An EMV card reader (see also, smart card reader) is like the machine you’re used to swiping your card through to run it for a transaction. Except it’s designed to read the new, more secure, encrypted credit cards the world is switching over to.
I say “the world,” but today, the US is the last to switch…
It wasn’t long ago if you asked someone what EMV stood for or what it was, they probably wouldn’t have a clue. It is a fairly new concept here in the United States. Most European countries and Canada have been using EMV credit card technology for several years. In fact, the United States is the last major market to make the switch.
EMV is the standard used for accepting smart card and chip and pin card payments.
All businesses are required to be EMV compliant by October 1st, 2015.Credit card companies and banks have been issuing new chip and pin or chip and signature cards to their account holders for some time now.
In order for your business to accept these types of payment cards, you need to have an EMV card reader installed in your business. While most chip cards still have a magnetic stripe on them for swiping, cards in the future will be authorized by the microchip in the card only. In fact, we should all start to see those magnetic stripes disappear within the next few years.
You may be asking yourself, “What is so different about an EMV credit card reader and why do I have to have one?”
Well, there isn’t much of a difference in the appearance of payment terminals. At least for the time being they still have the swiper, pin pad, and signature screen on them. You will notice on EMV credit card terminals there is a small slot on the front of the machine. The customer uses this slot to insert their card into, microchip side first, when purchasing items at your place of business.
Once they’ve inserted their card, the EMV card reader “talks” to the chip embedded on the front of the card. The customer must leave the card in the slot until the machine prompts them to remove it. If they remove it too soon, the transaction will likely be declined and they will have to start it again. This process only takes a few moments longer to authorize the card than with the traditional swipe method.
Make sure your employees are aware of this so they can avoid long lines at their check-out station.
There are two different verification methods which can be used with EMV readers. For chip and PIN card holders, they will enter a PIN number only they know after they insert their card into the reader.
Some credit card stations aren’t yet equipped with the EMV card slot, which means they’re not EMV compliant! For these types of terminals, a signature can still be used for verification. The customer swipes their card and signs.
The problem for retailers who don’t have an EMV reader and still use signature verification is under the EMV standards, they can be held liable for fraudulent purchases if the card used is a fake or stolen chip card.
The cost for your business to make the change to EMV card readers depends on the size of your business. The bigger the business and the more terminals or POS systems to replace, the higher the cost.
The best thing to do is assess your POS system to see what changes to hardware or software need to be made and try to schedule a timeline for accomplishing all the changes necessary. This might help you spread the cost of making changes out over a period of time instead of being faced with a hefty sum all at once.
The actual EMV card readers themselves vary in price depending on what kind you need. Maybe you want to get “futuristic” and get a wireless EMV card reader. These work with payment systems like the newly developed Apple Pay system. All your customer has to do is “tap” their EMV chip card on the payment terminal and it wirelessly transmits the customer’s data to your POS.
These wireless systems typically cost more to buy because of the obvious convenience factor and the technology required. If it works for your budget, go for it!
A leasing option makes it very affordable and keeps you up to date. Plus, with the right merchant service, you’ll get huge and valuable perks with your lease.
EMV card readers are the payment systems of the future. And the future is now! This change is the biggest companies have seen in quite some time. It is better for you and your business to be ahead of the game, so plan accordingly, and step into the future of EMV technology!
Give our friendly and helpful RedFynn team a call at (888) 510-9871 with any questions you have about anything related to growing and improving your business. We’ll guide you in the right direction!