It’s very important that a small business owner is prepared to accept all different kinds of payment: Apple pay, Mastercard, Visa, Discover, American Express, Google Wallet, etc. Although EMV transactions may comprise as much as 30% of transactions in countries as close as Canada, they are new on the U.S. market. EMV is often called “chip n pin” cards. There are new credit cards coming out that are smart cards. Instead of using a magnetic stripe and swiping the card, the EMV card contains a chip which requires insertion of the card into the machine and entering a pin number to complete the transaction. The EMV transaction offers better security so people can use their credit cards more responsibly. Whereas the magnetic stripes are easy to duplicate, the smart chip is almost impossible to duplicate. The chip and pin code necessary for EMV transactions makes it very difficult for someone to fraudulently take payment information.
By the time you read this, EMV is probably going to be very prevalent in the U.S. market. You’ll be hearing more and more about it. EMV transactions will help prevent data breaches such as the ones publicized about Target and other businesses. The important question for a small business owner then is how to accept EMV?
There are two necessary components in order to accept EMV payment. First, there must be a slot in your credit card machine into which the card may be inserted instead of swiped, similar to an ATM machine. The card must go in far enough for the chip to be recognized. Second, there must be a pin pad that’s encrypted in order for a pin number to be entered. Many machines have a slot and a pin pad but are not prepared to accept EMV transactions. Probably less than 3% of small business owners are set to accept EMV today.
Companies such as VeriFone, Hypercom, Omni, Ingenico who put the machines on the market may say the machines are EMV ready. However, these companies didn’t consider that technology would advance quickly; the necessary software doesn’t fit into the terminal. For instance, the VeriFone VX510 and VX570 were made with a slot for the card in preparation for EMV transactions, but the software isn’t included. Preparing these machines for EMV transactions would be similar to putting Windows 8 onto a five year old laptop.
Make sure you are set up for all types of transactions, like EMV, so your business and revenue can continue to grow.