EMV Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS EMV?
EMV, or Europay MasterCard Visa, is a fraud-reducing techology that can help protect issuers, merchants and consumers against losses from the use of counterfeit and lost or stolen payment cards at the point-of-sale. Consumer payment applications are held in a secure chip, integrated into the credit card. Unlike magnetic-stripe cards, every time an EMV-card is used for payment, the card chip creates a unique dynamic cryptogram transaction code for every transaction. That cannot be used again.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CONVERTING TO EMV?
Conversion to EMV will make transactions more secure and reduces the risk of fraudulent transactions.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO AS A MERCHANT TO PREPARE?
Merchants will need a terminal or point-of-sale system that is EMV-capable. Please refer to your sales representative or assigned project manager for products and solutions that best meet your needs.
WILL IT BE EXPENSIVE?
For merchants who don’t have EMV-capable equipment, purchasing new or upgrading existing terminals or POS systems will not be costly. There are many options today that are EMV-ready. If needed, upgrading to new equipment now will position your business well for the EMV liability shift in October 2015. It will also be much less expensive than the cost of liability in the event of fraud.
HOW IS A CHIP CARD DIFFERENT FROM A MAGNETIC STRIPE TRANSACTION?
A chip card is a plastic payment card with a microchip that is virtually impossible to duplicate because every single purchase is assigned its own encrypted transaction data when the card is inserted into the device. Alternatively, when the magnetic stripe of a card is swiped through the device, data from the magnetic stripe is captured and included in the transaction request, and the same exact data is used for every purchase, making information easier to duplicate and steal.
WHAT WILL THE ACTUAL CHECK OUT PROCESS BE LIKE NOW?
A customer will insert their EMV-card into the bottom slot of a terminal. The card remains in the terminal for the duration of the transaction. The chip validates the transaction authorization data and the transaction amount.
WHRE WILL THE LIABILITY NOW FALL?
Liability for fraudulent transactions will move to the weakest link in the transaction. If a consumer uses a magnetic stripe in an EMV-capable terminal and the transaction turns out to be fraudulent, liability will rest with the issuer of the original magnetic stripe card. However, if a user uses a magnetic stripe card for a fraudulent transaction on a terminal which cannot process EMV, the liability for the fraud will rest with the merchant.
WHY ARE EMV CARDS MORE SECURE THAN TRADITIONAL CARDS?
The magnetic stripes on traditional credit and debit cards store static data. Whoever accesses that data gains the senstive card and cardholder information necessary to make purchases. This makes traditional cards prime targets for counterfeiters, who convert stolen card data to cash. If someone copies a magnetic stripe, they can easily replicate that data over and over again because it doesn’t change.
If a hacker stole the EMV-chip information from one specific point-of-sale, typical card duplication would never work because the stolen transaction number created in that instance wouldn’t be useable again and the card would just get denied. Unlike magnetic-stripe cards, every time an EMV-card is used for payment, the card chip creates a unique dynamic cryptogram transaction code for every transaction that cannot be used again.
EMV technology will not prevent data breaches from occuring, but it will make it much harder for criminals to successfully profit from what they steal. Experts hope it will help significantly reduce card-present fraud in the U.S., which has doubled in recent years as criminals have shied away from countries that have already transitioned to EMV-cards.
HOW DO I USE AN EMV CARD TO MAKE A PURCHASE?
Instead of going to a register and swiping your card, you are going to insert your EMV-card into a terminal slot. When an EMV card is inserted, data flows between the card chip, the terminal and the issuing financial institution to verify the card’s legitimacy and create the unique transaction data.
WHO IS LIABLE IF A COUNTERFEIT TRANSACTION OCCURS ON AN EMV CAPABLE TERMINAL?
The cost of the fraud will fall back on the card issuer.
CAN YOU USE AN EMV CARD AT A RETAILER THAT DOESN'T SUPPORT EMV TECHNOLOGY YET?
Yes. EMV-cards will be equipped with both chip and magnetic-stripe functions so consumer spending is not disrupted and merchants can adjust.
CAN I TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY WITH AN EMV CARD?
Yes and no. Chip-enabled cards are the norm in most other countries that support EMV technology. So customers with chip-and-signature cards may still find merchants who are unwilling or unable to process their card, even though it does have an embedded chip.