It’s time to get serious about the EMV standards
EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) cards, so-called chip cards, are a new standard for smart payment cards, payment terminals and ATMs. These cards offer greater fraud protection compared to traditional magnetic stripe cards and it's a big change for the industry.
Most banks have already re-issued chip cards to their cardholders, so your customers already have them. If you accept credit cards at the point of sale, you've already or will add new technology to process chip card transactions.
If you've installed and activated new EMV-compliant terminals, you're in good shape. If you haven't installed these terminals you could be held liable for certain types of credit card fraud, so now is a good time to make the switch. You can learn more about EMV-compliant terminals here.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you migrate to the new EMV standards:
- Training is important. EMV cards work differently than traditional magnetic stripe cards. Instead of swiping cards during the sale, customers have to insert the card into the terminal until prompted to remove it. Merchants should train employees on the new process to minimize confusion and make the customer experience as smooth as possible.
- Don't wait to migrate. Your customers should already have their chip cards, as the volume of EMV credit ,and increasingly debit cards, is now quite significant. Card issuers have touted the new cards' security benefits, so customers should already understand that they offer more fraud protection than other cards, and they'll be eager to use them. They might question why they can't use them at your location, so don't wait to migrate your business.
- Develop a migration plan. Upgrading all of your terminals can be expensive and time consuming depending on how many terminals you operate. To minimize cost impacts, consider developing a migration plan that allows you to migrate to the new terminals over time. And, as has been widely discussed, the time to readiness depends on how you connect to the world of payments. The card brands, processors and others across the industry have been working to make this process more smooth for the benefit of businesses.
- Consider the other benefits. In addition to accepting chip cards, most EMV-compliant terminals and software can also support more complex payment solutions such as loyalty and gift card programs as well as contactless or mobile payments. If your current setup doesn't support these payment options and you want to accept them consider this additional functionality before upgrading.
- Impacts to card-not-present transactions. EMV standards only apply to card-present transactions, and some have speculated that fraud could shift to the least secure channels, including card-not-present transactions. It's important that you're aware of this potential shift and take the necessary precautions to protect your card-not-present transactions (i.e. online or mail/telephone payments), as these could be more vulnerable.
There are a variety of resources available to support EMV migration. If you have additional questions on how to comply with the EMV standards, how to accept chip cards, or how to train employees on the new process, check out this site for more information.