EMV Chip Card Technology

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EMV (Europay, MasterCard® and Visa®) chip technology was designed to help improve security and combat fraud through the use of encrypted microchips.

We can help you understand the benefits of this technology and ensure your business is EMV compliant.

As of October 1, 2015, payment card networks have changed chargeback rules for businesses. If an EMV card is presented by the customer for a purchase, but the transaction is not completed using the EMV chip technology, the business will be liable in event of fraud. So if your processing method is not enabled to process EMV chip cards, you may see an increase in chargebacks for counterfeit, lost or stolen card transactions.

EMV chip card technology provides benefits to both cardholders and merchants.

  • Ensures your business will not be liable for fraudulent purchases
  • Protects your business and cardholders from counterfeit fraud through the use of a unique transaction code that cannot be replicated each time the card is used
  • Enables US cardholders to use their secure chip payment cards anywhere in the world

What are the deadlines for EMV?

As of October 1, 2015, all merchants must have EMV-capable terminals to avoid the fraud liability shift. Merchants who are equipped with EMV-capable terminals to accept a chip card are protected from financial liability for card-present fraud losses from counterfeit, lost or stolen card transactions.

What will happen if fraud occurs and I do not have equipment that accepts EMV chip cards?

If fraud occurs when a customer presents a chip card and your business is not equipped to accept the card, you, as the merchant, will take on the liability of the disputed transactions. If the customer has a chip card and you have a device to accept it, the card issuer assumes the liability and chargeback.

What do I need to do to be EMV compliant?

Retail merchants must ensure that their terminals, POS systems or mobile payment acceptance devices are EMV capable; that is, a chip card transaction could be successfully performed using the device.

Am I required to support EMV?

Merchants are not required to support EMV. However, your business is liable for card-present fraud if you do not have EMV-capable processing technology for your customers who use chip cards.

I do not have many problems with fraud today. Why should I upgrade to EMV?

As more and more merchants upgrade terminals to be EMV ready, perpetrators will likely target merchants who use older technology due to the increasing difficulty of committing card-present EMV fraud. Even though your business does not currently have an issue with fraud, this may change as EMV implementation increases.

How does the customer use a chip card?

Transactions with a chip card work a bit differently than magnetic stripe transactions:

  1. The customer inserts the card with the chip facing upwards into the card slot at the end of the terminal.
  2. If prompted, the customer will enter a PIN if they have a chip and PIN card, or sign if they have a chip and signature card.
  3. The card is left in the slot until the transaction is complete.
  4. Once the transaction is complete, the customer will be prompted to remove the card.

If the customer tries to swipe the card using a magnetic stripe reader, the terminal will automatically prompt the customer to insert the chip card into the terminal's card slot. Customers who are unfamiliar with the process may try to remove the card before the transaction is complete. It will be up to you, as the merchant, to educate the customer on the proper processing technique.

My terminal has a card slot for chip cards. Will I need a new terminal?

Unless the terminal has an added software application to accept EMV transactions, you will need to upgrade your terminal. Some terminals were built with card slots, but most do not have the necessary secured software application to accept chip cards. If you have any questions about your terminal's ability to accept chip cards, please contact one of our merchant support representatives at 877-672-4228.

My business accepts Internet-based payments where a card is not present. How does EMV affect me?

The fraud liability shift only affects merchants performing card-present transactions. If you process cards over the Internet, EMV will not affect your business. You will still be able to accept EMV chip cards over the Internet as usual.

My business uses a Virtual Terminal or Software POS to swipe cards. How does EMV affect me?

The fraud liability shift applies to any merchant accepting cards in a card-present environment. Many software platforms are beginning the process of moving to EMV. This could mean you would need to purchase a "gateway" or possibly a PIN pad to plug into your computer as a peripheral device. However, purchasing a PIN pad does not mean your software is EMV capable. Please check with your software provider (if purchased from an outside source) or contact us at 877-672-4228 before purchasing any additional equipment. Your software or gateway provider is required to obtain EMV certification with each payment processor and card association.

Will I still be able to accept traditional credit and debit cards?

Yes. You will be able to accept magnetic-stripe credit and debit cards with the stripe reader on the terminal. However, if your terminal is EMV capable, customers with chip cards will be required to pay using the chip-card-processing method.

Will I still be able to use a terminal with a phone line?

The chip-card enabled terminals will work on an analog phone line. However, IP (or Ethernet) is highly recommended, since it is faster and more secure. Digital, VoIP and fiber optic analog lines have known issues, are not PCI DSS compliant and are not recommended.

How will chip cards impact the checkout experience at my business?

  • With EMV technology, you may experience longer processing times due to the large amount of data that must be transferred during the transaction. This will likely mean a few more seconds in wait time for your customers. If you are currently processing with an analog phone line, you may experience an even greater increase in wait time.
  • Some EMV chip cards will require a PIN number. If so—and if you are not using a customer-facing PIN pad—you may need to hand the device to the customer. If you are interested in purchasing a PIN pad—please contact our merchant support center at 877-672-4228.
  • If you are upgrading to new EMV-capable equipment, you may require additional training for your staff.
  • Chip cards are a new technology, so you may encounter customers who have never processed a transaction using this type of card. You or your staff may need to educate customers on the new processing methods.

How does EMV impact my business if I adjust tips after a sale?

In most cases when tipping is an option for the customer, the credit or debit card is taken from the customer and then processed with a card acceptance device in another location. The customer will then receive a receipt on which they are able to write in a tip amount. This amount is then adjusted on the original transaction at a later time.

With EMV, some cards are being issued with a PIN number that is required to be entered when the card is inserted during the transaction. Since the customer is the only one who knows the PIN number, if the employee takes the card to another location to run the transaction, they will not be able to enter this PIN number. To maintain this process for these cards, many processors, including BB&T, have the option to bypass the PIN number. This will remove the prompt for PIN on the terminal when the employee processes the card in another location before returning to the customer.

While this maintains the status quo, choosing to process with the PIN bypass enabled will leave your business liable for lost or stolen card fraud that occurs on a Chip and PIN card. If you do not want to have this additional liability, pay at the table solutions are available. These include wireless, Bluetooth, mobile and tablet POS options that will allow your employees to bring devices to the table so customers can enter the sale and tip information at one time.

What is different with debit cards that have EMV?

Depending on the equipment and software you use, EMV debit cards maybe displayed on your card acceptance device differently from traditional magnetic stripe debit cards.

Previously, you or the cardholder would have the option to choose DEBIT to process with a PIN number through PIN debit networks, and CREDIT to process without a PIN number. Now, these options will change to US DEBIT to process a transaction with a PIN number through PIN debit networks, and another option to process without a PIN number.

The option to process without a PIN number may be displayed several ways including VISA DEBIT, MASTERCARD DEBIT or DISCOVER DEBIT with other possible options. If you see these options and want to process a debit card with a PIN number, you will need to choose, or have your customers choose, the US DEBIT option whenever it is prompted on the terminal.

What if I have more questions?

If you have questions about purchasing an EMV-capable terminal or would like to know if your current terminal is EMV capable, please contact our merchant support center at 877-672-4228.

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