What is EMV and how it helps your business?
No matter if you’re a frequent credit card user, or you still prefer using cash most of the time, you may have heard of the term EMV or seen credit cards with a chip. For most of us, EMV is the little chip on the left of the credit card. But this little gizmo does all the magic for keeping shoppers and retailers safe from foul play.
Why does EMV matter?
Traditional credit card design only features the magnetic strip for transaction and identification. When a transaction occurs, the processing machine gathers static data from the magnetic strip. But as cybercriminals get smarter with their techniques, magnetic strips become more hack-prone. Once they have their hands on the static code or the card, criminals can use it to make unauthorized transactions with little detection risk. What’s worse is that criminals can sell and resell these static credit card details to make even more unauthorized transactions.
In this case, EMVs are a great tool to prevent unnecessary financial trouble and reputation damage for business owners. But let’s understand how EMV works and why it is crucial to retailers and shoppers. EMV stands for “Europay, MasterCard and Visa”, and started as a safety standard for European credit cards. It is now an essential part of America’s retail landscape and the global standard for credit card safety used by most card issuers and networks.
All EMV cards have a distinctive chip on their surface that acts as a mini processor and transmitter. With this mechanism, information stored on the card is dynamic and every payment has its unique transaction code. This mechanism is actually similar to how cryptocurrency works and keeps data secure. That’s why unlike traditional magnetic strip credit cards, cybercriminals can’t steal money from the card or its data. As each transaction will generate a different code, any code they’ve stolen will become obsolete almost immediately.
Besides being more secure, EMV systems are more convenient for businesses. Card readers can immediately determine whether an EMV card is genuine, even without a phone or internet connection. This function makes the authorization process much more flexible. Business owners can submit their transactions in a batch, or whenever there is an internet connection.
Benefits of EMV
- Better security: with the new chip technology, every transaction data is unique and won’t become a security loophole that cybercriminals can exploit
- Universally accepted: EMV is becoming the universal safety standard for credit cards worldwide, so by adopting this system, you’re opening your business to a broader customer base
- Flexible technology: you can now store your transaction details into the card reader and send them in one go, as well as supporting both EMV and magnetic stripes with one reader
What types of these are there?
Right now, there are two types of EMV in the market. The chip-and-PIN variant usually goes with debit cards, and the chip-and-signature variant usually goes with credit cards.
While this variation may not mean much for the consumers, business owners can decide which variant is more suitable, or adopt both. Since EMVs are getting more and more popular in the US and globally, making this transition will undoubtedly make your business more attractive as a retailer.
How are they used?
It is simple to adopt EMV as a retailer. For brick-and-mortar businesses, most point-of-sale (POS) software providers now support EMVs with solutions that can specifically apply to your store. A reliable POS system provider should take care of the following aspects:
- Installation and integration
- Transparent pricing solutions without hidden fees
- Allowing easy checkouts, refunds, and receipts
- Removal of old card readers after integration
- Supports mobile and contactless card readers
Take a restaurant as an example. The owner may want to move beyond the magnetic stripe design and adopt an EMV card. To do that, they can call an EMV provider to get that sorted. With that, they now support safer payments and worry less about frauds. And if the establishment is a busy coffee shop in the bustling business area, there is probably a need to speed up transactions, since long lines are bad for business. In this case, adopting EMVs that support no-contact or mobile readers will tremendously uplift the customer experience, which means better business and reputation.
Almost all credit card processors accept EMV as its acceptability in the market has grown tremendously, especially within the US market. And the good thing is that it doesn’t cost extra to use EMV compared to magnetic stripe card readers. As most card readers accept both EMV and magnetic cards, there isn’t much reason not to adopt EMV. But beware that there can be a cost difference between adopting a PIN-based or a password-based EMV, so remember to check the fine print before making a decision.
Are EMVs compatible with eCommerce stores?
If you are an eCommerce entity, EMV may not be entirely applicable at this stage. But technologies related to EMV, like password-protection verifications, can still keep your payment system secure and reliable, as well as mitigating fraud. This mechanism will send a unique password to the customer, and they’ll need it to verify their transaction every time they buy something. Also, by merely requesting the card’s CVV and the buyer’s address, online payment platforms can already create another barrier against fraud. As new technologies continue to roll out, perhaps one day, EMV tech can benefit online stores directly.
How to choose the right partner
There are many credit card processors out there that provide EMV integration. But it’s important to consider what is right for your business, do your research, and compare your options thoroughly. Even better, pick a provider that can provide countertop card readers and a fully customized business solution with the right POS panels, support for mobile payments, and most important of all, a reasonable price and reliable technical support. At Payline, we have extensive experience in offering POS solutions for EMV credit card panels. We also specialize in mobile payment processing, so your business will be ready to cater to a wide range of customers. Speak with us today and see how we can help.