Is Your Business Prepared For The End of the Swipe-and-Sign Credit Card?

Beginning later this year you (and your customers) will stop swiping credit cards. Here's what you need to know.

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Where has EMV already been adopted?

Pretty much everywhere. Billions of EMV chip cards are already in use around the world, and 80 countries are in various stages of EMV chip migration.

According to EMV Connection:

 

  • 99.9% of terminals in Europe are chip-enabled
  • 84.7% of terminals in Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean are chip-enabled
  • 86.3% of terminals in Africa and the Middle East are chip-enabled
  • 71.7% of terminals in Asia Pacific are chip-enabled

 

Since migrating, many of these countries have reported experiencing the lowest levels of fraud in years. Yet, the United States is one of the last countries to get on board.

 

Why are EMV payment transactions more secure?

There’s a world of information in your credit and debit cards. Every time you use magnetic-stripe cards though, the transaction information remains static. With EMV chip cards, the data for each transaction is encrypted and unique, so producing counterfeit cards is nearly impossible.

If EMV technology had been in place at Target or Home Depot, the fraudsters might have gotten into the system, but the impact would have been minimized from that point on.

 

How does EMV technology work?

A typical EMV transaction looks like this:

 

  • Cardholder touches chip card to EMV reader (or, if using mobile payments, waves mobile device in front of EMV reader).
  • EMV reader powers the hidden chip in the card, allowing it to communicate encrypted information by generating a one-time-use code to send to the processor for verification.
  • Processor decodes encryption, verifies the EMV chip, and returns an authorization code, or cryptogram, approving the transaction.
  • For the transaction to be 100% valid, the EMV chip and the card/mobile device holder’s PIN, magnetic strip, or signature must be verified, creating a globally accepted form of 2-factor authentication.

 

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The first step on the road to EMV implementation is knowledge, so you’re already heading in the right direction. As a business owner, it pays to learn as much as you can about new and available technology before moving forward and making a choice.

Contact your POS or merchant services provider and let them know what you’re thinking. Set up a time to talk. They can help you create and execute a plan that will get your business on the road to EMV acceptance in no time.
This article has been edited and condensed.

Andrea Fisher is a NC-based writer for Targeted Merchant Solutions, offering a wide range of merchant solutions, low processing rates, the latest technology on the market and quality customer service. Connect with @andreafisher007 on Twitter.

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