By Chris Jennings, Associate Product Marketing Manager, Vantiv
Small and mid-size merchants have some big decisions to make with EMV that will have an immediate impact on their business. It is imperative that we help them get it right the first time. Simply put, EMV is not just another payment method, it is a driving demand for better security features within the POS, opening up more avenues for technology and forcing habits to be broken.
Security is knocking at the door
Security seems to be leading the conversations around EMV, but EMV alone does not solve the infestation of criminal activity. Sixty percent of small businesses go out of business within 6 months after a data breach, and 71% of data breaches target small business (National Cyber Security Alliance, August 2014). As a trusted partner to our merchants, we need to help close the gap in all areas around data theft. It is well known that EMV technology has been around for more than a decade, but criminals have not stopped, instead they target other vulnerabilities.
How we can we help you become more secure?
I will outline a proactive approach to help our customers. The first objective is to remove sensitive data from the payment application entirely. Vantiv offers both point-to-point encryption and tokenization. Enabling these features within your payment application renders data unusable from the point it is accepted to the time it rests. Next is training and not just at the merchant level, but security training awareness for merchants, Value added resellers and Point of sale developers. A simple program that reviews the basics and teaches employees what to look out for goes a long way in protecting everyone’s best interest (protecting card data). Finally, ensure checks and balances are in place. We all make mistakes, but sometimes they can be costly. Placing two or more people in charge of security helps reduce mistakes and keeps unintended or intended consequences from arising.
EMV...paving a path for the future
As I mentioned earlier, EMV is having a spiral effect on the industry. Most merchants are planning on updating to EMV capable solutions. But it shouldn’t stop with EMV. Payment applications need to be built for the future. The mobile frenzy has already launched, but the adoption is just starting to make its presence and enabling your payment application to support features like Apple Pay and Android Pay help drive long term success. With more adoption in the mobile market, merchants will be looking to capitalize on every opportunity. One challenge Vantiv has solved for is linking eCommerce with other channels to provide the ultimate OmniCommerce experience. According to recent Vantiv/Mercator Insight Series research, mobile devices are not only opening new channels for consumer interactions, but they are also changing the way that consumers behave in all channels.
Change is unavoidable
There is no doubt about it, EMV will force new habits and retire the old. Americans have become accustomed to doing things quickly, fast food restaurants, 10 minutes abs, self-checkout and more. Restaurants will most likely see the greatest changes to their environment. EMV is designed to keep the card in the consumer’s hand. Integrating with Vantiv will enable payment applications to utilize tokenization to add gratuities, eliminating that awkward moment when the consumer has to add the tip in front of the server. What about bar tabs? EMV requires the consumer to confirm the amount during the authorization, eliminating a convenience we are all use to. For EMV to be gracefully accepted, we need it to be successful both at the consumer and merchant level. Providing a merchant with just an EMV solution will not work in today’s fast environment. Enabling NFC technology, Omnicommerce and tokenization are three tools that Vantiv provides creating a balance for both the consumer and merchant.