Tips, News and Advice from Credit Card Assist

Table Side Credit Card Readers Require Security Measures

by on February 10, 2008

In a previous post, I’ve mentioned table-side credit card readers that are taken directly to seated diners at restaurants.  I love the idea of using these readers because you no longer have to hand over your credit card to the wait staff and risk losing sight of it.  At face value, using these devices seemed to be a no-brainer.  I recently read an article though that made me give this technology a second thought.

All in all, I still believe these card readers are the way to go, but he indicated that these table side card readers still require ample security measures be put in place. He pointed out that it would still be possible for the waiter or waitress to compromise the card reader and steal the credit card information from the reader.  I hadn’t thought about it before, but it would be entirely possible for someone to hack the reading devices containing this valuable information.  Utilizing wireless technology, these readers can easily be taken from table to table, but this technology also opens up the possibility of the compromised transaction data. 

So, while using these machines is certainly a step in the right direction, don’t be fooled into thinking that these machines are a panacea.  It’s still entirely possible for the security on these devices to be compromised, which means ample security measures still need to be put into place. 

Because these readers are essentially conducting a wireless banking transaction, their needs to be a much higher level of encryption with these devices.  The scanners also need to be checked for tampering on a regular basis.  And, of course, you still need to employ your own personal security measures, including keeping a close eye on your monthly credit card statements and the appearance of unauthorized charges showing up on your card.

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