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EMV in 60 Seconds

Thursday, July 30, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Heartland Payment Systems
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EMV Card courtesy of Heartland

The nationwide shift to EMV-enabled cards—also known as chip or smart cards—is well underway, greatly reducing the chances you’ll receive a counterfeit payment at your place of business.

And with the shift in liability slated for October 1 of this year, it’s time to start preparing for EMV card acceptance. Here’s what you need to know.

What are the basics?
EMV—which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa—is a global payment standard that provides a consistent cardholder experience worldwide. The majority of developed countries in the world have employed EMV for many years, with the U.S. becoming the last to make the transition.


How does it work?
EMV-enabled cards contain a computer chip that is activated and read when inserted in the card reader or tapped for contactless acceptance. The chip generates a unique security code for each transaction, making it harder and more expensive for cybercriminals to duplicate cards.

And it’s more secure?
The chip itself sends encrypted information between the card and the card issuer to ensure that the card is genuine, decreasing counterfeit fraud.

What does this mean for my business?
The way you accept cards is changing, which may mean upgrading technology in order to accept EMV cards as well as magnetic stripe cards. You will still be able to accept magnetic stripe cards if you do not have an EMV terminal, as EMV cards being issued will have both the chip and magnetic stripe.

Is EMV acceptance a law that I have to comply with by October 1?
While EMV is not mandated, it is a good idea to consider avoiding costly counterfeit, lost and stolen card chargebacks and potential loss of business due to consumer payment preferences.

Why spend money on upgrading if it’s not mandatory?
With a liability shift approaching, responsibility for those potential fraudulent charges falls to the party using the least secure card-acceptance technology. If an EMV-ready terminal is not installed, this means that the liability could shift to you and your business. By swiping a card through a non-EMV-compatible terminal, you could be facing penalties associated with the fraudulent charge.

Heartland can help
Heartland can get you EMV-ready with terminals and PIN pads that support magnetic stripe and EMV cards. And we’re here to answer any questions you may have about the costs associated with the shift to EMV.

Our experts can help you:

  • Understand how EMV applies to you
  • Assess your current terminal for EMV readiness
  • Understand the liability shift and the potential impacts

October 1, 2015. Are you ready?
On October 1 of this year, EMV acceptance goes live in the United States. With this liability shift, it is now more important than ever to become EMV-ready.

The new regulations on EMV acceptance are shifting accountability to the party using the least secure technology.

In recent years, more and more card issuers and banks have been issuing EMV smart or chip cards, putting merchants at the highest risk for incurring these costly fees.

The best way to make sure your business is not targeted by fraudulent activity is by first assessing your current terminal and determining if an upgrade is necessary.

>While it is important to note that being EMV compatible isn’t a law, it is the protection you need to avoid unnecessary chargebacks and potential loss of business. Just as you wouldn’t drive a car without insurance, you shouldn’t lead your business without being EMV-ready.

For more information, visit

Additional Resources
EMV & Restaurants: What You Need to Know


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