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Will The EMV Change Affect My Business?

What is EMV?

EMV (like some of the best things in life) is an acronym– Europay, Mastercard, Visa. It’s a new global standard for credit and debit payment cards based on chip card technology. Instead of transferring information through a magnetic swipe, smart chips embedded in EMV cards will deliver cardholder information, ensuring far more secure transactions.

The switch from magnetic stripe cards to chip cards is posed to dramatically reduce credit card fraud. As opposed to magnetic stripe cards, which contain static information that can be duplicated relatively easily, chip cards generate unique, one-time use codes for each transaction. As a result, credit card information will not only be much more difficult to duplicate, but also more difficult to abuse.

What’s it all mean?

EMV chip cards will still be equipped with a magnetic stripe, making them fully compatible with both classic magnetic stripe credit card readers and advanced chip readers.

That being said, the EMV rollout will not have any affect on the usage of standard, magnetic stripe credit cards. POS devices and software will not be affected by the change, and will operate just as smoothly with magnetic stripe credit cards as with EMV cards.

The migration towards EMV cards has already begun, bringing with it a liability shift that went into effect October 1st, 2015. Designed to encourage merchants to move towards adopting EMV-compliant devices, the shift means that merchants using non-EMV compliant devices can be held liable for fraudulent transactions made using an EMV card.

As defined by MasterCard, “This means that the party, either the issuer or merchant, who does not support EMV, assumes liability for counterfeit card transactions.”

What’s ahead for FareHarbor and EMV cards?

At present, there’s no compatible USB EMV readers on the market. We’re in the process of exploring Stripe’s card present API and compatibility with EMV (chip) cards, and we will be recommending a compatible reader once one becomes available.