5 Reasons to Upgrade to an EMV Card Terminal Now

Protect your customers and your business by embracing the latest in POS technology.
Switching to an EMV card reader shows your customers that you are serious about protecting them and eliminating fraud.(Photo: NCR Silver)

All across America, a migration to chip-based credit cards and their corresponding terminals is underway. The cards, called EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa), follow a proven international standard to protect against fraud. Each card contains an integrated “chip” that provides your customer’s encrypted credit card information. Not only is this chip harder to counterfeit, but it also transmits data in a different way each time, limiting fraud opportunities and protecting transactions.

Making the shift to EMV terminals is not without its headaches. The benefits in the long term, however, are well worth the investment. Below are some reasons to consider upgrading to an EMV card terminal to protect your customers and your business.

The liability shift

The most important reason to upgrade immediately? On October 2015, the rules regarding liability for transaction fraud shifted. Now, if someone comes to your business with an EMV card but your terminal allows only for an old-fashioned “swipe and sign” transaction, you will be 100 percent liable for any fraudulent charges related to the technology. FIS Global, which provides payment technologies to banks worldwide, estimates that costs associated with fraud could rise to $10 billion or more.

“Whoever has the lowest level of security essentially is now responsible for that unauthorized transaction,” Doug Johnson, president of the American Bankers Association, told Nasdaq.

To protect your business from incurring these costs, it’s important to make the shift as soon as possible. Between now and 2017, the same liability shift will apply to ATMs and pay-at-the-pump gas stations.

Backwards compatibility

While banks around the nation started rolling out EMV cards to customers months ago, many people have yet to make the switch. To help with the transition, all EMV card terminals feature the old swipe-card option as well as the “insert chip card” option. Your business will not be liable for fraud if your terminal is EMV-based but the customer’s card is not.

Rest assured that by shifting to an EMV terminal, you will still be able to perform any POS regardless of the customer’s choice of card security.

Upsell opportunities

One of the downsides of EMV card terminals is turning into something of a bright spot. When a customer inserts his card into the slot on the front of the terminal, he must keep it there during the entire transaction. This departure from the much faster “swipe and go” of old provides you with a potential upsell opportunity.

Make sure to place enticing products, coupons or signage near the terminal, within eyeshot. What a customer might have overlooked before in a rush to put a card back in a wallet could now turn into a new sale.

Support for multiple transaction types

In addition to supporting both chip and swipe technologies, EMV terminals are also equipped to handle contactless and mobile wallet payments. Customers who prefer to pay with their smartphones or a wave of their smartcards will no longer be forced to choose one over the other.

“In 2015, Apple and Samsung Pay helped educate U.S issuers and users on the value and convenience that contactless payments can enable,” Phil Sealy of ABI Research said in a recent statement. “In the longer term, this will help drive uptake of contactless cards.”

A sign your business is serious about stopping fraud

With more than 675,000 merchants in the U.S. now using EMV card terminals (in addition to the more than 400 million EMV cards in circulation), transitioning to the technology is not only good business but good customer relations, too. As the technology becomes widespread, those businesses delaying the shift may find themselves losing customers suspicious of old, insecure terminals. Embracing EMV means you’re serious not only about stopping fraud but also protecting your customers.

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