A complete guide for Merchants to accept EMV payments

A complete guide for Merchants to accept EMV payments

Small businesses can’t ignore the fact that EMV payment method is going to be implemented for all credit cards.

I am carrying five credit cards, and banks have already upgraded my three cards with EMV technology. When I go shopping, I always prefer that my card is being inserted into EMV machine.

What is EMV?

EMV is a new technology with chip-based credit cards. You know very well about the black color magnetic strip on the credit card that is swiped at the POS terminal for processing the payment. EMV is additional microcomputer chip on the credit card that makes customer information more secure.

Magnetic strip based credit cards became vulnerable to the hacker world. According to research by Business Insider, US alone suffered the loss of 7.1B from credit card fraud in 2013.


Magnetic strip bases cards have poor security. Fraudsters can copy data stored in a magnetic strip with simple and inexpensive card reader machine. Do you remember listening to songs from tape cassettes? It is as simple as copying songs from one tape cassette to another using recorder machine in old times.

Let me touch base how EVM ensures security without going into many technical details. EVM chip stores customer data and creates dynamic cryptograms when the card is used at any payment terminal. Cryptograms are digital security patterns that change after each purchase. This makes almost impossible for fraudsters to make counterfeit credit cards.

EMV is taking over US credit card market

Credit card users are getting more aware about their financial security and safety. Credit card companies are issuing new credit cards with EMV as embedded security. Millions of EMV cards have been issued by credit cards companies and they are aggressively upgrading existing cards.

According to chase bank, most of the customers will have EMV cards by October 2015


All new POS terminals have EMV processing capabilities by default. You can still process payments by a swipe with new POS. All leading retailers like Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Starbucks, Subway, and Bestbuy are upgrading to new POS or already upgraded.

“No one wants to lose the customer because they don’t have EMV card payment processing machine. “

How Authorization works with EMV

  1. Chip and Pin

Credit card is inserted into EMV enabled POS machine, and customer has to enter PIN for authorization. That’s new security measure taken by banks which is now accepted worldwide. Credit card will not be charged if the customer doesn’t enter PIN.

  1. Chip and Signature

This is somewhat similar to swipe cards with the difference that card is inserted into EVM machine. Customer signatures are required for authorization.

  1. No CVM

Banks have waived off authorization for the minimum amount of payments. These limits vary with the bank to bank. For example, banks may auto authorize payment up to $20 without any additional authorization from the customer.

Benefits of EMV enabled POS.

  1. Become part of EVM growth story

October 2015 is last date to compliant with EVM enabled POS machines. Why wait for last date when you can get the benefit of technology from today itself. All businesses need to stay ahead in competition.

Adopt latest technology to become part of payments growth story.

  1. Reduce the chances of fraud and security related issues.

Customer and Merchant both sleep peacefully when their financial information is secured. EMV can help fighting with fraudulent transactions. It is almost impossible to replicate chips and steal PIN passwords. The only possible way of fraud is customer’s negligence. Banks are spreading awareness for customers, but you have to be prepared at your end by upgrading to the latest technology.

  1. Merchants qualified for additional benefit plans

Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express have issued plans to support merchants who are using EMV payment solutions. Visa introduced U.S Technology Innovation Program; merchants are qualified if 75 percent of all transactions originate through chip-based devices.


  1. Limited fraud liability

As EMV penetration grows, credit card frauds will be prevented to a great extent, at least for point of contact sales. In case of counterfeit fraud, payment brands will impose liability to merchants who are not using EMV based payment methods.

Banks will not take responsibility for fraud after October 2015. It’s wise to invest in chip-enabled technology today than regret for a financial loss tomorrow.

What Merchants need to do?

You can find a variety of EMV capable smart terminal like Clover Mini, Verifone vx520, Ingenico iCT220. Get in touch with POS provider who can guide you through available options in the market.

EMV payment technology is cheaper and easier for merchants to install than ever before.

How to upgrade your hardware to EMV payment system?

  • Check you Hardware

Make a list of your existing hardware. Do you have a stand-alone system? Do you have canned or drop-in system?

  • Discuss your requirements with POS provider

You can better understand your business, but a reliable payment processing expert can match the best POS system with your business. Tell him how your customers prefer to pay and how many transactions you process on a monthly basis. Show him list of hardware you already have.

They can suggest you if your business needs an altogether new system, or additional equipment can be installed with your existing setup.

  • Purchase hardware

Compare the prices including installation costs. Purchase hardware and software required to process payments.

  • Ask for support and training

Just buying hardware is not sufficient. Ask for after sales service, support, and training. Don’t hesitate to pay extra if you have to buy additional support. It is worth when you have customers lining up for payment, but your payment system stops working.

How does right payment partner look like?

  • Honest

I would choose honest and reliable payment partner every time. The market is crowded with payment processing vendors, and it’s difficult to filter out who is genuine. You must meet a couple of people to find out the truth. Don’t fall into the trap of cheap quotations.

  • Who understand your business

Choose someone who understands your business. Someone who already served other customers in your industry. Every business have different needs. A good payment partner will showcase all products and suggest best fit for your business.

  • Provide right information at the right time

You need someone who can tell you upfront about the pros and cons of payment system. It is no fun in business if you get surprises after investing your money.

  • Minimize overall cost

Payment systems are complex because it is bundle of hardware, software and communication networks. Mobile payment solutions like apple pay, google wallet and Samsung pay are changing the way payments are done.

You might consider paying extra today to avoid the hassle of another upgrade after few months. Think about minimizing overall cost considering future requirements.

  • Minimize delay in install & support

A good payment partner will never let you down when your systems are down. Find someone who can install new system quickly and always available for support.

Over to you

Payment processing is the lifeline of your business. Don’t delay in taking essential steps to upgrade to the latest technology. Banks are upgrading customer’s credit cards so you should also upgrade your payment processing systems.

You will not have choice after October 2015. It also takes time for employees to learn new systems.

You focus on your business and let your payment processing worries to us.