EMV- What Small Businesses Need to Know

You’ve probably already realized that swiping credit cards is becoming a thing of the past. If your business isn’t adapting, it isn’t just being left behind that you need to worry about—you  might be at risk.

EMV cards, commonly known as chip cards, are an innovative way to prevent fraud. While they are relatively new to the US, they are now the global standard. 99.9% of Europe has already converted to this credit card processing technology, and eighty other countries are in the process of migrating to EMV.

How EMV works

EMV technology is very simple on the customer’s end. Instead of swiping the magnetic strip of a credit/debit card, one end of the card is inserted into the reader, where the embedded EMV chip is scanned.

Every time an EMV card is used for payment, the chip generates a unique transaction code that can never be used again. With this new technology comes a huge advantage over traditional non EMV cards, whose magnetic stripes contain only unchanging data (your 16-digit card number, expiration date, and 3-digit security code) that can be stolen and replicated repeatedly by hackers. On the other hand, if the unique data used in an EMV transaction were stolen by a hacker, it would be worthless, and the customer’s account would remain secure.

Why EMV?

Since the deadline on October 1st of 2015, all merchants who have not upgraded their point-of-sale technology to accept EMV chip cards have assumed liability in the case of fraud. The reason is simple – with the new security features of EMV, it’s exceedingly difficult for criminals to replicate card information. So, if you’re not allowing your customers to use the more secure method of payment that EMV provides, you as a business owner will be stuck with the losses.

As the banking industry has transitioned to EMV chip cards and more merchants begin to upgrade their technology to be EMV-capable, consumers will begin relying on using their EMV chip cards more and more. Ensuring your business is ready for this technology will not only help you protect your business from potential liability, but also will show your customers that you care about the security of their data.

Switching to EMV

If you are a new merchant looking for credit card processing, be sure you procure an EMV-capable terminal from the start. If you are a merchant who is already accepting credit card payments, it would be in your best interest to upgrade to a new EMV-capable terminal and decrease the risk of fraud.