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News & Events

Zero Day for EMV in the United States

October 1 2015 | By Louis Georgakakis

The day many U.S. business owners dreaded but expected is finally upon us: October 1, 2015. Zero day for EMV.

Today marks the liability shift for point of sale merchants in America. The major card brands have instituted this change in policy, which transfers liability for certain types of fraudulent transactions away from the party that has the most secure form of EMV technology, in an effort to curb fraud at the point of sale. Merchants can protect themselves from this liability by ensuring they have implemented an EMV compliant solution, namely having the hardware that supports chip card transactions.

A brief history of EMV:

Originally, EMV referred to the founding organizations from 1994 — Europay, MasterCard and Visa. Today, the EMV trademark is owned by all of the equity owners of EMVCo: American Express, JCB, Discover, MasterCard, UnionPay, and Visa.

EMV is also commonly referred to as chip and PIN or chip and signature. It's salient to note that parts of the world that have implemented EMV have seen considerable reduction of fraud at the point of sale. How? EMV uses smart chip technology consisting of a microprocessor that is embedded into payment cards. A chip card looks like a regular credit card, but its microchip secures payment transactions. However, accepting merchants must have the compatible hardware to read information on the chip, namely a modern point of sale terminal.

Why the switch to EMV?

EMV provides better protection from fraudulent activity such as skimming and the creation of counterfeit cards. Cardholder data is more secure on a chip-embedded card that utilizes dynamic authentication, than on a static mag-stripe card. With EMV, both the terminal and the card play important roles in the authentication process which is not the case when using magnetic stripe technology. EMV is part of a global payments infrastructure, so consumers with EMV chip payment cards can use their card on any compatible payment terminal around the world.

What the future holds:

Technology that enables EMV is creating opportunity for innovation within the payments industry and consumers are already embracing new ways to pay. POS terminals compatible with chip cards can also accept NFC payments, which include mobile wallets such as Apple Pay, Android Pay and a host of mobile payments offerings from soon-to-be competitors. Faster, more secure and convenient transactions are on demand and merchants are under pressure to deliver!

Learn more by downloading EMV: The Definitive Guide for US Merchants and POS Resellers

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