone. This security standard has been adopted in most parts of the world, but is still fairly new to the United States. It just had it’s first year anniversary.

EMV is also popularly referred to as ‘chip card’ as well.

Why should I upgrade my equipment?

For starters, EMV Compliance is NOT a law as many people assume. You are not doing anything illegal if you still using the old “Swipe and Sign” process on your terminal or integrated POS.

However, it is important to know that you will be held liable for any fraudulent transactions that happen at your location because you did not upgrade to an EMV compliant equipment.

Previously when you fell victim to a chargeback, the issuing bank investigated and based on the proof submitted, covered you for the disputed amount.

But starting October 1, 2015 the responsibility has been shifted to the merchant or the one with the weakest link in the payment process.

The image below is a great illustration to help you understand these changes:



Chargebacks have been on rise exponentially, in thousands of dollars every month, especially at Lounges/Bars, High-End Restaurants, Liquor stores and Gas stations.

A discovery channel video below shows how easy it is for credit card fraudsters to make fake credit cards and use at your locations.

How to upgrade and how much it cost?

The first step to upgrade to EMV is to understand your needs. Do you need to be able to accept EMV chip cards only or you need to adjust tips as well on those EMV transaction.

Or you  want your customers to enter their debit card PIN on those EMV transactions?

There are various different features that you need to be aware of and then decide the terminal model.

Especially if you are a business that takes tips.

Not ALL terminals support tip adjustment at the end of the day. It depends on the type of terminal and the processor that supports it.

There are 2 components that make up your EMV compliance.

  1. Hardware – The equipment needs to have the slot to enter the chip card
  2. Software Certification – Software needs to be certified by the processor for that particular hardware to accept EMV.

Every processor supports different terminal/hardware for EMV and Tip Adjust. So for example, if Ingenico ict220  is supported by First Data for EMV + Tip Adjust, does not mean all other processors will support the same hardware for EMV + Tip adjust.

The terminals below are certified by First Data to accept chip cards.

  1. Verifone Vx520 – Accepts chip cards, Accepts Tip adjust after the sale.

           Recommended for restaurants or businesses that accept tips.


Verifone Vx520


 2. Ingenico ict220 – Accepts EMV chip cards + Tip adjust.

Recommended for businesses that need to accept tips.


Ingenico 250


Approx: $250

3. Clover Mini – Accepts EMV chip cards with Debit PIN + Tip adjust, Apple Pay and Android Pay and can connect using Wi-Fi.

Features to Note:

  1. Customer can sign using their finger on screen and opt for text, email or paper receipt.
  2. Clover Mini can also be connected to cash drawer and replace your old cash register.
  3. Retailers can also download Register software and turn this into a full fledged POS SYSTEM.

Recommended for any businesses that need to accept debit cards with PIN, better receipt management or POS functionality.


Approx: $450

  1. FD 130 – Accepts EMV chip cards + Tip adjust, Apple Pay, Android Pay and can be connected using Wi-Fi.

Recommended for businesses that need to accept tips, and Debit PIN

FD 130 EMV


Approx: $350

Once you figure out what features you need and what terminal you want to buy, it’s time to go shopping.

BUT, let me warn you – Don’t just buy from the cheapest place you can find. You might buy something that’s totally worthless for you. Not all equipment will work with your processor. Usually, the terminals are locked to a specific processor just like how your cell phone is locked to works with a certain wireless provider.

Don’t just buy from the cheapest place you can find. You might buy something that’s totally worthless for you. Not all equipment will work with your processor. Usually, the terminals are locked to a specific processor just like how your cell phone is locked to works with a certain wireless provider.

Usually, the terminals are locked to a specific processor just like how your cell phone is locked to work with ONLY certain wireless provider.

Option 1:

If you already have a service provider you can call them and ask for their pricing but make sure they are not locking you in multi-year processing contract, a lease or any monthly rental fee.

It’s ALWAYS best to buy your own equipment. Not only will you get the best deal on your processing but you have the flexibility to move your processing to someone else and use the same terminal.

The saying ” There is NO free lunch” cannot be more true in credit card processing industry.

