Georgians are under a shelter-in-place order until April 13, but that order doesn’t stop them from having to pay for goods such as food and household items. But handing over your credit or debit card to a cashier can be unsettling considering how long COVID-19 can live on surfaces like credit cards.
Today Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp joined the American Transaction Processors Coalition, Georgia Retail Association, and Georgia Food Industry Association are issuing guidance regarding the use of PIN numbers and other best practices at points of purchase as Georgia continues to fight the spread of COVID-19.
If a contactless payment option is available (e.g., Apple Pay, or tap and pay), use it.
Clean your payment cards using soap, hand sanitizer, or alcohol after each use.
Maintain control of your card, whenever possible, rather than handing it to the merchant.
If asked for a signature, PIN, or other information at the payment terminal, use your own pen (for signing) or personal stylus (for touchscreens) if you can.
If using home delivery services, pay in advance through a website, app, or telephone.
But consumers aren’t the only ones who bear the responsibility for making sure transactions are clean and safe. Guidelines have also been issued to merchants.
Merchant and ATM Owner Tips:
Merchants and ATM owners are encouraged to clean and disinfect terminals frequently and implement some changes to the payment process to reduce consumer interaction with equipment.
Follow manufacturer guidelines to protect and care for payment terminals.
Use 60% or higher alcohol-based hand sanitizer, card reader cleaners, alcohol-based disinfectant wipes (no bleach), or glass cleaner.
Clean checkout and payment terminal area frequently (or after each transaction, if possible.) Consider all checkout touch points (e.g., payment terminal including PIN pad, check lane counter and merchandise dividers, self-checkout lanes.)
When cleaning the terminal, do not clean the electrical connections and plugs.
Never spray any product directly onto the terminal. Use a cloth or wipe that has been sprayed instead.
One more thing: Georgia’s shelter in place order allows for the suspension of the use of PIN pads, PIN entry devices, electronic capture signature, and any other credit card receipt signature requirements if it is permitted by underlying credit card agency and company agreements. Retailers should ensure EBT card users can continue to access PIN pads to enter this information during transactions.