EMV: Better Safe Than Sorry

Updated on November 22, 2021

EMV payment processing

EMV |i , em , vē|

noun.

a global standard for credit and debit payment cards based on chip card technology, taking its name from the card schemes Europay, MasterCard, and Visa – the original card schemes that developed it. (Level2Kernal)

EMV payment

Hand with EMV credit card swipe through terminal for sale

EMV is the global standard payment processing system upon which credit cards operate – it’s based on a chip that technologically substantiates plastic transactions. But what happens when we deviate from the standard?

This is a pressing question of today’s evolving payment processing industry. We recognize a shift in how we do business. For one, mobile –and other digital– payments are changing the buying and selling system in a big way. Further, technology is shedding a new light on payment verification. With this shift, comes four options for the consumer: buyers can opt to pay (1) with paper money and coins, (2) with chip-less credit cards, (3) with chip card technology, or (4) with mobile apps and mobile wallets. Now, card companies, banks, and retailers alike are moving towards turning these four payment verticals (cash, credit, EMV, digital) into three (cash, EMV, digital).

Of course, this change is huge, and by no means is it simple. Merchants who used to be concerned about the implications of adopting EMV payment models now worry about how soon they can get onboard. With sales, it’s all about keeping up and maintaining revenue among competition. When your competition adds an additional level of security verification to the purchasing process (by adopting chip card payment models), suddenly your own payment model doesn’t seem so trustworthy.  This causes an influx in chargebacks for merchants who are not yet EMV-compliant.

But, is EMV-compliance even secure? According to a recent ACI report, payment security is a core worry for merchants across the board. The pivot to mobile, digital, or other technological payment models takes money-handling out of your own hands. When relying on an external system that stores and records bank data, security becomes more and more of a concern.

In the end, when retailers arrive at the question of to EMV or not to EMV – they must consider safety first.

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