A brand new Verifone VX520 should not cost you more than $250. If the provider quotes anything more than that, here are two things you should do:

  1. Buy your own terminal online and stay with your current company if you are happy with their processing rates. But before you place an order, ask your processor if they support Verifone Vx520 or any other terminal you wish to order and will provide all the features you need.

Pitfalls to look out for while ordering online:

  1. Never buy a used terminal as they may be locked to work with certain processor only.
  2. Avoid buying from Ebay, Craigslist, or Amazon or any other reseller sites. Many companies will sell you very cheap just so they can get you into processing agreement with them. Just make sure you do your homework.
  3. Look for a new company that will provide a terminal at a fair price or subsidized price for the equipment.
  4. While hardware equipment is one component of your merchant account, processing rates are something that must NOT be ignored.

Always make sure you are getting a fair deal without any contracts. To understand a little more about the same, definitely read through our post on how to get best deal on your merchant processing.

Or better, subscribe to our FREE Savings course and learn how to save ridiculous amount of money on credit card processing by clicking  HERE.

We hope this guide was simple to understand and will help you in implementing the EMV migration successfully.

We here at Onesto Payments believe in absolute transparency and love to educate our customers. Feel free to contact us to get our equipment and credit card processing rates. You will be glad you did.!


How To Write A Business Plan To Impress Investors

How To Write A Business Plan To Impress Investors

The term “business plan” is frightening, isn’t? Of course, it is!

The thought of having to curate a plan to fund your business through investors can easily drop you at your wit’s end! That is why lots of business owners keep delaying the completion of their business plans.

But to scale up, your small business has to seek the financial help of investors—and that isn’t possible without a proper plan in place! However, developing such a plan doesn’t have to be serious business.

The humongous task can be broken down into parts—all of which can answer an important question about the business, in an interesting & impressive manner.

How to write a business plan like that?

business plan

1. Start With The Basic Question

“Who is my ideal customer?” The success of your small business relies on the happiness of your customers. If you know who to target and for what— you have a sound foundation for conducting market research and strategizing the marketing plan.

This way writing a business plan becomes easier. It becomes focused, clear and most importantly, actionable. The business plan is a perfect breakdown of exactly what your company stands for and the services it provides!

2. Create A General Outline Of The Plan

Start your plan with the overview of your business. Answer questions such as mission & vision, products or services offered, owners of the business, etc.

As the plan progresses, address finances—the amount you need and your plans to spend it. Include at least one short-term (less than a year) and one long-term goal (3+ years) of your business, along with a few objectives to achieve those goals.

3. Study About The Market & Your Competition

Investors won’t be fully convinced with your plan unless & until you yourself know who your competitors are (along with their strengths and weaknesses) and what the current market scenario is presently like.

As a small business owner, you must divide the market on the basis of your own analysis and fit your target consumer base in one of the segments. This will not only put your research in perspective but also your business plan.

4. Conduct A SWOT Analysis

As a small business owner, you have to be realistic and work towards analyzing and improving upon your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. A business plan must reflect this genuity!

Whether it is about the things that set your business apart from others or the areas where your company needs to work harder—the investors will be mighty impressed to understand how your business plans to overcome its weaknesses & threats and leverage new opportunities against its strengths.

5. Discuss Management

A business can’t run without its employees. Therefore, you should certainly talk about the people behind all the magic! Your business plan must be able to give the investors some idea about the team’s background and their roles in the day-to-day affairs of the company.

Talking about employee management will boost the investors’ confidence in your business.

6. Talk About Financial Projections

Most businesses skip this part, but the truth is that talking about finance only shows your business in a more positive light. The business plan is the perfect platform for you to explain your assumptions about revenue, sales growth and expenditure.

Highlighting expected year of breaking even, net profits & losses and other expenses incurred will give the investors a sound idea about your business’ financial stability.

7. Discuss Customer Payment Methods

Whether you offer a product or provide services to your customers, they will make payments to you. So ask yourself: “Are my customers comfortable in making payments to my company? Am I offering them the right payment method?”

