5 reasons why your business should upgrade to EMV

July 09, 2019

EMV is a set of global standards that make credit card and debit card processing more secure. EMV "chip card" technology isn't new: many businesses have been using the more secure way to accept credit and debit card payments for decades.

In the 1990s Europay, Mastercard and Visa (EMV) established a single standard for a more secure method of payment card acceptance. EMV was an effort to replace 1970s-era magnetic stripe ("magstripe") technology with a secure modern alternative.

EMV chip card technology has dramatically reduced the costs of in-store or "card-present" counterfeit fraud wherever it's seen widespread adoption. Despite the overwhelming evidence that EMV technology is safe, convenient and effective, many businesses still haven't made the switch.

If you're still on the fence here are five reasons why your business should upgrade to EMV:

#1 – EMV is proven to reduce losses related to fraud

EMV chip cards are proven effective in reducing in-store counterfeit fraud. The fact is chip cards work—EMV protects businesses by reducing losses related to card-present fraud and by helping to create a safer payments ecosystem.

In December 2018, Visa reported that in the three year period since the EMV liability shift, chip card technology has reduced card-present counterfeit payment fraud losses by 80% among US merchants who upgraded to EMV. That follows similar patterns in Europe and Canada where EMV saw earlier and more complete adoption.

#2 – EMV technology is decades more advanced than magnetic stripe

EMV introduces a small electronic chip to payment cards, with corresponding technology built into the point of sale terminals that accept credit and debit cards. This chip contains secure keys that generate dynamic cryptographic data with each transaction. The one-time codes are then encrypted for transit, making it nearly impossible to intercept data to create counterfeit cards.

Magnetic stripe cards represented effective security technology for the 1970s. Though durable, familiar and convenient, "magstripe" is no match for the technically-sophisticated fraudsters of the twenty-first century.

#3 – EMV limits your business liability

To encourage adoption of EMV, the payment card industry implemented a shift in liability for fraud. October 1, 2015 marked an important milestone in creating a more secure world of payments. Before that date, the financial institution that issued the card would generally absorb the costs of any fraud committed with cards they issued. After that date, the party in least compliance with EMV would be liable.

Upgrading to EMV helps ensure your business isn't the weakest link. That helps reduce your liability to losses related to fraud, so your business can keep more of what it earns.

#4 – Upgrading opens doors to other advanced technologies

If your business hasn't upgraded to EMV, whatever credit card acceptance terminals you do have are limited in other important ways as well. Upgrading to a newer payment acceptance terminal brings other secure payment innovations, like accepting mobile wallets.

In addition to EMV, when you upgrade your terminal or POS system, you'll add the ability to accept mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

#5 – Improve customer experience at the point of sale

Everyone acknowledges that EMV's introduction to consumers could—and should—have been smoother. Old habits are hard to break, and changing from "swiping" to "dipping" was disruptive to long-established consumer habits.

Equipped with a better understanding of the importance of secure payments, consumers are now embracing EMV. An April 2018 consumer survey by Worldpay and Socratic Technologies showed that 73% of US consumers reported an "excellent" or "very good" experience with chip-enabled debit cards.

EMV isn't a fraud cure-all. But EMV does represent the state of the possible and shows that coordinated action around technology can and will make for a more secure world for electronic payments. Connect with one of your payment experts to learn how upgrading to EMV is fast, convenient and affordable way to help protect your business.