Going “touchless” with payments to protect your customers and employees

Published May 19, 2020

To help consumers feel safer during checkout and payment, merchants are looking for ways to keep people from having to touch the PIN pad on the payment terminal. One easy option is to encourage contactless payments using mobile and wallet payment options, since most modern PIN pads are NFC enabled. This means retailers can accept contactless payments, even if they haven’t done so before.


Disabling debit transactions

One alternative that retailers, especially in the convenience sector, are exploring is disabling debit transactions. When you temporarily disable debit acceptance for US Common AIDs, the customer’s debit card defaults to being processed as credit. This way, shoppers don't have to touch the PIN pad, and a signature is not required.


Be aware of the associated risks

This method doesn’t work with every type of debit card and could increase your payment processing fees—both from a higher volume of credit transactions and interchange costs set by Visa and Mastercard twice a year.*


Before you make the decision, consider:

  • PIN debit offers more advantages for businesses with a large average ticket, so as soon as it’s safe, you’ll want to contact your payment processor to add the PIN debit service
  • If you continue with PIN debit, be sure to clean the PIN pad and keep hand sanitizer nearby for each transaction
  • Signature debit (also known as offline debit) offers more advantages for businesses who have a small average ticket, like convenience stores and fast food restaurants
  • Small average tickets generally benefit from processing all transactions as credit, making it simple for the customer and merchants

While NCR does not endorse nor recommend removing the US Common AID from the EMV initialization files, we can provide information on how to do this. Contact your NCR representative for a step-by-step guide on how to make the change in your NCR EPS payment solution. 

If your payment processing is with NCR Payment Solutions, you can email and request the PIN debit service removed. If not, you can call your payment processor and ask to remove the debit service during the pandemic. 



*In the spring and fall each year, Visa and Mastercard have new releases which includes interchange price increases. Visa has delayed the April 2020 enhancements/increases to July 2020. Latest information from Visa can be found here:


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