Before the investors raise questions on your payment mode, discuss it in the business plan. Talk about the software you use. It is not just about boosting the customers’ confidence by offering them a secure payment method, but also convincing the investors with your mode of running the business!

Onesto Payments, for instance, solves payments and POS challenges for small businesses. It also offers the businesses with the best and shares knowledgeable information to keep them updated.

8. Know When To End

Yes. There are many things you can mention in a business plan. But drawing attention to every other detail of the business is not going to fetch results. The key is to be smart and not go overboard with the information you put in the plan.

Investors don’t have time to read the entire business plan. So keep it simple and crisp. A concise business plan doesn’t exceed 20 pages; so make sure yours doesn’t!

Your business plan is a powerful tool. Even after you have received the desired funds, it is important to have a look at it every once a while to stay on track. While you have set goals for your business, the same can be evaluated using the plan. If the progress is not in the right direction, quickly make changes.

It is indeed essential to guide your business’ growth and expansion plans!

5 Things Retailers and Small Businesses Should Do This New Year (2016)

5 Things Retailers and Small Businesses Should Do This New Year (2016)

New Year celebrations are incomplete without a long, inspiring list of resolutions. As an individual, you might have already written them down on a piece of paper and posted it on your fridge. But as the owner of a small business, it is equally important to jot down a multitude of tasks you wish to accomplish in the next 12 months.


Because all successful businesses—small or big—thrive on improvement and what’s better than the New Year to take a fresh spin on the way forward of your small business?

Ones to payments 1 - Jan

Adding to this thought, here are 5 inspiring resolutions that can help your small business achieve absolute success in 2016:

1. Invest In Your Employees

Each year, your company hires a multitude of people from different fields and demographic backgrounds—who work on a range of projects in the firm. In short, employees form the backbone of your small business.

Therefore, it is necessary to speak to them periodically to get to know their thoughts and opinions. Issue a survey to all the employees asking them about how you can help them be more efficient and how the business can up its game. Adjust your efforts to not only mentor them but also provide them job satisfaction.

In addition to this, send them to conferences and seminars to help them grow professionally. Leverage their hidden talents and enable them to take more responsibilities that will not only benefit the business but also them.

2. Strengthen Your Formal Partnerships

As a small business owner, you must think from a 360 degree point of view. While investing in employees is important, you must also be open and communicative with the organizations you partner with, such as your vendors.

When was the last time you had a face-to-face meeting or a telephonic conversation with one of your important alliances? If you are taking more than a second to think of a name, then you should certainly focus on maintaining these integral relationships.

After all, it’s nice to put a face to the people who are making things happen for your organization.

3. Focus More On Customer Experience Than Sales

Customers and sales are two sides of the same coin in a business. While sales are important for a business to produce profits and thrive, expanding the customer base is immensely critical as well.

Today, companies are taking the route of customer experience to distinguish their brands due to increased competition. The thing is when a customer makes a purchase with your business, (s)he wants to feel in a certain way.

This is the reason why your small business must come up with different ways to enhance the customer experience. This can be through gift vouchers, after-sales service or free installation assistance among others.

4. Give Back to Your Community

As the owner of a small business, you must follow the simple rule of not only “selling” but also “giving back” sometimes. If your customer base and community don’t know what your business’ mission is, they are less likely to shop from you.

Therefore, make a generous donation, sponsor a small event, hold a contest to engage the customers or collaborate with and cross-promote small businesses—there are many powerful ways through which you can give back to your community effectively.

By doing this, you will connect with the community on a far more personal level that will certainly benefit your business in the long run.

5. Secure Your Payment Transactions From Fraud

As the owner of a small business, have you asked yourself this question: “Are my customers comfortable making payments to my company? Am I offering them the right payment method?” It is good that you are raising questions on the payment mode; given that not everyone carries cash all the time.

Hence, offering a secure payment method makes the customers more confident about making payments with cards and also gives them the assurance of the fact that their money is not being associated with wrong things.

Onesto Payments, for instance, solve payments and POS challenges for small businesses. With absolutely no risk of being cheated on by technology providers, Onesto not only equips the businesses with the best but also shares knowledgeable information to keep them updated.

