The EMV Revolution

Take no chances! Upgrade your point-of-sale terminals before the October deadline.


You may have heard there’s a change coming to the way your shop accepts card payments. The United States is in the process of transitioning away from the magnetic stripe cards we’re all familiar with and moving toward installing small microchips into the cards – also known as chip-and-sign.

If you’ve already upgraded your terminals to accept these new cards, which are inserted into a slot and not swiped, then you’re ahead of the game. If not, or if you’ve never heard about this switch, then you’re not alone. But time is winding down. And if your shop isn’t accepting EMV payments, your organization will be responsible for the fallout from any fraudulent transactions processed there.

The new cards are called EMV, short for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, the three companies that created the standard. It’s the system the majority of the world uses at their point-of-sale terminals. Chip-enabled credit and debit cards are more secure, by electronically storing data so that it’s harder for criminals to steal the payment information and create fraudulent cards.

Why the change? For starters, nearly half of all the credit card fraud worldwide occurs in the United States, even though America accounts for only a quarter of the global card volume. As for why you should make the upgrade, other than helping to ensure that your loyal customer’s financial information is more secure, there’s a legal initiative as well.

Come Oct. 1, 2015, liability for fraudulent transactions will shift to whichever party – the card issuer or the merchant – hasn’t made the switch to EMV.

There are a few factors to consider and several things for employees to familiarize themselves with before making the move to EMV, as the new terminals are likely to support a broad range of payment methods. This includes contactless EMV, such as a contactless credit card, and NFC mobile applications such as Apple Pay and Android Pay. Knowing the difference and how they operate will help answer questions from customers and speed up transactions.

One way to prepare yourself is to talk to a payments provider about your questions and discuss your options.