Top FAQs for Chip-embedded Credit Cards


1. What is EMV? What are chip and pin cards?

Used interchangeably, EMV cards or chip and pin cards are credit and debit cards that contain an embedded computer chip. Your cards most likely have a chip in them.

2. So what’s my potential liability?

First, you’ll be on the hook for chargebacks. Depending on your business, that may or may not be a big deal. More importantly however, EMV transactions and cards are significantly harder to hack than traditional credit cards. So, if you’re not taking EMV cards, your chances of being breached just went way up – and as more and more merchants accept EMV, hackers will increasingly target the remaining non-EMV merchants.

3. Will I be fined if I don’t accept EMV cards? Will I be running my business illegally?

No. EMV is being mandated by the PCI Security Standards Council, which is composed of the major card issuers like Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. These companies obviously have no legal authority, but since you’re accepting their cards, they get to dictate the rules.

4. My bank is insisting I upgrade. What about that?

Not surprisingly, most banks are advocating EMV as a means of risk reduction, and we can’t blame them. No matter what they say however, we promise your POS system isn’t going to blow up. Yes, you will be operating with increased risk, but most experts believe that full EMV adoption will take at least five years in the United States.

5. Am I going to have to buy new equipment to accept EMV cards?

Maybe. EMV capable pinpads and card readers have been on the market for a few years. If you don’t have one, then you’ll need one to accept EMV cards. Even if you do own one of these card readers, you’re not totally in the clear. Each pinpad will need to be certified with each processor and each POS software – yeah, it’s complicated.

6. This isn’t cool. Why should I have to purchase new equipment?

See Question 3. The likes of Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express are driving this train, but the end result should be a net positive for the system as a whole with less fraud – even if that means having to purchase a new card reader now.

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