EMV…… The super-small computer
The United States is switching over to chip cards in an effort to curb credit card fraud. In fact, even though the United States has a quarter of the world’s credit card transactions, almost half of the world’s credit card fraud happens here. This is because magnetic-stripe cards use an outdated technology and easy for fraudsters to counterfeit. Chip cards, on the other hand, are way more secure. An EMV credit card chip is actually a super-small computer that’s extremely hard to counterfeit. When the data is transmitted during a card transaction, it’s encrypted which means even if bad guys intercepted the information, they probably wouldn’t be able to do anything with it. So as a country we’re switching to cards with EMV chips. The recent high-profile security breaches at some of the country’s largest retailers have added motivation to make the switch quickly.
The good news is, consumers are starting to adapt to the new normal — their first instinct now is to insert a chip, not swipe. In addition, Visa and Mastercard implemented new quick-chip technology last summer, to make the processing time faster for consumers. One of the biggest complaints off the bat was that EMV was too slow, taking 10-15 seconds, Now the EMV transactions have really gone back to the same speed as what it used to be with swipe transaction — from the consumer point of view, it has sped up dramatically.
Retailers, on the other hand, have struggled to get up to speed with EMV and have dealt with a variety of challenges, particularly due to vendor delays and the liability shift that has left them on the hook for chargeback.
Contactless EMV was supposed to go live last spring, but the processing rules for banks are not finalized yet. By October 2017, fuel pumps were also supposed to be EMV compliant — but due to a lack of hardware, this date has been pushed out to 2020.
For backward compatibility most merchants still accepts traditional magnetic swipe cards, although this is definitely going to change over time. However, the EMV technology of course is not a silver bullet that solves all problems. But it has proven that beyond any reasonable doubt, it’s still the best way to avert fraudulent practices when it comes to business transactions. Some food for thought as you carefully plan to take your stand on switching over to the EMV terminal.

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