Lastly, learn to take time off this year. It is true that as the owner, you don’t get time to relax. But by taking time to rejuvenate, you are only going to focus better and work harder—which will ultimately help you run a more successful small business. Let the New Year inspire you to not only revolutionize your business but your own work ethics.

How To Create Customer Loyalty For Your Small Business

How To Create Customer Loyalty For Your Small Business

It’s a fact: Your small business won’t survive without repeat customers. The key to a thriving business—big or small—is a steady and a loyal customer base. Did you know that selling your product or service to existing customers is easier and cost-effective? In fact, if your sales strategy is solid enough, your customers will not only buy from you more frequently but also recommend your brand to others.

Yes, it is important to keep on expanding your customer base; however at the same time, it is essential to the core to have good relations with customers who have used your product or services before. Whether it is an immediate follow-up with the customer after a sale or a simple e-mail thanking him or her, there are numerous ways to build strong customer loyalty.

Read on:

1. Provide Excellent Customer Service

Your customer has taken the pains of selecting and buying the product from you. Don’t let him or her regret that decision. Allow the customer to revel in happiness post sales. How can you ensure this? By going the extra mile and providing after-sales service.

Lend your ears to their complaints and grievances. By doing this, the customers give your business an opportunity to rectify the problems and improve your service. So be accessible, open and cordial. Customers always like to be treated well.

2. Provide Incentives & Treats

The best way to ensure your customers come back to you is by offering them incentives. Options such as “Buy two, get one free”, “shopper points”, “small discounts” and “complementary gift cards” often create maximum hype amongst the customers. Who wouldn’t mind a surprise discount or a gift card? No one!

In order to make this strategy a success, all you have to do is bring your marketing efforts in sync with your target audience. You can make use of this incentive program effectively to boost your small business during a slow season or to promote a new product or service.

3. Promote Product Awareness

In this time and age, all businesses shouldn’t leave any stone unturned to promote their new product or service. This is an extremely crucial step in the supremely aggressive market. Start a digital campaign—opt for an appropriate social media channel and revamp your e-mail marketing strategy. Your customer base will take time off and listen to what you have got to say. But you need to have an impactful scheme to begin with.

From an employee’s point of view, make sure your staff is trained and understands the product or service. They need to be convinced with what their company is selling in the market. If they are clueless or don’t have clarity, the employees will not be able to convey the same to the customers. They should have knowledge about the history of the company, the on-going discounts and post-sales services available.

Your traditional form of selling should be bang on!

4. Be Flexible with Customer Policies

Every customer is unique—and has a unique set of preferences, expectations and complaints. Your small business should be able to deal with each customer accordingly. No matter what the circumstance is, do everything in your power to resolve that complaint. Don’t assume the gravity of the situation; instead make proper efforts to view things from the customer’s perspective.

If you show that you really care and want to make the customer happy—your chances of retaining him or her automatically go up. Avoid saying phrases such as “That’s our policy”, “Sorry but that’s what it is” and “We can’t help you on this”. It would just piss off the customer badly.

5. Remember The Special Occasions

Make it a practice to send birthday and anniversary cards (hard copy or online), personalized newsletters and fancy yet inexpensive holiday cards to your existing customer base! Don’t spend a fortune on demonstrating the fact you care as a small business.

But the truth is the little things do matter to people—no matter how digitized the whole world has become. It’s the personal touch that makes an impact on the customers. So don’t be afraid to use dollops of creativity to come up with exciting gifting options. Don’t take it as a task that you ‘have’ to do. Think of it as a customer base-bonding activity that will fetch you greater revenues (and support) in the future.

6. Make your payment modes reliable

More often than not, customers don’t complete their purchases. The reason being they didn’t feel the payment modes were reliable enough, or thought they didn’t match those offered by bigger industries.

But the challenge is, that many small businesses are misled or misinformed by the payment processing companies. The reason being their lack of knowledge and not being able to understand their processing statements. This only results in business losses and reduced customer loyalty. Look for an honest payments and POS processing company, and ask them to guide you through the process instead of taking a chance.

