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The Menu – the latest insights on restaurant technology trends, customer successes, and best practices.

Restaurant Data Breaches and How EMV Can Help Avoid Them

Keshav Kiran
Senior Director, Global Strategic Partnerships, Oracle Food and Beverage

For restaurateurs, payment security is an important topic, but still, not everyone safeguards their business the way they should. Often, the price of installing EMV is considered too expensive yet going without could prove much more costly.

In fact, a security breach could cost you your business.

What many merchants fail to recognize are the so-called “hidden” costs associated with a breach. The most significant of which is the cost of replacing cards that were used during a security episode. Card-issuing banks pass down these expenses – typically $7.50 to $22 per card – to restaurateurs.

In a recent case, for example, a major restaurant enterprise suffered a 10-month breach, during which more than 2 million cards were estimated to have been compromised. Using an average card replacement cost of $14, the restaurant could well have faced a potential charge of nearly $30 million.

Though such staggering sums are rare, that case makes an emphatic point: Card replacement costs can be crippling.

“For a small business, it’ll put them out of business,” said Duane Owens, general manager of CDITech, one of the nation’s largest resellers of Oracle Food and Beverage restaurant POS solutions, which is owned by payment security provider North American Bancard.

To help protect merchants, NAB is offering an EMV upgrade to users of Oracle’s MICROS RES 3700 solution designed for security-minded, cost-conscious potential customers.

In a nutshell, NAB’s point-to-point encrypted EMV solution protects merchants’ credit-card processing environment by making sure that sensitive card data is not transmitted through their point-of-sale environment. To date, more than 1,500 merchants are using the solution, according to NAB.

NAB’s initiative offers several advantages:

  • It’s designed to bypass all middleware, which eliminates the cost of third-party gateways. “What that means in real dollars and cents is, a 3 cents to 8 cents per transaction in savings,” Owens said.
  • There is neither a software upgrade cost nor an installation cost. “We own our own dealership, CDITech…. We’re not a credit-card company just trying to get our processing installed. We’re actually Oracle-certified technicians offering a complete system,” he said. “We do the installations for the merchant at no charge, meaning we program it, we send it out.”

In addition, from a front-of-house perspective, using NAB’s EMV solution means virtually no change in operations. “There’s no training involved from a staff perspective. They close the check out the same way.” (The one difference: Instead of swiping their cards, guests need to insert them into a payment device.)

With the ever-present threat of cyber criminals, NAB is being vigilant about exploring ways to improve what it already does best.

"Cyber criminals are growing ever smarter and sophisticated in their attempts to steal information," Owens added. "We are working just as hard to ensure that we are offering modern solutions that help minimize the chance of an incident occurring."

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