If you’re a merchant, then you probably haven’t been able to escape talk of EMV compliance over the last year or so. But even if you’ve heard about it, that doesn’t mean you’ve made the switch to EMV technology. As of October 1, 2015, all businesses are expected to be EMV compliant per rules set forth by MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express. But many businesses have failed to make the shift. So far, only around one-third of merchants have become EMV-compliant.
If you’re a merchant, then you probably haven’t been able to escape talk of EMV compliance over the last year or so. But even if you’ve heard about it, that doesn’t mean you’ve made the switch to EMV technology. As of October 1, 2015, all businesses are expected to be EMV compliant per rules set forth by MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express. But many businesses have failed to make the shift. So far, only around one-third of merchants have become EMV-compliant.While transitioning to EMV can be confusing (and costly), it’s important to make the switch as soon as possible. If you’re still feeling in the dark about what EMV is all about and why it matters to your business, this article will set the record straight. And if you still have questions? Our team of experts is standing by.
EMV is short for “Europay, Mastercard, and Visa” in reference to the three companies that developed it. (These days, the technology is also supported by American Express, Discover, and UnionPay.) It’s a global technical standard used in credit and debit cards and at payment terminals and ATMs. EMV technology is most widely identifiable in the form of chip cards—credit or debit cards that must be inserted into a reader at the point of checkout, rather than being swiped. The term can also apply to “contactless” cards that can be read using RFID technology and don’t need to be inserted or swiped at all. EMV technology is also used to authenticate transactions conducted with EMV cards.
Over the past several years there’s been a cross-industry push to switch to EMV technology and phase out antiquated magnetic swipe cards. The main force driving this transition is the fact that EMV is significantly more secure and can reduce fraudulent charges both in person and online. That’s because magnetic strips contain fixed cardholder data—so if anyone accesses said data at any point, they’ll be able to re-use it over and over again to commit fraudulent charges. In contrast, EMV cards create a unique transaction code for every transaction—meaning even if a code is accessed, it cannot be used to make additional purchases. One of the primary goals of EMV is to mitigate the effects of massive data breaches such as those that occurred at Target, Home Depot, and other major retailers over the past few years.
Merchants looking to switch to EMV must take three main steps in order to become EMV-compliant:
In addition to being costly, steps one and two can require a significant time investment. In some cases, becoming EMV compliant might take several weeks or longer (especially when you factor in employee training). The cost and timeline involved can vary depending on whether you're operating standalone terminal, an integrated terminal, or a proprietary terminal, in addition to other factors. If you haven’t started the process to become EMV compliant, it’s important that you do so. But we understand this can be intimidating. If you’re not sure where to start, SwipeSum Consultants are standing by and ready to help.
Just over a year after the October 1, 2015 Liability Shift went into effect, EMV is impacting the payment processing industry in a number of ways:
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to EMV compliance. No matter your industry or payment processing needs, our team of SwipeSum Consultants is available to answer any questions you might have and help you negotiate payment processing contracts that represent your company’s best interests.