EMV Chip Card Technology: What You Need to Know

emv chip card


If your business accepts credit cards, you will be faced with having to understand the new EMV chip card technology. Essentially credit card companies are navigating away from magnetic strips on the cards to an embedded microchip that includes unique cardholder information offering credit card users an additional layer of privacy and fraud protection. As of October 1, all major credit card companies will be required to manufacture cards with EMV chip technology. This national switch in technology presents changes to retailers:

  • New point-of-sale terminal technology
  • New internal processing systems
  • Liability

Northern Initiatives is committed to providing information to help you understand what EMV technology means for your business, so we answered a few basic questions, below.


What Is EMV?
EMV, which stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa, is a global standard for cards with embedded computer chips and the technology used to authenticate chip-card transactions. Already established in more than 80 countries around the world, the U.S. is currently making the transition to EMV technology.


Why Should This Matter To Me?
The EMV chip makes every transaction unique and much more difficult to copy, providing greater fraud protection. If any information stored during a transaction is stolen, it could not be used for another transaction, or to make a counterfeit card. The chip not only makes transactions faster and easier, it also helps protect the privacy of the user.


This technology matters greatly to business owners when it comes to liability for credit card fraud. In the past, if a transaction was performed using a fake or stolen card, consumer losses fell on the payment processor or issuing bank. With the launch of EMV chip cards, fraud liability will shift to whichever party is the least EMV-compliant. That’s pretty good incentive to move forward in adopting the technology.


How Does EMV Technology Affect My Business?
Before switching to EMV, merchants should learn about the new system and what it means for their business. They will need to invest in new in-store technology and manage new internal processing systems, while complying with new liability rules. Important aspects to consider when making the switch:

  • EMV transactions are virtually impossible to duplicate
  • Transactions are faster, more secure and convenient
  • Three types of EMV systems are available
  • Visa recommends 10 Steps for implementing the chip

Contact your acquirer or payment services provider for more information and to begin the process. Also, check out the Small Business Administration article on migrating your business to EMV chip card technology.

While this is a VERY brief summary of important information regarding EMV, the most important thing to know: Make the switch.

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