Some of the busiest (and dirtiest) electronics in our lives are point of sale terminals, cash registers, touchscreen displays, keyboards, keypads, credit/debit cards and the like. These days when you’re in a store – as a merchant or customer – you’re preoccupied with getting through your experience and going home. It’s essential that the point of sale devices we all touch are as germ-free as possible. Here’s how:
So how should you disinfect a card terminal? Or did you realize that credit cards themselves are full of germs? During this crisis, it’s imperative that we minimize transmission of germs. To reduce the possibility of spreading bacteria, disinfecting the surfaces of point of sale machines and the cards themselves is more necessary than ever.
First: If possible, unplug the device to protect yourself and the equipment. If it cannot be disconnected (such as a swipe terminal mounted on a stand), exercise great caution.
Wear: disposable or reusable nitrile, rubber or latex gloves
Disinfecting: Use single-use disinfectant wipes made for electronic devices, or spray a soft cloth with a disinfectant cleaning spray that’s safe for electronics. Cleaning a push-button terminal may require different wipes or spray cleaner than you would use on a touchscreen smart terminal. Touchscreens have a protective coating on the display that could be affected by alcohol-based solutions. Get into small spaces with Q-tips dipped in the disinfectant.
Cleaning the card slot: Order and use a cleaning card made specifically for card readers. Staples and other office supply stores carry them inexpensive ones.
Beware: Only use an alcohol or other solvent-based solution if you know your terminal model can take it as some manufacturers clearly state not to use strong solvents or alcohol products.
Do not spray any liquid directly on the device. Spray on a soft cloth, then wipe the machine with the cloth.
Whether it’s a throwaway wipe or reusable soft cloth, don’t get it so wet that it leaves liquid droplets on the machine’s surface. The cloth should be moist, but wring it out first if it is dripping.
Protect openings, such as the card slot or gaps around buttons, so moisture doesn’t seep into the internal machinery and damage it.
What to do:
Before you start, check the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations for types of cleaning products. Using the wrong cleaning products or procedure could void the device warranty.
Carefully rub the exterior of the device with the wipe or cloth. Concentrate on areas around the buttons, slot and sides where people touch the terminal. If an area gets too wet, immediately wipe it with a dry cloth or paper towel.
Use the cleaning card (for chip and swipe slots) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Dispose of single-use gloves and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
Plug the device back in and turn it on if you were able to switch it off before cleaning it.
Clean your card machine and all POS equipment as often as possible; ideally after each customer transaction if possible
Germy credit cards need cleaning too!
You are probably not surprised to learn that credit/debit cards are every bit as dirty as the bills and coins in your pocket or wallet. And they spread bacteria too. Clean your cards regularly and for goodness sake, never put them in your mouth or allow your children to teethe on them either!
Wipe both sides of the card with a disinfectant wipe, then let it dry.
Use an eraser to remove grime build-up especially on the magnetic stripe, though this probably will not remove all bacteria.
Expose the cards to a UV light sanitizer. These are a bit pricey but kill 99.9% of all bacteria and can be used for all your devices.
All any of us can do at this point is to follow the “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” motto and do what we can to keep ourselves and our customers healthy and safe. We will continue to need to be merchants as well as customers. Practicing safe habits will protect us all.
If you have other suggestions or questions, please reach out and let us know!
Be safe and stay healthy!
Sales Sense Payments