How to make sure your systems are EMV compliant
If you're wondering whether your business is EMV compliant you're not alone. While there is no official deadline--nor legal requirement--to be compliant with the new EMV standards, the liability shift on October 2015, meant merchants who are not compliant could be held liable for certain types of credit card fraud.
But even if you've missed that deadline, the world is not going to end. You're still able to accept EMV cards, also known as chip cards, with your non EMV-compliant terminal. Chip cards still have magnetic stripes (for now) so you're not going to be turning customers away.
Installing EMV-compliant equipment is a smart decision though. Chip cards offer more protection from fraud than magnetic stripe cards and the card issuers have focused on this as a key point in their customer communications, so customers might wonder why you're not allowing them to use a card that offers them more protection.
How to get EMV compliant
You rarely see "simple", "compliant" and "standards" in the same sentence, but in this case, complying with the EMV standards is easy. EMV only applies to card-present transactions, so becoming compliant is as simple as installing new terminals and software that facilitate chip card transactions. Depending on how many terminals you use, this could be expensive, so you might want to purchase and phase in new terminals over time. In many instances, for the smallest businesses, there's an expeditious route to enablement in the form of pre-certified, EMV-ready stand-alone terminals.
Following are three simple steps to determine if you're compliant with the new standards and how to get there if you're not.
1) Audit your current hardware. Check your existing terminals to determine if they accept the new chip cards. If you have several terminals from different companies, you might want to create a list of each terminal to help track which need to be replaced.
2) Discuss your needs with your merchant acquirer, payment processor and software vendor. This will help ensure that you understand your options, have time to implement changes, minimize disruptions, and determine the best EMV-compliant solution that fits your needs. There are different approaches for EMV adoption and some may suit your business better than others depending on a variety of factors.
3) Purchase and install new hardware and software. Work with your payment partners to purchase and install the required hardware and software solutions. Now is also a good time to think about any future needs. If you plan to accept mobile payments in the near future, it's worth getting an EMV-compliant terminal that accepts these payments now so you don't have to upgrade again later.
There are a variety of resources available if you want to learn more about EMV and how to comply with the new standards. For an overview of what you need to know, start here.