Full-Service Restaurants Prepare for EMV Card Payments, with Viableware


Viableware, innovators of the RAIL – a pay-at-the-table solution designed exclusively for full-service restaurants – today unveiled an updated version of its RAIL payment device that accommodates for the use of EMV smart card payments. The enhanced RAIL device is engineered to accept any chip-based payment card from the table and securely communicate with the leading restaurant POS systems – including MICROS, NCR Aloha, Squirrel and Dinerware – strengthening customer security and mitigating restaurant liability for credit card fraud.

EMV (Europay, MasterCard® and Visa®) chip credit cards are embedded with a microchip and require a PIN and a signature to complete the transaction process.  The EMV-enabled RAIL device will communicate with the chip inside the customer’s smart card to determine whether or not the card is authentic. A cardholder’s confidential data is much more secure on a chip-enabled payment card than a magnetic stripe card as a result of this dynamic authentication capability.

“EMV chip technology has recently seen broad adoption by a number of large retailers in the U.S., and has quickly become the global standard for credit and debit card payments – but it also presents a unique challenge for full-service restaurants,” said Joe Snell, CEO of Viableware. “These restaurants require an elegant way to extend their POS system to the table so that they can accept a customer’s PIN in addition to a signature.  The RAIL does this seamlessly, without disrupting the normal dining experience or compromising customer service.”

The RAIL is a handheld device designed to look like the traditional bill presentation folder used at most full-service restaurants – but unlike the original folder, the RAIL allows guests to securely self-swipe credit, debit or smart cards, auto-calculate the tip, split the bill multiple ways, pay-by-item, and receive email receipts.

“The RAIL is uniquely designed to enhance a restaurant’s existing table service, instead of alienating the customer from the wait staff – as is often the result with kiosks and other pay-at-the-table technologies,” Snell said.  “Using the RAIL, a restaurant can not only strengthen personal service, but meet the new EMV payment standard.”

It’s estimated that there are more than 400,000 full-service restaurants in the United States that are expected to need an EMV solution before October 2015 – when MasterCard and Visa will begin holding merchants who have not adopted chip-enabled technology financially liable for card fraud occurring at their establishment.

Dickie Brennan restaurants in New Orleans – including The Palace Café and Tableau – are among the first to introduce the RAIL payment devices to their guests.  The restaurant organization was recently named a Finalist for the 2014 Operator Innovation Awards by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) in recognition of its deployment of the RAIL payment platform.

Sonny’s BBQ, one of the largest and most popular barbeque restaurant companies in the country, is piloting the new RAIL payment device in select restaurants located throughout the southeast.

“There’s no doubt that EMV is a forcing function for heightened security in the restaurant industry,” said Joe Tenczar, VP of Information and Technology, and CIO at Sonny’s Franchise Company (Sonny’s Real Pit BBQ) in Winter Park, Florida.  “At Sonny’s BBQ, we intend to protect our customers at all costs and we simply can’t afford to ignore this shift in the industry; you need to protect your customers at all costs.  Technology that accomplishes this, such as the RAIL, is no longer ‘nice to have’ – it’s now a ‘must-have.’”

For more information on the RAIL payment platform for full-service restaurants, visit their website.

About Viableware

Viableware designs, builds and sells software and hardware products designed to increase waiter efficiency, provide restaurants with new marketing and communication applications, eliminate credit card information theft and improve the dining customer experience.



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