Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Everything You Should Know About the Switch to Chip Cards

If you haven’t received a new credit card with a “chip” on the front yet, chances are you will soon.  There is a nationwide EMV migration and it is well underway.  So what exactly is EMV? We are certain many of our clients have questions, and we will walk you through the basics of what this switch to EMV or chip cards means to you the business owner, and how your business can best prepare itself. 

Many U.S. banks are switching up the insides of our credit cards, adding what is called EMV technology, which stands for “Europay, MasterCard and Visa.”  So what exactly does that mean?  It simply means that credit cards will be equipped with a small computer chip that is extremely hard to counterfeit.  

What is driving this change? According to forbes.com Nearly 1/2 of the world’s credit card fraud occurs within the United States, while only 1/4 of all credit card transactions actually occur here.  Europe and much of the rest of the world have been using EMV technology for years now and their credit card fraud rate is a fraction of what the United States reports each year.  Therefore banks want to rein this in ASAP by moving away from magnetic stripe cards, which are much easier to counterfeit.  As you are aware there have been numerous high profile security breaches at some of the country’s largest retailers which has added motivation to make the switch quickly. 

How will this affect your business? Beginning October 2015, businesses that do not have EMV processing decides could be on the hook for fraudulent chip card transactions.  This is called “liability shift.”  Currently if your business runs a fraudulent card, banks absorb the cost.  Starting October 2015, if someone pays with a fraudulent chip card, and you are not set up with an EMV card reader, the banks are no longer liable.  

How do I avoid this liability? The answer is quite simple, contact your merchant account representative (whoever processes your credit card transactions), and simply ask them to send you a chip reader processing system, which accepts BOTH EMV and NFC payments.  NFC or “near field communication” payments is the technology you have seen that allows smartphones and other devices to communicate with each other when they are close together.  Apple Pay is probably the largest example of NFC. 

If you want to stay at up to date with technology and offer these secure  transaction options for your clients, contact your merchant services representative today and order your EMV and NFC device reader today.  

UrBook$ is committed to staying on top of the latest information that can affect any business.  This is part of our urBook$ difference.  If you haven’t experienced the urBook$ difference yet, contact us today www.urbooksplano.com and get started as a client.  We can handle your business needs such as bill pay, payroll and bookkeeping services.