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EMV Chip & PIN

Understanding EMV Chip Card Technology

EMV Credit Card

EMV, commonly known as "Chip & PIN" or "Chip & Signature", is a technology that is replacing the magnetic data stripe on the back of credit cards. It is a small micro-chip embedded on the front of the card that is very hard to duplicate.

EMV stands for "EuroPay MasterCard Visa", as they were the original companies that developed the technology. EMV was introduced in Europe in 2006, and in Canada in 2010. The United States is one of the last markets to go through the Magnetic Stripe to EMV migration.

What is the point of EMV?

The goal of EMV is to reduce credit card fraud. Nearly half of all credit card fraud now occurs in the USA, even though only 25% of transactions take place here. The ongoing acceptance of magnetic stripe credit cards makes it an easy target to fraudsters.

EMV is often referred to as "Chip & PIN". This is because the most common way to use an EMV card is to insert the Chip, and enter your PIN. However this is an oversimplification of the EMV standard, which also encompasses other transactions modes such as Chip & Signature and Tap & Pay (near-field communication).

What is the October 2015 EMV Liability Shift?

Starting October 1st, 2015, if you swipe a fraudulent credit card and you are not setup up to take the EMV chip card, the banks will make you responsible for the fraudulent charge.

If the card is stolen, but you processed the transaction using the Chip & PIN, the bank will take responsibility for the fraudulent charge. This is why it so important to be EMV ready for October 1st so that your business is not exposed to the increased liability.

Is swipe going away?

Not immediately, but its removal is on the road-map for Visa and MasterCard in the coming years. Merchants can still swipe credit cards, but are exposing their businesses to fraudulent transactions.

What about manually keyed and e-commerce transactions?

The EMV technology does not impact card-not-present (ecommerce) transactions as it only deals with card-present (retail) transactions. The policies in place for manually keyed transactions have not changed.

How can I accept EMV transactions?

You simply need a credit/debit machine that supports EMV chip card transactions. Discover an EMV terminal that works with your business, or browse our available options below:

EMV Credit & Debit Terminals

Learn more by selecting one of our terminals above.
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