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EMV Technology

As a business owner, you may have noticed that your customers are looking for new ways to pay. Whether it’s inserting their new chip card into your point-of-sale terminal or asking if you can accept an EMV transaction, here’s what you need to know to get your business chip card ready.

1. Chip cards, also known as “Chip and PIN” and “Chip and Signature” cards; come with a microchip embedded in the card. The technology is more secure than what’s found in traditional magnetic stripe cards, which can all too easily be skimmed for counterfeit purposes. Retailers, banks and card issuers lost $5.3 billion to credit-card fraud in America in 2012 – which can be effectively curtailed with widespread use of EMV technology. Once chip card technology was implemented in the UK, it drove a 72% decrease in face-to-face card fraud. Similarly, counterfeit card fraud in Canada decreased 48% from 2011 to 2013 following the EMV roll out there. The proof is in the numbers!

2. Effective October 1, 2015, counterfeit fraud liability, which has traditionally been assumed by the card issuer, will be assumed by any party that does not enable EMV. The best way to protect your business from this liability is to use EMV-enabled POS terminals that accept chip card transactions.

3. Recognize the difference between a magnetic stripe card and a chip card transaction. The most notable change to you and the cardholder is that when using chip cards, the card never leaves your customer’s hand, and it’s inserted into the terminal during the entire transaction rather than quickly swiped through the side of the terminal. You present the terminal or a PIN pad to your customer for payment.

4. Determine whether your POS terminals are EMV capable. An EMV capable terminal may just need a software download to accept chip cards. An older terminal (often pre-2013) may require an upgrade to a more recent model. If you know your terminal is EMV-enabled, but you’re not sure how to run chip transactions, there are a variety of how-to resources available.

5. EMV/chip card technology is new for your customers as well. Be sure to educate your employees on how to conduct a chip card transaction. Ensuring your employees can walk a customer through this new type of transaction provides a better customer experience and further reduces the incident of card present fraud during this EMV technology transition.

EMV technology and chip card acceptance is changing the way your customers pay. Educate yourself on this technology so that your business is ready to accept chip cards and avoid potential counterfeit card fraud liability.

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 What is EMV?

EMV (an acronym for Europay, MasterCard® and Visa®) is a global technology standard for payment cards. An EMV terminal will communicate with the chip on the EMV card (commonly referred to as a Chip Card) at the time of acceptance to validate the authenticity of the card with the entity which issued the payment card.

 How do Chip Cards work?

Instead of consumers swiping a credit card as they do today, consumers will insert the chip enabled card, chip side up, into an EMV terminal. The terminal will then read the chip on the card to ensure that the card is valid. The card will stay in the terminal until the transaction is complete.

 How do I know if my chip card is Chip and PIN or Chip and Signature?

The card issuer determines if your card is Chip and PIN or Chip and Signature. If you have a Chip and PIN card, your chip card will require you to enter your PIN code during the EMV transaction. If you have a Chip and Signature card, your chip card will require your signature at the end of an EMV transaction.

 Why do I need EMV?

To reduce counterfeit card fraud! Upon implementation of EMV in the United Kingdom, payment card fraud rates immediately dropped by 25%! By accepting chip cards you help protect your business from card fraud liability and prepare your business for the future payment application technology.

 Why haven’t I seen a chip card yet?

With the United States being one of the last countries to adopt this technology standard, consumers with a chip card may assume businesses are not setup yet to accept their chip card. Today there are more than 1.5 billion chip cards used around the world and this number will rapidly increase as banks continue to issue more chip cards to their cardholders in the United States.

 Are banks currently issuing chip cards in the United States?

Yes. Most large issuers have been providing chip cards to people that travel internationally for the past few years. With the upcoming liability shift scheduled for October 2015, issuance for domestic use is expected to accelerate over the next year.

 Is Elavon prepared for this?

Yes. Elavon brings international experience by currently supporting EMV in U.K., Europe, Mexico, South America and in Canada. Elavon will leverage this knowledge and experience to implement a seamless transition to EMV here in the United States and Puerto Rico.

 What is Elavon doing to help me prepare for EMV?

Elavon offers a variety of EMV countertop and wireless solutions to meet the needs of a variety of merchant environments.

 Why do I need an EMV terminal if my current terminal works fine?

Your current terminal may function correctly for magnetic stripe cards, but an EMV terminal is required to support chip enabled cards. In order to protect your business from potential card fraud liability, you will need an upgraded EMV enabled terminal solution.

 Can I still accept magnetic stripe cards with an EMV enabled terminal?

Yes. The new EMV enabled terminals are designed to accept EMV chip cards and magnetic stripe cards to help during the transition to EMV. With a new EMV enabled terminal you won’t need two terminals for both types of payment cards.

 What is the difference between an EMV capable and EMV enabled terminal?

An EMV capable terminal will need a software upgrade or enhancement to become EMV enabled. Any terminal sold by Elavon during the soft launch and beyond will be EMV enabled.

 Why do I need an EMV terminal if my current terminal works fine?

The Payment Card Networks have announced that on October 1st, 2015*, counterfeit fraud liability, which has traditionally been losses incurred by the card issuer, will be assumed by any merchant customer that does not have EMV enabled equipment capable of detecting the fraudulent card. This means, by the date, if your business accepts and processes a counterfeit card transaction on a non-EMV terminal, the liability for that fraudulent transaction is yours, not incurred by the card issuers.

*Businesses with Automated Fuel Dispensers (also called "Pay at the Pump") acceptance methods have until October 2017 to comply with the new standard. 


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Although EMV acceptance is not mandatory at this time, Monterey County Bank encourages merchants to take additional steps to inquire further and consider what EMV options are available for your business.  Accepting EMV Chip Cards at your business will help reduce counterfeit fraud in the payment card industry as well as prevent or minimize potential liability loss to your business should counterfeit fraud occur after the October 1st, 2015 liability shift goes in to effect.  Contact Elavon's Customer Service Center today to inquire on how you can become EMV capable.

As a security pre-caution, we would like to take a moment to remind our merchants to be cautious if you receive suspicious phone calls or communications from companies or individuals, claiming to be representatives of the bank or Elavon, requesting sensitive information pertaining to your account or advising you to make any changes to your processing equipment.  If for any reason you suspect the communication to be fraudulent, please contact Monterey County Bank's Merchant Services Office or Elavon's Customer Service Center, directly, to confirm the validity of the request before releasing any information or conducting any changes to your equipment or account.


This information is brought to you through Monterey County Bank's partnership with Elavon, Inc.  Please visit Elavon's Security Center for additional information and available resources to stay up to date with the latest merchant services security solutions.

     Printer Friendly Resources (Documents will open as a PDF)
       ⇒ EMV Chip Card Technology Top Five Things You Need to Know
       ⇒ EMV What Your Business Needs to Know
       ⇒ EMV FAQs
       ⇒ Chip Cards Redefine Restaurant Payments Solution Sheet

This page revised as of: 09/25/15


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