Are you ready for the EMV Transition?

Posted: 9/24/2015 at 3:41 PM by SI Solutions | with 319 comment(s)

EMV – which stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa – is a global standard for credit and debit cards, embedded with a computer chip, and the technology with which chip card transactions are uniquely authenticated. The deadline to implement EMV chips is looming just around the corner. Over 1.5 billion chip cards have been issued in the past year, and once the deadline for compliance passes in October 2015, you, the merchant, will be liable for fraudulent transactions instead of the banks.

Recent surveys show that less than 20 percent of small to medium sized retailers are ready for this transition. Over 50 percent have little or no understanding of what the liability shift could mean to them and their business. To reiterate, after October 1st if merchants are not able to accept cards on their terminals that have EMV chips, it is the merchant, not the card-issuing bank, which assumes the burden of fraud risk.  Credit card fraud in the United States has doubled in the past few years and declined in countries that have already implemented EMV technology, due to its difficulty to penetrate.

How do the EMV cards work?

EMV cards have a chip embedded in the card. These cards are processed like magnetic strip credit cards in the sense that the card is read and the transaction is verified; however, with EMV cards, instead of swiping the card, the chips are read through “chip dipping.” This is the terminology used for inserting the card into the merchant POS (point of service) and waiting for the chip to be read and processed. EMV technology ensures all POS terminals will have consistent standards for reading card data.

When a transaction occurs with chip technology, a unique code is generated with each transaction. This makes it very difficult for the account information to be stolen or counterfeit cards to be used. Most businesses will need new merchant POS devices and upgrades to their operating system in order to read and process the chip embedded cards that customers will be using.  

How do I upgrade to EMV technology?

EMV terminals are easy to acquire and affordable, especially in comparison to the potential cost of counterfeit and fraud liability if the business does not upgrade. The most important cost factors will be the hardware and/or software to enable chip acceptance. If your business already has a terminal with a slot for chip card acceptance, it simply needs to be activated. This activation requires a minor software download from your processor.

Upgrading to this technology is not only a smart choice for merchants to better protect their businesses from counterfeit fraud, but it will also be expected by the customers using the more secure chip cards. Additionally, other new payment technologies, such as mobile payments and Apple Pay are quickly coming online. To be up to date with customer expectations and needs, merchants should consider investing in consolidated technology that can accept chip cards as well as mobile payments. SI Solutions can help your business. Contact us today for an assessment of your business needs.

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