Be Kind to Your Credit Card Hardware

Typically summer is the season for thunderstorms and wild power spikes, but they can happen any time of year.  We depend on the electronic devices that help us run our businesses.  Credit Card terminals and computers are susceptible to damage from power spikes, power failures and brown outs.  If your power drops during the middle of processing a credit card transaction, it could corrupt your entire batch as well as charge the cardholder erroneously.   This could lead to losing transactions stored in your terminal as well as expensive equipment replacement.

Preventing damage is simple and inexpensive.  Many inexpensive power strips and surge suppressors have basic surge protection built in; these are typically clearly labeled as such. However, power strips that do not provide surge protection are sometimes erroneously referred to as “surge protectors.”  These inexpensive devices may offer some protection against lightning strikes, but give many people a false sense of security that their electronics are protected.

If you paid less than $25 for your surge suppressor, it probably isn’t offering you much in protection.  Even better is a device called an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS).  Large data centers depend on these to keep clean power to their servers.  In fact, here at Frontline we have many large UPS’s protecting our servers.   These devices not only protect against spikes, but will keep your equipment running in a brown out or black out.

Therefore, we strongly recommend merchants purchase a UPS or a quality surge suppressor for their computers and credit card terminals.  These cost as little as $60 and keep power to your equipment when the power goes out.  You will sleep better knowing your investment in hardware is protected.  Often the manufactures such as APC will guarantee replacement of your equipment if their UPS fails to protect it from damage from faulty power.

As a bonus, you can also plug your phone line and network cables into these devices for additional protection.

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