Monday, January 13, 2014

EMV - What You Need to Know

I realize that EMV is still well over a year away. However, EMV is a major change to credit and debit processing that will effect everyone who takes credits (and I mean everyone!).  Here is what you need to know as of January 2014:

What is EMV?
EMV is an agreement between EuroCard, MasterCard, and Visa to enhance credit and debit card security. This applies to both the credit/debit card itself as well as the technology used to authorize debit and credit card transactions.

EMV Compliant debit and credit cards have both a hologram and an embedded chip that can emit a unique code for authorizing debit and credit card transactions.  Note that debit and credit card transactions under EMV can be "contactless" and/or require a pin number - it depends on what hardware the merchant is using to authorize debit and credit card transactions.

The United States is one of the last countries to (tentatively) set a date to migrate to EMV standards.  Currently, most debit and credit card transactions in the United States use magnetic swipe technology that has been around since the 1960's.

What do I Need to Do?
Start talking now to the companies that service your debit and credit card processing equipment.  Some of the following questions will apply depending on what type of business/organization you have and how you process debit and credit card transactions:
  • How will I obtain an EMV compliant terminal? When will the terminal be available and how much will it cost?
  • Will I need to update any software? When will these updates be available (and how much will they cost)?
  • Will I need to make any changes to my computer or my computer network? What about how I dial out or connect to the internet to authorize debit and credit card transactions?
  • Will this effect the fee's and rates that I pay for debit and credit card processing?
  • What about other equipment that I have like signature capture pads?
  • What will happen if I currently authorize debit and credit cards on a tablet or smartphone?
  • Who will perform and software upgrades and/or hardware installations? 
  • How much is this going to cost my business or organization overall?
Are There Any Ways to Reduce Expenses Related to EMV Implimentation?
Possibly - if you are currently under any sort of maintenance agreement related to any software used to process debit and credit cards, you may get a free software upgrade. 

What is the Anticipated Compliance Date?
In the United States, the tentative compliance date is 1.October.2015.

What if I Choose not to Comply?
All liability for fraudulent transactions will be your responsibility. To be blunt, you will either be put out of business due to financial losses or you will no longer accept debit or credit cards as payment. That may sound harsh but it is reality which is why so much advance notice is being given before October 2015 rolls along.

Are you in the US and in need of no cost retail point of sale advice? I'm happy to help and can be reached on my cell at 208-340-5632 (mountain time) or via email at

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