Q: Why should I read this article about EMV FAQs?

A: If you don’t already know about EMV, not reading this article jeopardizes your job and possibly the survival of your company. It could cost you and your company a lot of money. If you have heard of EMV, I would still recommend that you scan through these questions to see if there is any new information.

Q: What is EMV?
A: EMV is the initials of three companies: Europay, MasterCard, and Visa. These companies collaborated in 1993 to create a standard for smart payment cards, payment terminals and ATMs. People refer to this standard as EMV. Click to learn more.
Q: Why did these companies create a standard for smart payment cards?
A: Europay, MasterCard, and Visa created this standard to improve security against fraud compared to magnetic stripe cards for card-present transactions, Executive Order 13681.
Q: You said this standard has been around since 1993. Why should I care now, in 2015?
A: Starting in October 2015, if a U.S. merchant processes a credit card using its magnetic stripe, you (the merchant) may be liable if the transaction is fraudulent. There will be a shift in liability for fraudulent credit card transactions from the credit card companies to the credit card processors. If your credit card processor accepts EMV payments from you but you do not have the equipment to support EMV transactions, your processor may hold you liable for fraud. The liability for fraudulent transactions is born by the weakest link in the system.
Q: What are smart payment cards and how are they different from payment cards we’ve been using for years?
A: EMV smart payment cards are also called smart cards, chip cards, and IC cards. These payment cards store data on integrated circuits rather than magnetic stripes, although many EMV cards also have magnetic stripes for backward compatibility. The data stored on the integrated circuit can change with each transaction unlike the data on a magnetic stripe that is static.
Q: I already have equipment to process credit card transactions. Can I use my existing equipment to process smart cards?
A: You can only use your existing payment processing equipment to process a payment using a smart card if the card also has a magnetic stripe. As mentioned earlier, if you use the magnetic stripe to process the payment, you assume all liability if the card is fraudulent. If you want to process an EMV smart card without the liability for fraud, you must use EMV compliant equipment.
Q: I don’t like to be the first one to implement a new technology. What happens if it doesn’t work?
A: The EMV standard was first introduced in 1993 and has been used in much of the rest of the world for over a decade. The fact that the U.S. market accounts for 25% of all credit card transactions but almost 50% of fraudulent transactions proves that EMV inhibits fraud. The U.S. is the last major market to implement the standard.
Q: Why haven’t companies in the U.S. had more time to upgrade their payment processing equipment?
A: Visa first announced their schedule to implement EMV in the U.S. four years ago in 2011.
Q: So now I only have 2 months to become EMV compliant. How do I do that?
A: Contact your payment processor and ask them if they can process EMV transactions. If they cannot, contact us and we can set you up with one of our payment processing partners. We also have EMV compliant payment terminals available. Give us a call at (800)-830-9523 to learn more.
Click for more informational resources on Europay, Mastercard, Visa (EMV) from the US Department of the Treasury.