If you haven’t started to already, you are going to be hearing a lot about the shift to EMV or “Chipped” credit & debit cards. This is because the liability shift took place on October 1st. So what is EMV, what does it mean to you as a consumer, and what does it mean to you as a merchant? Let’s take a look.
What is EMV? EMV is short for “Europay, MasterCard and Visa”, and what it means is that banks are going to be imbedding computer chips into our credit and debit cards. These will make the cards more difficult to copy & counterfeit and should reduce credit card fraud.
What does this mean to me as a consumer? Well, initially maybe not much. You will be receiving over the next few weeks, (or in the case of debit cards, potentially months), replacement cards from your bank & credit card companies. These will be going out even if you’re not due for a replacement card. Once you’ve received your new card, the change will be a little more apparent. If you go to a merchant and they have an EMV terminal or reader, instead of swiping your card, you will insert it into a slot (similar to how you use an ATM). By “dipping” (yes that seems to be the new terminology), your transactions will be more secure and you will be less likely to be the victim of fraud. Online shopping will not change, you will continue to type in your information as always. So the need to be careful and do your research before shopping online will continue.
What does this mean to me as a merchant? This is where there are some bigger changes. First, you will need to upgrade your terminals or mobile readers. Why, you may ask? Because, if you are presented with an EMV card and swipe it on a non-EMV terminal, the liability for certain types of fraud shifts to YOU the merchant. The bank & card issuers will no longer be responsible for those fraudulent charges. That could be potentially HUGE dollars. And with this change, I would not be surprised if we see the counterfeiters and identity thieves starting to target the smaller businesses, who may not be as quick to spend the money on new technology as the bigger merchants.
Yes, upgrading to the new technology, for many merchants will cost them money. The cost for the terminals will depend on your processor. Doing a quick Google search for EMV terminals, I saw pricing from $129 to as high as $788. The cost will also be dependent on the programs and contracts you have with your processor. For the mobile readers, PayPal Here EMV is $149.00 (if you do $3000 or more in charges in the first 3 months you will get a $100 rebate). Square is $49.00 according to their site. And, Intuit/QuickBooks doesn’t have theirs ready for market as yet, but you can pre-order it for $30.00. Plus, if you are a QuickBooks Payment customer then good news, Intuit is taking on the liability for the next six months, until March 31, 2016, giving their customers time to transition.
If you have more questions about EMV, if your terminals are compliant or if you don’t like what your current processor is telling you, we can help. We have trusted partners who can help you with this transition.