Does your store brand support the ADA at the Point of Sale Checkout?
What does ADA.gov TITLE III compliant at the Point of Sale Checkout actually mean? It means by law, merchants must provide an accessible auxiliary aid mounting solution for credit card payment devices.
Federal ADA.gov compliances and regulations with having credit card as a payment acceptance method for merchants have to be implemented.
This issue is now getting merchants into some trouble in more ways than one. Aside leading into fines, are the ADA lawsuits. It seems like ADA and lawsuits are almost one big new word. “Gotta’ quit turning blind-eyes. It only brings trouble”. However, it is always your choice on addressing the issue. Be proactive. Reactive means the troubles have already begun.
The ADA TITLE III laws are regulated and enforced by the DOJ (Department of Justice). All merchants have to be ADA.gov TITLE III compliant at POS Checkout. This also includes state, county and city laws throughout the U.S. Fines are in upwards of $4,000 minimum.
Without a doubt, if you are a merchant who processes credit cards in your place of business and you are not sure if you are ADA.gov TITLE III compliant at your point of sale checkout, contact your merchant services processor, merchant bank or agent right away and tell them, you need to know if you are ADA.gov TITLE III compliant at your point of sale checkout. If your agent does not know, their compliance officer will.
The ADA.gov requires that merchants have independently accessibility use of the payment device for customers. We address the specifics of this near the end of the article. To note, I am going to show you how easy the ADA.gov makes it to file a complaint. Click this link to the ADA.gov. (opens new window).
When a business has an ADA.gov complaint filed, the process is fairly fast. The DOJ civil rights division’s attorneys access the complaint and the business will receive a notice. The notice itself is to address the complaint and a short amount of time to address the complaint. If the notice of the complaint is ignored, then comes trouble and get ready to write a check or prepare for an ADA lawsuit.
Flip forward mounts are not an accessibility auxiliary aid. Nor are a releasable mount that requires a cashier to assist with.
Let’s take a look at some of the elements of the ADA.gov TITLE III laws and the integrity of them for those who need accessible auxiliary aids at POS checkout.
- Full and independent access to the POS Device.
This not only covers ADA.gov compliance, but must be PCI-DSS compliant as well.
- Ability to easily and clearly see and interact with the POS Device screen.
This is in the list of things that get merchants into fines and ADA lawsuits too.
- PIN Privacy (HUGE LEGAL DEAL)
This without a doubt is THE BIG ONE that breaks all the above of any compliances list.
Imagine having to hand your credit card to a cashier in the first place then follow that up with having to blurt out your PIN number. Even if the device is semi-reachable, you would still have to reach up (if you are able to)…to the POS device and let those behind you along with store security cameras watching you punch in your personal and private PIN entry number.
- One-Hand dismount/release
On the independently accessible list is the ability to access the POS device using only one-hand. We are talking about a disabilities act here, so the person may only have use of one hand.
- No Pinching, twisting or grasping to access the POS device.
What this means is, having the ability to easily access the POS device without strain or struggle. This would be a person having dexterity issues, perhaps weak hand(s) or arthritis, etc.
- Not only does ease of reach come into play, but ease of signature capture.
The purpose of having the device in the lap for those who use wheelchairs or maybe those little people who cannot access the device on the POS checkout counter, they too also need to sometimes sign the digital screen. That is hard to do if you cannot reach or even see the screen. A lot of people needing accessible needs have spine damage and that prevents them from any reach.
Let’s look into what or can and likely will happen to merchants who are not compliant at the POS checkout. Lately, a lot of ADA lawsuits have been getting filed on a daily basis all throughout the U.S. These ADA lawsuits vary in nature and some are pretty absurd meaning, if a mirror is off by ½ inch and they happen. However, here we are only addressing the POS checkout.
Two common factors are the counter cabinetry which if you are in a newer building; your counters should be already at an ADA accessible design standards height. If your business is in an older building, you may not be even close to an ADA design standards compliant build with you checkout counter.
Due to those who have “no reach-ability”, however, a universal ADA design standard must be applied.
The most typical place that ADA compliant counters are seen is at Quick Serve Restaurants and Gas Stations with mini-markets. Other big box or main-street merchants generally have high counters and are far out of ADA cabinetry compliance. The POS checkout device mounting is an entirely different issue. As a technical specialist at the ADA/DOJ put it, “what happens on top of the counter is a whole other story”.
Protect your store brand. A merchant needs to know and understand what it takes to be ADA TITLE III compliant at the Point of Sale checkout.
The merchant services providers also need to know and understand what is applicable to their field of expertise so their merchant of processing record does not get into trouble for ADA violations at POS checkout. Learn more at Taylorstands.com and please do share this article.
About the Author:
Steve Taylor is the owner of Taylor ADA POS mounting solutions and is Chairperson for the ADA working group for the ETA.