We support all (4) new iPad Pro & Air tablets that came out - click on [BROWSE BY TABLET] in the upper left to find your enclosure & order now!
We support all (4) new iPad Pro & Air tablets that came out - click on [BROWSE BY TABLET] in the upper left to find your enclosure & order now!

Why doesn't VidaBox offer designs with direct credit card reader integration?

Why doesn't VidaBox offer designs with direct credit card reader integration?

A question that we often get asked is:

"Why doesn't VidaBox offer VidaMount tablet enclosures with credit card (CC) chip reader options directly attached or integrated?"

The answer is a somewhat complex one, but in short:

1. Major credit card reader manufacturers are moving away from attached/integrated readers

In years past, the most common workflow of a retail customer interaction has been:

- Touchpanel & credit card reader facing the retail agent
- When payment is required, the client give their card to the retail agent
- The card is then passed back to the customer

Starting back in 2015, new EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) chip card requirements finally entered the US market, vastly changing the typical interaction above. With the advent of chip-based credit card readers to enhance the integrity of credit cards, the most common Point-of-Sales scenario is now:

- Touchpanel facing the order-taker
- Credit card reader facing the client
- When payment is required, the client inserts the card into the reader
- The card NEVER leaves the customer's possession

As odd as this may seem, this has been the standard and norm overseas and outside of the US for many years (i.e. the client NEVER gave up possession of their credit card.) So how come the US hasn't changed until recently?

The simple answer? COST. Statistically, more than 50% of all business are small businesses. Retailers (especially the smaller, mom-and-pop shops) are generally hesitant to upgrade due to cost - and understandably - why "Fix something that isn't broken?" However, over the past few years - almost all retailers have now upgraded their hardware as the equipment ages and becomes defunct.

That said - while some PoS systems can utilize a direct-connect card reader that plugs into a tablet / device's headphone / 3.5mm port - the percentage and number of directly-connected card readers is decreasing steady. Add in the COVID19 pandemic and need for cleanliness - this simply accelerated & phased out of the common practice of "handing your card over" - as retailers and customers alike prefer to use new tablet-based, Point-of-Sale (PoS) setups to have separate, customer-facing card readers, away from their touchscreens.


2. More credit card readers are becoming "Contactless"

For even further convenience, methods like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other NFC based payment options are now being used, as an alternative to EMV / chip-based payment methods. Like the chip-reader, the physical device for payment - whether it's a credit card that supports NFC, or a cell phone - never leaves physical possession of the customer for security purposes - further lessening the need for CC swipers.


3. "Open Edge" designs are required - which would compromise reliability / being tamperproof

Beyond the concerns for credit card security and COVID which popularized separated, customer-facing payment terminals, another consideration that VidaBox always has in mind is security.

In order to enable a credit card device to be directly connected to a tablet for payment, the area around the 3.5mm headphone jack is open left exposed. This is a requirement, so that a reader can be "plugged in" for use.

While this is certainly convenient for the business owner / retailer, the core issue of security via exposed ports remain. Having open, exposed ports can easily lead to:

- a. Disconnected wires / cabling

The first and most obvious problem of having openly accessible ports is that the tablet's connected peripherals can be easily disconnected. Whether we're looking at the power cable, a barcode scanner, credit card reader, receipt printer, etc. - these are all key elements that need to be working 100% of the time. Otherwise, beyond losing valuable time, customers and patrons can easily get aggravated with delays due to tablet / PoS equipment or setup problems during checkout. This can all translate into not only lost revenue today, but a negative customer checkout experience may result in the client never coming back. That's far too important to leave to chance - hence wiring & cabling must be 100% secured on tablet-based kiosks and PoS setups. (This is why secured IO ports are a standard feature on all of our secure, VESA-ready VidaMount enclosures.)

- b. Malware injection

While the likelihood is low, malware injection via the plugging in of USB devices into tablet devices is another vector for problems. This is especially problematic in Windows based tablets like the Surface Go, Surface Go 2, and other Surface Pro tablets. Physically securing these Windows-based tablets' I/O ports and connections become not only a 'nice to have' - but a requirement. This threat is especially pronounced if the devices will be used in a Point-of-Sale environment that would be constantly exposed to credit card information - making it all the more important that the device not only be secure from web-based vulnerabilities, but also be secure from physical weakpoints like locally exposed ports.


In conclusion, not only is making a design that supports a directly connected credit card reader often unnecessary, it may actually pose additional inconveniences and delays due to downtime in the design (at best), or leave a security gap in the payment process as the customer loses physical control of the payment method at some point.

For the reasons discussed above, VidaMount tablet enclosures are designed to be forward-thinking designs to best protect your tablet, its uptime, ensure reliable performance, and keep customers' information as safe as possible by preventing needless retailer access to the payment method during the workflow by supporting the wide range of new, upcoming EMV chip-friendly and NFC contactless payment supported options that keeps all parties safe while maintaining a smooth, seamless transaction.


Still need help in assembling together a tablet-based kiosk for your point-of-sale setup, complete with complete credit card reader support? Give the experts at VidaBox a call at 844-4-KIOSKS / 516-499-5050, and we'll be happy to guide you through the process of selecting our VidaMounts & other best-in-class components for your setup!