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Does Your Cash Register POS Need an Upgrade Now that EMV is Here?

Chris Allen

Now that the October EMV liability shift has gone into effect, if you do not process chip cards with EMV-enabled card readers or POS systems, you may be liable for certain fraud-related chargebacks. If you haven't already updated your cash register POS to accept chip cards, now is the time to do so. Let's take a closer look. 

A background on EMV
EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, a new global standard for payment processing that is intended to increase security for merchants and consumers. While cards with embedded chips are the norm in European countries, EMV is new in the U.S. EMV chip cards look just like standard magnetic stripe cards, but contain a microprocessor, or chip, which enables every transaction to carry a unique cryptogram that makes it difficult for criminals to steal card information for counterfeit use. Cards are dipped into the payment terminal rather than swiped. EMV cards come in two usage formats: 1) chip and PIN, and 2) chip and signature. While not foolproof, EMV payments are more secure and make it harder for fraudsters to steal customer data. 

The liability shift

On October 1, 2015, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express shifted  the liability to merchants for certain fraud related chargebacks involving a card-present chip card transaction. While upgrading to EMV acceptance is voluntary for business owners, merchants may be held liable for certain fraud related chargebacks if they process chip cards on a terminal that is not EMV-enabled. To avoid incurring any avoidable costs, business owners should begin upgrading their equipment now.

How to get started 
You will need new equipment to be able to accept EMV chip cards, but you may be able to keep some existing tools. You should first review your history of chargebacks to see what impact those costs have had on your business. Then, consult with your POS provider to conduct an audit of your current processing equipment, discuss implementation options, and find the best upgrade solutions for your business. 

While it may seem daunting to migrate to EMV chip card technology, merchants that do so will benefit from increased security and peace of mind. The process is different for every business. Consult with providers to learn the right solution for you.


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