Payments terminal journey- EFTPOS terminal

In today’s fast-paced world, payments technology has become an essential part of our lives. From credit cards to mobile payments, we have come a long way in making transactions easier and faster. Among these technologies, Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale (EFTPOS) terminals have revolutionized the way we make payments. As part of my research on how to convert a mobile device into an EFTPOS terminal, I had the opportunity to talk to several team members in the payments technology industry. During my research, I discovered some innovative products that have disrupted the market and revolutionized the way we make payments. In this blog, I will discuss some of these products and their impact on the payments terminal journey.

PIN on terminal

The PIN on Terminal solution involves entering the PIN on a physical push-button keypad located on a card terminal. This solution is used on payment devices that have been certified by PCI, which includes card readers or terminals with physical PIN pads. This solution is widely used and can be seen in most payment terminals today. Since these devices have been certified by PCI, it ensures that they meet the necessary security standards to keep the transaction safe and secure. Overall, PIN on Terminal is a reliable and familiar method of PIN entry for customers using payment terminals.

PIN on Glass

“PIN on Glass” refers to a point of sale solution where the customer enters their PIN on a touchscreen of a smartphone or tablet. This eliminates the need for a separate card reader, allowing merchants to accept card payments on their mobile devices using a software application. There are two primary types of PIN on Glass solutions.

The first one involves PCI PTS approved hardware-based point of interaction (POI) devices that use the mobile device’s touch screen for PIN entry. These devices rely on hardware-based PIN entry and protection, and the mobile device platform must have PCI PTS approval.

The second solution involves software-based PIN entry and protection, meeting the PCI SSC’s SPoC standard for use with any commercial off-the-shelf device.

Square Reader lets you accept chip and contactless cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay anywhere in Australia. Connect wirelessly, accept payments quickly and get your funds fast.

Pin on COTS

The PIN on Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) solution involves entering the PIN on the touchscreen of a commercial smartphone or tablet connected to a PCI-certified card reader. The card reader used does not have a keypad or touchscreen, and it electronically reads the card. When required, a virtual PIN pad is displayed on the mobile or tablet screen, synced with the card reader’s payment app for PIN entry. The card data is encrypted and securely transmitted to the processor and issuer, while the PIN is securely transmitted through the app’s sophisticated software. Once both sources of information are verified by the card issuer, the transaction is completed, and the app and terminal receive confirmation.

Compared to PIN on Glass, there are two key differences in this process. Firstly, while the card reader has to be PCI-approved, the commercial-grade mobile device used does not require PCI certification. Secondly, since the PIN entry occurs on non-certified commercial hardware, a stringent, software-based PIN entry process is utilized to ensure secure authentication of the PIN.

Albert EFTPOS tablet is a smart point of sale (smart POS)
Albert EFTPOS tablet is a smart point of sale (smart POS) terminal capable of accepting card payments and handling advanced business functions such as stock management, loyalty programs and varying payment methods.


SoftPOS, or Software Point of Sale, is a software-based solution that allows smartphones to function as a contactless payment terminal without additional equipment such as a card reader. Using a payment app, a transaction can be created, and payments can be accepted through the tap of a card or digital wallet on the back of the phone. SoftPOS is only compatible with mobile devices that have Near-Field Communication (NFC) built-in, such as smartphones and tablets. The technology is still in its early stages and yet to go mainstream, but it is gaining popularity under names such as Mastercard’s ‘Tap on Phone’ and Visa’s ‘Tap to Phone.’

Westpac EFTPOS Air mobile app. The easy new way for businesses to accept secure payments on the go – via compatible Android phone or tablet.

In conclusion, the payments terminal journey has come a long way, from the traditional PIN on Terminal solution to the innovative SoftPOS technology. These new solutions have transformed the payments industry by allowing businesses to accept payments in new and innovative ways, such as using mobile devices as contactless payment terminals. With the rise of PIN on Glass and PIN on COTS solutions, businesses can now process payments with a simple tap on a mobile device without requiring any additional hardware. These innovations have eliminated the need for physical devices provided by the bank, making payments even more accessible to people. With these advancements, the payments industry is moving towards a future where mobile devices will become the primary method for accepting and making payments.