Remember: A customer is the king of the market. Whether your business is thriving or has just started, you have to walk the extra mile to make sure your customers are genuinely satisfied with your brand. Whether it is a service you offer or a product you put up on sale—make sure the whole shopping experience is so empowering—that the customers keep coming back to you!

Small Business Marketing Tips To Help You Stand Out

Small Business Marketing Tips To Help You Stand Out

Are you in the process of starting your own business? Or, do you run a small-scale business? If your answer to either of the two questions is a ‘yes’, it’s important that you read this. The journey to making a business successful is certainly tough. There is a palpable need to get noticed and be taken seriously within the community and by target consumers and of course, get lots of opportunities to develop and thrive.

Fortunately today, this issue can be resolved not only through offline mediums but also online platforms. As a businessperson, you have to be skilled at providing answers to several questions like these in a jiffy – “Who are you? What services does your business offer? What does your company represent?”

Ones to payment 3

And, this is why it is necessary to take note of the marketing aspect of your business from the beginning. To help you get started, here’s an indispensable list of small business marketing tips that will help your business stand out everywhere:


1. Pick An Appropriate Social Media Platform

Firstly, your business doesn’t have to be exist on those social media platforms that are not only irrelevant but also hard to keep up with. Don’t confuse yourself, your clients and consumers with an armful of social media accounts that you are not able to manage properly.

Depending on your business’ industry and target market, select specific mediums. Usually, Facebook & Twitter are most preferred platforms on social media by any business to gain maximum traction. Therefore, always make sure that these two accounts are maintained with utmost professionalism.

2. Give Your Blog/Website A Makeover

Having a powerful online presence of the business has its own set of advantages. In fact, it is a necessity for any small-scale business. You have the liberty to not only promote your services but also showcase business achievements and display contact details in whichever you want. Having a blog or website increases the value of your business in front of potential clients manifold. Therefore, make sure you work relentlessly on the website/blog regularly.

3. Connect, Communicate & Flourish

Your website/blog is live. The wheels of your social media strategy have been set in motion. What’s the next eventual step? Networking. As a businessperson, you must join online professional communities (on LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter) to not only acquaint yourself with the latest trends in your industry but also connect with fellow competitors, potential clients and business associates. This is important to let other businesses and industry-people take notice of your small business and its services.

4. Respond To Online Feedback & Queries

The essence of online marketing is lost if it is only one-way. This means that publishing a website or a blog and starting social media accounts isn’t enough. It’s important to respond to customer or industry queries, complaints and feedback in order to transform into a powerful brand. This is impossible if you choose to keep mum online!

Whether it is a small tweet or Facebook post regarding a new service or a comment published on a community forum, learn to give polite and prompt responses. Even a tiny online footprint would help your brand expand exponentially.


1. Word Of Mouth Works

This is, at times, the greatest lead generator for a small business. Therefore, offering quality products and excellent services that people can’t stop talking about is critical. Even if you are the most outgoing and smart small business owner, your brand is not going to retain consumers or grab eyeballs of potential clients unless it not only delivers but also exceeds expectations. The key to trigger positive words of mouth is to keep refining the brand. This process may cost lots of money and time but it will definitely fetch results in the long run.

2. Provide Promo Offers To First-Time Consumers

Offering promo offers to first-time app or website users is the latest marketing gig. Needless to say, it has proved to be quite useful in engaging customers and get them start talking about the services your company provides. Most Food & Beverage startups and cab service providers have done well for themselves using promo offers.

3. Organize/ Host Small-Scale Events

Open a kiosk at a mall on a weekend or participate in a trading event—there are so many ways to help your business be visible. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to spend lots of money to do this. In fact, many successful small businesses thrive on offline community building through partaking in local events, charities and fundraisers and organizing 2-day workshops, collaborative fests and tea parties to name a few. This will allow your customers to know about you and your brand on a physical level.

Brainstorm, plan and execute – if you want to stay in the business and grow. Creating the perfect brand (both online and offline) is not achievable without putting continuous efforts. There is no need to rush. Start with baby steps and you will eventually get there.