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EMV upgrade

3 Tips for an EMV Upgrade for Gift Shops and Souvenir Stores

Ray Moorman

All small businesses today, including gift shops and souvenir stores, should strongly consider implementing EMV technology to accept chip cards.  The major card brands are pushing EMV adoption by creating a liability shift for in-store fraudulent transactions, beginning October 1, 2015.  The liability shift means that merchants who don’t use EMV technology when processing a chip card may be held liable for fraudulent transactions.

Specialty shops that sell collectibles and specialized commodities often sell at a slightly higher price, making the average ticket size potentially larger than other retailers.  The higher the average ticket size, the bigger the financial impact on the retailer for chargebacks associated with fraudulent transactions, the greater the need to implement EMV.    

Implementing EMV is a great step to take to protect your business, but it’s only one piece of the big picture when it comes to payment security. Implementing EMV is a great opportunity to include additional security features to your business. Here are three tips for a gift shop or souvenir store owner to keep in mind when undergoing an  EMV upgrade:

  1. Become PCI compliant: The first step for every small-business is to become PCI compliant. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) give  merchants a base set of guidelines to follow to protect cardholder data. Prioritizing data security is one of the most important aspects of business today, especially since the cost of a breach this year could reach up to $3.5 million. A recent joint study conducted by the Ponemon Institute and IBM study found that this number represented a year-over-year growth of 15 percent over figures recorded in 2014. Since breaches are so costly and damage a business’ reputation, becoming PCI compliant should be a priority for every business.
  2. Add layers of security: While EMV significantly reduces fraud and helps prevent the use of counterfeit cards it does not protect the card data itself.   Merchants should strongly consider additional layers of security within the POS. Point-to-point encryption (P2PE), also known as end-to-end encryption (E2E) protects consumer data while in transit from the point of sale, to the credit card provider and back. Tokenization devalues the information by substituting a unique token for actual payment data, rendering it useless beyond the transaction itself. Both of these solutions can be implemented at the POS to protect payment data and decrease the financial impact and likelihood of a data breach.
  3. Start accepting mobile payments: Most EMV terminals use near field communications (NFC) technology to process chip cards.  The benefit is that mobile payments like Apple Pay also use NFC.  Mobile payments are in high demand from customers.  Including mobile payments helps you meet customer demand and enhance the customer experience.  The added benefit of mobile payments is that they are inherently more secure than card-based payments because of the technology they employ to authorize payments. 

When you discuss EMV with your POS provider, be sure to mention encryption and tokenization and get an EMV solution that covers all your security bases.  Contact us for more information about security, or for a lead on a trusted POS provider in your area.    

1. Ponemon Institute, http://www.ponemon.org/blog/ponemon-institute-releases-2014-cost-of-data-breach-global-analysis, May 5, 2014.

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