EMV is a security technology that makes it significantly more difficult for someone to skim, hack or steal your credit card or debit card information. While widely available in Asia and Europe it has yet to be widely adopted in the United States.
How it works is that instead of storing information on a magnetic strip and validating card ownership via matching signatures or checking an ID. An EMV card has a PIN number for credit card transactions and generates one time transaction information that even if stolen cannot easily be re-used.
Recently the major credit card issuers (Visa, MasterCard, Amex & Discover) have issued a series of deadlines for a "liability shift". There are two sides to this:
Whoever has the weakest technology is now responsible for chargebacks and fraud. This means that if an ATM operator or retailer doesn't have an EMV compatible ATM machine or Point Of Sale (POS) device and fraud occurs, they bear the cost for the fraud. On the other hand, if the bank hasn't issued their customers an EMV Credit or Debit card and the ATM operator or merchant has EMV compatible equipment, the issuing bank is responsible for costs of the fraud.
In the unlikely event that fraud does occur with an EMV card on an EMV terminal, the rules around who bears the cost for fraud vary, but in many cases the cost will fall on the issuing bank as opposed to the merchant.
The current liability shift deadlines are as follows:
While many of the nation's largest retailers are ahead of schedule and have already upgraded their equipment, many small retailers are behind schedule and/or haven't even started thinking about the upgrade process. It's estimated more than 1/2 of all retailers will miss the liability shift deadline. This is likely to create a "rats on a ship" scenario where fraudsters will increasingly target small merchants that don't have EMV compatible equipment, because they'll know longer be able to scam large ones.
This means that small and medium sized businesses need to upgrade both their POS devices and ATMs in order to avoid opening up their businesses for additional risks, as they're likely to be targeted more than large retailers after the liability shift deadline.
Contact us today to discuss your options: October 2015 for POS and October 2016 for ATM may seem like a long way off, but when it comes to payment security it's always best to get started as soon as possible.