EMV: Frequently Asked Questions
What is EMV ?
In short, EMV is the chip technology that has been rolled out in Europe and Asia basically across the world with the exception of the United States.
EMV “Chip Technology” provides card issuing banks the ability to issues credit cards with an embedded chip. The new chip technology allows a merchant to accept a credit card sale by simply waving the card in front of an EMNV capable credit card terminal*. In essence it is a contactless sale.
How does EMV chip technology work ?
EMV-enabled hardware will communicate with the processor chip inside the customer’s credit card to determine whether or not the card is authentic. Generally, the EMV hardware will prompt the customer to sign or enter a PIN to validate their identity. This process enhances the authentication of both the card and cardholder, effectively reducing the possibility that your business will accept a counterfeit card or be held liable for a fraud-related chargeback.
Will my integrated card reader on my front of house point of sale read EMV chips ?
No. The EMV chip reader is specific to your credit card processing company. Point of sale software companies are writing their code to be able to communicate with third party credit card reader hardware providers, like Ingenico and Verifone.
Why is EMV being implemented in the United States ?
Credit Card fraud continues to increase in the United States. Current magnetic stripe cards can be easily copied (skimmed) with inexpensive card reading devices allowing criminals to reproduce counterfeit cards. The use of EMV cards is expected to significantly reduce credit card fraud. This benefits both the merchant as well as the card holder.
What is the advantage of the new EMV technology ?
According to the experts in security, this is a much more secure way of transacting a credit card sale. Once this technology is rolled out, it will be much, much harder for cyber thieves to use stolen credit card data.
Am I required to support EMV ?
No, you are not required to support EMV in the United States at this time. While EMV cards will continue to have a magnetic stripe to ensure customer can continue to pay on existing hardware, you need to consider that even if your organization hasn’t been targeted by high levels of card present fraud in the past, you may be putting yourself at risk in the future, as fraud will migrate to the weakest technology (magnetic stripe) Therefore, you may want to ensure that your payment processing application and hardware can support EMV card acceptance.
What happens I choose not to upgrade to an EMV terminal ?
If you are worrying if your credit card processing rates will go up, they shouldn’t. However, there will be a shift in liability from the banks to the merchant for fraudulent credit card activity. What does that mean? If you have fraudulent credit card sales processed through your business, and you don’t have an EMV terminal*, the liability for accepting that card may fall to you, the merchant.
Will chip cards be swiped the same way as magnetic-stripe cards ?
No. The term “swipe your card” will be replaced by “dip your card”. Chip cards are inserted, or “dipped,” into the payment device and left in place for the entire transaction as the reader and card talk back and forth. In the event the card does not have a chip, you can still swipe the card.
How does EMV impact PCI requirements ?
Merchants are still required to maintain on going PCI compliance, but may be eligible for a waiver of the annual PCI Validation process currently being offered by American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.
What merchants are eligible for the PCI validation waiver ?
MasterCard’s program is open to PCI DSS Level 1 and Level 2 merchants. American Express, Discover, and Visa do not call out specific levels, but the annual validation is only required of Level 1 and Level 2 merchants. In addition, 75 percent of the merchant’s transactions must be processed through EMV enabled terminals*. However, this does not mean that 75 percent of the transactions must be EMV transactions. The transactions whether EMV or magnetic stripe just have to process through EMV enabled terminals*. The terminals* must also support both contact and contactless transactions.
Is there a new PCI SAQ version for merchants with EMV compliant terminals ?
At this time, there is no unique Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) for EMV.
Will I still be able to accept traditional credit and debit cards ?
Yes, any hardware you currently have will allow you to continue to accept payment cards that are not EMV-enabled.
Does EMV stop hackers from breaching my point of sale system ?
No. The biggest risk is not from being on the wrong side of the liability shift when the October 2015 deadline comes, but is from data being stolen directly from their networks. Being able to accept chip cards is important, but EMV only protects a restaurant from fraud related to someone using a counterfeit card for an in-store transaction. It does not protect the restaurant from data security-related breaches.
So what do I do next ?
As NCR Connected Payments for Hospitality gets closer to market ready in the coming months, we will post updates to this page. Continue to check back often or feel free to contact your BECPOS sales representative for alternative options.
* The term ‘terminal’ means a separate, stand-alone EMV compliant unit like a Verifone or Ingenico model. *