Aug 2016 blog EMV FAQEarlier this year we introduced our partnership with Fortis and Zeamster to bring you the new EMV Terminals. This announcement generated a lot of questions and we gathered a list of the most common questions and answers for you:


Question: What is EMV?

Answer: EMV is an abbreviation for Europay, Mastercard and Visa, the three organizations that developed the initial specifications. EMV is a global standard for cards equipped with computer chips and the technology used to authenticate chip-card transactions. In the wake of numerous large-scale data breaches and increasing rates of counterfeit card fraud, U.S. card issuers are migrating to this new technology to protect consumers and reduce the costs of fraud. This technology features cards with embedded microprocessor chips that store and protect cardholder data. This standard has many names worldwide and may also be referred to as: “chip and PIN” or “chip and signature.”


Q: What makes EMV different than the traditional magnetic stripe card payment?

A:  EMV is the most recent advancement in a global initiative to combat fraud and protect sensitive payment data in the card-present environment. Payment data is more secure on a chip-enabled payment card than on a magnetic stripe (magstripe) card, as the former supports dynamic authentication, while the latter does not (the data is static). Consequently, data from a traditional magstripe card can be easily copied (skimmed) with a simple and inexpensive card reading device – enabling criminals to reproduce counterfeit cards for use in both the retail and the CNP (card-not-present) environment. Chip (EMV) technology is effective in combating counterfeit fraud with its dynamic authentication capabilities (dynamic values existing within the chip itself that, when verified by the point-of-sale device, ensure the authenticity of the card).


Q: How do I know if a customer has a chip card?

A: The customer’s card will have chip on the front of it. The magnetic stripe remains on the back.


Q: What other incentives are there to accept chip cards?

A: There are many incentives associated with EMV acceptance. Here are some of them:

  • Protection against chargebacks (saves property money)
  • Tokenization for the reduction of PCI compliance
  • Paying with a smart phone (NFC)
  • Ability to recharge credit cards
  • Our EMV chip reader can be shared between multiple computers


Q: Why should I invest in chip card acceptance now?

A: Preventing the growth of card-present fraudulent activity is one of the main reasons the industry is moved toward EMV technology. Chip cards make it difficult for fraud organizations to target cardholders and businesses alike. As a result, more and more chip cards are being introduced by U.S. financial institutions in order to support and switch over to this technology.

In addition, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express have announced liability shifts for credit card transactions based on this standard. Any merchants or issuers who do not support chip technology may be liable for the cost of counterfeit fraud. The term “Liability Shift” refers to the change in who bears the chargeback related cost of fraudulent transactions.


If you have questions about EMV that were not answered above, call us so we can discuss them. If you have an active service contract, you can speak with the experts in our Technical Support Department. If you have questions about the cost, or if you are ready to upgrade to EMV, contact one of the account managers in our Sales Department at 800-950-8995 during normal business hours (Mon-Fri, 7AM to 4PM PT). We look forward to hearing from you!