HomeFinanceWhat Is EMV? What Businesses Need to Know

What Is EMV? What Businesses Need to Know

EMV is a technical normal designed to restrict in-person card fraud. It stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa — the businesses that created it. EMV has been adopted by main fee networks. Rather than utilizing the normal magnetic strip, an EMV bank card makes use of a small pc chip to retailer data and make transactions safer. While accepting EMV playing cards isn’t a requirement, companies that select not to settle for them face further legal responsibility for fraudulent fees. Here’s what to know.

How does EMV expertise work?

In the previous decade, EMV chips have been slowly changing magstripes — the magnetic strips generally discovered on the again of bank cards. A magstripe shops knowledge distinctive to a given bank card, such because the bank card quantity, and may solely talk in a single path by sending its knowledge to a point-of-sale terminal. It can’t react to a POS terminal’s makes an attempt to affirm {that a} bank card just isn’t fraudulent.

How magstripes work

Magstripe card. (Getty Images picture)

Magstripes use static knowledge, which implies they do not encode your data when sending it by means of a bank card terminal. As a consequence, conventional bank cards haven’t any approach of defending the information as soon as a terminal has accessed it.

Think of it this manner: Swiping a magstripe is like writing down your bank card data and sticking it to the again of your bank card. Anyone who can learn the piece of paper can use the knowledge to make a replica of your bank card and cost purchases to your account.

How EMV chips work

EMV-chipped card. (Getty Images picture)

EMV chips supply a safer methodology for storing and transmitting bank card data. While magstripes ship a bank card’s quantity immediately to a terminal, EMV chips use encryption and tokenization to encode the information. This methodology retains the bank card data confidential all through the transaction.

So as a substitute of getting your bank card data written clearly on a chunk of paper, utilizing EMV chips is like writing the knowledge in code that may be simply learn by the fee corporations concerned within the transaction, however not by others.

How do EMV chips shield towards fraud?

EMV chips shield towards card fraud by verifying {that a} card is genuine.

In addition to encoding bank card data, EMV chips additionally change the code each time knowledge is transmitted to the fee corporations. Cards which have a magstripe solely are simply skimmed and copied, however chip playing cards are tough to replicate, and transactions from an inauthentic card are simply flagged.

Although EMV chips make in-person transactions safer, they do not guard towards fraudulent on-line transactions the place the bank card is not inserted or tapped at a POS terminal.

Payment networks wished to get monetary savings by encouraging retailers to undertake EMV expertise that reduces potential fraud. They couldn’t pressure retailers to make the change, however they have been in a position to give companies an ultimatum: Accept EMV bank cards or tackle the accountability for sure fraudulent fees.

This change in legal responsibility, often called the EMV legal responsibility shift, went into impact on Oct. 1, 2015, for many retail companies. Locations that promote gasoline, akin to comfort shops, have been granted an extension: They didn’t have to implement EMV expertise to keep away from legal responsibility till April 17, 2021.

Upgrading to EMV bank card readers just isn’t a requirement by regulation, and companies can proceed to function with out accepting dipped or tapped playing cards. But doing so comes with elevated legal responsibility that would value them in the event that they course of a fraudulent cost.

What is your corporation answerable for?

The shift doesn’t have an effect on all transactions, however some transactions will carry extra legal responsibility for companies with out EMV bank card readers.

Businesses have elevated legal responsibility for:

  • An EMV bank card that’s keyed in or swiped with a POS app as a substitute of inserted or tapped.

Businesses’ legal responsibility has not modified for:

  • Online transactions, akin to purchases by means of a web site, with a digital terminal or in response to a digital bill.

  • An in-person transaction made with a non-EMV bank card (a magstripe card).

Benefits of accepting EMV chip playing cards

Accepting bank cards with EMV chips comes with a number of benefits that would prevent cash and produce in additional clients. EMV chip playing cards:

  • Reduce the potential for fraud. Credit playing cards with EMV chips are tougher to copy and pose a bigger impediment for hackers.

  • Minimize legal responsibility. If in-person card fraud nonetheless occurs whereas utilizing the EMV options of a card reader, you received’t be liable.

  • Are turning into extra frequent. Accepting EMV chip playing cards permits you to work with extra clients preferring to pay this manner.

How to settle for EMV chip playing cards

All main POS suppliers supply EMV chip-enabled bank card readers, and a few supply choices that mix expertise to permit companies to settle for magstripe playing cards as nicely. Which sort of mannequin works finest for your corporation will rely upon the way you anticipate your clients to pay for in-person purchases.

EMV chip card reader suggestions


The SumUp Plus card reader is a handheld machine that accepts each sort of bank card: EMV chips and magstripes, in addition to contactless strategies akin to Apple Pay and Google Pay. It connects to your sensible machine utilizing Bluetooth and has a display to show transaction particulars to the client. It’s out there for $19 and comes with the free SumUp app and dashboard.


Clover Go is a compact choice that allows you to course of each sort of bank card fee: EMV chip playing cards, magstripe playing cards and digital wallets, together with Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. It has Bluetooth performance, however no display to share checkout particulars with clients. It’s priced at $99 and presents reporting as a free POS function.


The Square reader for contactless and chip playing cards is modern and easy. It accepts contactless and EMV chip playing cards, in addition to Apple Pay and Google Pay. However, you may’t use it to swipe magstripe playing cards. The Square reader makes use of Bluetooth to join to your sensible machine, but it surely does not have a display of its personal. You can get the reader for $49 and benefit from Square’s free POS options.



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