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EMV for Merchants

EMV is a fraud-reducing technology that can help protect merchants against losses from accepting counterfeit payment cards at the point-of-sale (POS). Named for the three companies that originally sponsored the technology—Europay, MasterCard and Visa—EMV cards contain embedded microprocessors or chips that generate unique data for each new transaction at a POS device, allowing the ability to verify card authenticity.

If your merchant equipment isn't compatible with chip cards, you may want to consider upgrading to EMV-capable hardware. Here are a few reasons why: 

  • Fight the Fraudsters. Merchants must have an EMV enabled POS system (one that has a card insert slot) to take advantage of the fraud-reducing ability of EMV chip cards.
  • Build Customer Trust. By investing in security, you are showing your customers you care about securing their payment card information.
  • Avoid Liability Costs. When you upgrade to EMV technology, you continue to be protected from counterfeit fraud losses.

EMV Frequently Asked Questions

What is EMV?

EMV® is a global standard for credit and debit payment cards based on chip card technology, taking its name from the card schemes Europay, MasterCard, and Visa — the original card schemes that developed it. EMV cards come with an embedded microprocessor that provides heightened transaction security, card authentication and additional capabilities not possible with traditional magnetic stripe cards.

How does EMV technology benefit merchants?

EMV increases security and fraud protection against counterfeit payment cards. EMV also enables interoperability with the global payments infrastructure. In other words, EMV cards can be used with any EMV-enabled terminal anywhere in the world.

How does EMV help prevent fraud?

The chip on the EMV card is very difficult to duplicate. Each EMV-enabled card contains an embedded smart chip that is programmed by the card issuer to create a unique cryptogram (an encrypted code) for every transaction. This code represents a randomly generated numeral provided by the POS terminal at the time that the purchase amount is keyed in by the cashier. When an EMV chip is used in a transaction, a cardholder verification is triggered and becomes required for authentication via Chip and PIN or Chip and Signature. If connectivity with the card issuer is unavailable during a transaction, the chip determines whether the transaction can be processed offline.

What is the timing for EMV in the United States?

October 1, 2015 marked the date on which fraud liability shifted for all non-EMV-enabled POS devices (except for automated fuel dispensers at gas stations).

What does the liability shift mean?

As of October 1, 2015, the party that provides an EMV payment acceptance option will be protected from financial liability originating from counterfeit card-present transactions. For example, if a chip card is presented to a merchant who has not implemented an EMV-enabled terminal, liability for any counterfeit fraudulent transactions will shift to the merchant. If a counterfeit magnetic stripe card (non-EMV chip card) is presented at an EMV-enabled terminal, liability will remain with the card issuer.

Am I required to support EMV?

You are not required by law to support EMV at this time. However, you may be putting yourself and your customers at risk, as fraud liability migrates to non-EMV enabled parties.  Fraudsters will be targeting businesses who haven’t implemented an EMV solution. Taylor Bank recommends ensuring that your POS terminal(s) are chip-capable and that your payment processing application can accept EMV chip cards.

Who is enforcing EMV?

There is no government entity or authority that is overseeing or enforcing migration to EMV in the U.S. However, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) and EMVCo, the official EMV standard governing body, are collaborating with major card issuers on EMV chip technology adoption and implementation in the U.S. As such, all merchants who are accepting electronic card payments will be required to continue meeting PCI security compliance processes and will be subject to the liability shift set forth by card issuers.

What happens if merchants don’t upgrade their POS system to EMV?

As of October 1, 2015, the merchant whose POS system is not EMV-enabled will assume full liability risk for fraudulent card-present transactions when processing chip cards on a non-EMV-enabled terminal. 

Why do merchants have to worry about counterfeit, lost or stolen card fraud?

As recent card breaches at several large national retailers in the U.S. have illustrated, card fraud can be extremely costly and damaging to a brand. For a small business, such an incident could be catastrophic.  In addition to minimizing the risk of fraud, merchants implementing EMV chip payments in neighboring countries, including Canada and Mexico, have reported significant decreases in fraudulent transactions.


For more information about Chip Technology visit the "Tell Me About" section of our website.

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