For the last decade or more, those who have a debit card have grown more than familiar with the payment process – swipe the card, punch in the PIN number, and complete the transaction. But merchants in recent years have begun to realize that a PIN pad may not be needed. In general, the PIN pad is an extra expense that must be paid for during the account setup process. And since PIN payments have always been a more secure option, it's made sense to invest in them. But times are changing, and at National Processing we want you to be aware of the fact that you may not need a PIN pad anymore. Here's a quick look at why that is:• Security – The first reason simply comes down to technology as it relates to encryption and security. Modern technological advances have made it much more secure to use a credit or debit card without the need for entering a PIN pad. While almost any debit card can be swiped and ran as 'credit', now it's much safer to do so. • Tablets and Smart Phones - Thanks to tablets, it's possible now to use them as a PIN pad instead. By attaching a simple, small, inexpensive device to the tablet or smart phone you can actually swipe a customer's card anywhere that has 3G, 4G, or Wi-Fi access. The tablet's touchscreen will load up the PIN pad where the transaction can be completed. The app that makes this possible is a small download and worth looking into. • Interchangeable – For years now, debit cards have been able to be run as credit. Some payment processors may charge slightly more for the service, but in general you can process every transaction as if it were a standard credit card purchase instead of a debit card one. This eliminates the need for PIN entry entirely, and the customer will instead sign a receipt. Usually, any debit card with a Visa or MasterCard logo can be ran as credit. We know it's hard to make the right decision for your company, so it's important that you really consider whether or not the added security of a PIN pad is right for your company. In many cases you can reduce initial upfront costs by forgoing the PIN pad entirely. The final decision will obviously be up to you, but it's always good to know all of your options.