Want to Start Accepting EMV Chip Cards?
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EMV chip card technology is quickly being adopted by both consumers and merchants in the United States. The technology is sometimes referred to as EMV because it was designed by Europay, Mastercard and Visa.
Unlike a traditional magnetic stripe card, chip cards store information on a computer chip embedded in the card that also generates a unique code for each transaction, proving the card is genuine. This protects businesses and consumers from fraud by making chip cards virtually impossible to counterfeit. In fact, since EMV chip technology began rolling out three years ago, merchants who made the switch saw an 82 percent decrease in the amount of counterfeit fraud dollars.
While accepting chip cards is still not mandatory, the day where that is the case may not be far off. As for now, if you do not have the ability to accept a chip card for payment, you will be held liable for certain types of counterfeit Card Present transactions. With that in mind, there is more than enough incentive to implement chip card acceptance as soon as possible.
Liability Shift: On October 1, 2015, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express changed the rules for determining who is financially responsible for certain types of fraud. The general rule is that a merchant who doesn’t accept chip cards is responsible for any fraud at their business that chip technology would have prevented. If a merchant doesn’t accept chip cards, there is some risk of financial loss from fraud. Accepting chip cards eliminates this risk. The change in liability only affects Card Present transactions. If your business only takes credit cards over the phone or the internet, the liability shift does not affect you.
Peace of Mind: As consumers become more aware of the security benefits, they may start putting pressure on businesses like yours to offer chip card acceptance. After you start accepting chip cards, your customers will see that you are doing everything in your power to keep their credit card information secure.
Advanced Payment Features: Modern chip card equipment can also accept Apple Pay and other contactless payment types.
You will need both updated equipment and software that are compatible with chip cards.
Some of today’s stand-alone terminals are still outdated and don’t have chip card readers. It’s also possible your terminal has a chip card reader but doesn’t have chip card software installed. Wind River has a variety of countertop terminals that come ready to accept EMV chip cards.
In the case of a POS system, you may also need updated software and/or new chip card reading equipment. In these circumstances, it is best to contact your POS provider directly and ask what steps are necessary for you to begin accepting chip cards. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have during this process.
Lastly, since some cardholders may have to type in a PIN when using their chip card, you may want to consider adding a customer-facing PIN pad to your chip card-ready equipment. PINs protect against lost and stolen card fraud.
The card brands have not announced any new rates or incentives related to chip cards. Except for the purchase of new equipment and upgraded software, your normal processing costs should not change because of the chip card transition.
If you don’t make the switch to accept EMV chip cards at this time, you will still be able to accept all credit and debit cards by swiping. You will still be subject to the liability shift described above, and you may incur fraud costs if specific types of fraud occur at your business. Also, as consumers learn more about the security benefits of chip cards and become accustomed to using them, they may start pressuring businesses that haven’t made the switch to do so.