EMV Migration Made Easy | NACS – Magazine – Past Issues – 2012 – August 2012
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EMV Migration Made Easy

EMV (Europay, MasterCard and VISA) technology recognizes unique microchips embedded in credit and debit cards and validates their legitimacy, potentially cutting down fraud.

Europe and Asia are already a ways down the path of EMV acceptance, but the United States is early in the EMV adoption cycle. Even so, many U.S. retailers are choosing to implement EMV prior to the industry-wide payment card "liability shift" in 2015. If retailers fail to implement EMV by 2015, they will be on the hook to recoup customers for counterfeit fraud-related costs — not the banks that issued their cards, as it is now.

As with many other payment mandates, moving to EMV requires consideration of numerous emerging technical, marketing and business factors.

Getting Started with EMV
In the United States, as in Canada and the U.K., there are two major hurdles to accepting EMV. The first is the POS in the store and the second is the payment terminal at every automated fuel dispenser.

New hardware and software solutions is the more straightforward (but more costly) path to take. Most retailers can only afford to take this path when building a new site. The reality is that retrofitting and re-using is the likely outcome.

These simple steps guide many retailers today as they move toward EMV:

  • Find the right financial partner. Stay with a current partner or choose a new one. Ask if there are incentives for early adoption and understand the partner's readiness to accept EMV.
  • Choose hardware. Add new hardware or integrate with existing technology. Look at the cost of new payment terminals and the process to get them installed. Some hardware may seem inexpensive but if your existing device has to be replaced, know the associated costs with mounting, installation and key injection.
  • Choose software. Keep your existing POS vendor or change, and then consider PCI and any modifications that may be required to add encryption, tokenization or make changes to your card deck acceptance for fleet, loyalty, gift and phone card acceptance.

Merchants selecting EMV-compatible software should select PA-DSS validated options, simplifying the compliance effort for merchants to verify that their payment processing meets the PCI and EMV security standards already in place.

EMV-enabled payment transactions result in fewer disputed charges, lower chargeback rates and reduced levels of fraud, saving retailers time and money.

As the global EMV migration approaches, retailers need to understand what EMV migration means for their organization. They should focus on the impact of the liability shift on their operation and what continued usage of magnetic stripe cards can do to future fraud numbers.

Bohdan Myroniw
Director, Business Development
AJB Software Design Inc.