Is your kiosk following regulations?

Jan. 23, 2012 | by Natsumi Nakamura

Because kiosks are products available at public facilities, they are subject to various types of regulations and must meet federal standards. Not all of these regulations are mandatory, and many depend on the configuration and application of the kiosk. It’s certainly recommended, however, to comply with all regulations to avoid additional hassles in the deployment process (not to mention legal considerations).

Here is a list of regulations that should be considered for compliance:

 Hardware Safety & Communications


ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)

Credit Card Payment

PCI (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)


HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)

The challenges

Cost and Time: Complying with federal regulations requires extra budget checks and time management. For example, if you order custom kiosks, the UL certificate process could take several weeks to several months depending on the configuration and the availability of the various lab facilities for testing. It is recommended to develop and deploy pilot units and then begin the development, production and the UL process for production models intended for large-scale rollouts. Don’t wait for the pilot program to be completed before starting this, kick start the process early on while the prototype units are still being evaluated in the test market so you aren’t wasting precious time and resources.

Working with a kiosk manufacturer that has experience and knowledge about the process definitely helps to determine exact cost and time estimates before you undergo any premature deployments. The costs of testing fees and overhead may be included or added to the price of the hardware depending on the agreements stated at the beginning of the process.

Accessibility for everyone: Additional steps need to be taken as a kiosk provider in order to be in compliance with various regulations. For example, the ADA ensures accessibility to users with disabilities, and there are processes to be implemented and standards that need to be met to fulfill ADA requirements.

 The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design take effect on March 15, 2012. This new set of specifications establishes a user’s “unobstructed high reach to be set at 48 inches” which means that any operable parts of your unit have to be located within 48 inches from the ground, making kiosks more difficult for users standing at 6 feet tall.

Organizations have a choice to deploy multiple kiosks at one location – one unit that complies with ADA and others that do not to accommodate everybody’s needs.

Multiple stakeholders: While hardware and communication regulations such as UL, RoHS and FCC are more or less satisfied with the purchase of compliant products, some regulations require ongoing commitment in product development as well as in operations.

For example, purchasing PCI-compliant card readers is not enough to fully comply with PCI regulations. Kiosk owners must maintain a secure network, secure software, and need to implement and manage strong access control measures as well.

Topics: Components , Repair / Service

Natsumi Nakamura / Natsumi Nakamura is in charge of the product marketing for kiosk hardware and software solutions at PFU Systems. She has also played a critical role in hardware/software development as well as business development for several kiosk projects.
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