Visa Report: 3.7 Million Merchant Locations Accept EMV Cards

The number of locations that accept EMV cards in the United States increased from 3.1 million to 3.7 million during the first six months of 2019, according to an infographic recently released from Visa. In total, some eight in ten storefronts now accept chip cards, an increase of 12 percent since December 2018.

Banks issuing Visa cards put 10 million EMV-enabled cards in the hands of American consumers between December and June 2019, Visa said. That brings the total number of chip cards in circulation to 521.7 million in the U.S., or 72 percent of total Visa credit and debit cards.

Overall U.S. payment volume is overwhelmingly spent on EMV cards; 99 percent of overall volume in June 2019 occurred on EMV cards.

Unsurprisingly, counterfeit fraud losses continue to drop. According to Visa, fraud losses have dropped 87 percent since September 2015 for merchants who have completed the chip upgrade, and 62 percent for all U.S. merchants. Card-present fraud overall has declined 40 percent, Visa said.

Source: https://www.electran.org/publication/transactiontrends/visa-report-3-7-million-merchant-locations-accept-emv-cards/


Do You Really Need An EMV Chip Card Terminal?

If you have never encountered a credit or debit card with a chip embedded in it, you’ve probably been living under a rock for the past 3-4 years. In which case, you’ve got an awful lot to catch up on and we’ll come back to chip cards after you’ve covered the important stuff. However, if you haven’t been living under a rock and you’ve seen a chip card, chances are you’re at least familiar with the new payment process: dip the card in the EMV slot, wait, enter your PIN or sign for the transaction, remove card, and go. But as a business owner, you might still be waffling on whether you need to finally get around to accepting chip card transactions. After all, do you really need an EMV card reader?

Let’s talk about chip card readers and what they mean for businesses, and discuss whether it’s essential for merchants to accept chip cards.

What Is An EMV Chip Card?

So we’ve talked about how EMV cards require you to “dip” the chip. But why? What makes EMV more complicated than standard magnetic stripe (magstripe) transactions?

EMV simply stands for EuroPay, Mastercard, and Visa, the organizations that pioneered the technology. It’s actually the name for a set of security standards used for credit card processing. EMV has been the dominant technology in Europe and Canada for decades, but most of the world has switched over to EMV.

EMV uses a computer chip to perform complex, dynamic verification that the card is genuine. These computer chips can store and process much more data than the magnetic stripes on cards, which makes them much harder to counterfeit.

Magstripe cards are relatively easy to “clone” — that is, to copy a stolen card number onto a blank card to be used at a brick and mortar store. EMV prevents cloning, and because the verification process is dynamic (it generates a unique code each time the card is used, whereas magstripe transactions use a static code), it also helps prevent theft of the card using a skimmer. A skimmer is just a piece of hardware installed over a magstripe terminal that copies the card data when a card is swiped — the scammer installs the skimmer on a terminal and then retrieves it later to harvest the card data, presumably to sell to someone else who will try to use it to make expensive purchases online, or clone a card for themselves.

EMV chip cards help reduce card-present card fraud, which has been rampant in the US for a while now. That’s good news for anyone who runs a brick and mortar storefront — EMV protects you against some kinds of chargebacks by preventing fraudulent transactions from being possible in the first place. (It’s not such good news for online businesses, because instead of cloning cards, scammers are simply moving to the Internet to make their purchases.)

The key takeaway here? That tiny little computer chip in a credit or debit card is way more powerful than the magnetic stripe on the back of the card and therefore makes it harder for scammers to steal or use stolen credit card numbers.

The EMV Liability Shift & Your Business

You might be wondering why chip cards have suddenly appeared on just about every single card a customer has. All of that has to do with a liability shift that took place in October 2015 — but the plans were already in motion years before that.

The card associations (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express in the US) got together with banks and decided that they were going to start issuing EMV chip cards, bringing the US in line with all of the other countries that already rely on EMV. But it’s one thing to send chip cards out to customers — it’s another thing entirely to get business owners to update their hardware to EMV-compliant solutions.

The solution, then, was that the banks and card networks agreed to stop absorbing the costs of any fraudulent transactions that could have been prevented with an EMV chip card terminal. They set the date for this liability shift to October 1, 2015. After that point, the business would be eating the cost of any fraudulent transactions — meaning that instead of the banks and card networks reimbursing the cardholder for the sale, the merchant would eat the cost of the transaction (as well as the cost of any merchandise) in addition to any chargeback fees assessed by the payment processor.

(If you’re wondering, certain types of businesses are exempt from the current liability shift. For example, gas stations have until 2020 to get EMV-capable readers for their pumps. However, brick-and-mortar businesses on the whole already need to be compliant.)

Let me be clear here: There is no law demanding that you accept EMV transactions. You aren’t doing anything illegal by not having a chip card reader. However, you are putting your business and your livelihood at risk in the event that you do encounter a scam artist trying to take advantage of your lack of EMV support.

Payment processors are generally free to take whatever measures they want or feel necessary to encourage their merchants to upgrade to chip card acceptance, too. In some cases, a select few merchant account providers have started charging EMV non-compliance fees for merchants who opted not to upgrade their hardware after a certain date.

Now that we’ve covered that, let’s get to the point: In the lead-up to the EMV liability shift, sales representatives for payment processors and software providers alike were pounding the pavement, trying to convince merchants to upgrade to EMV, usually with the promise of a free or discounted EMV chip card terminal. You can still find these sorts of offers, but we strongly encourage you to be wary of offers of “free” hardware because you almost always end up paying the cost back in some other way (usually higher fees). That’s not to say there aren’t legitimate, high-quality merchant account providers with free hardware. They exist, but they are few and far between; you need to learn how to recognize the tactics used by less reputable providers and steer clear of them.

Credit card terminals can take many forms, with a variety of features (such as a customer-facing PIN pad or a wireless internet connection). However, for our purposes, you can separate them into two basic categories: (1) magstripe and EMV card readers, or (2) magstripe, EMV and NFC-capable readers.

The former are generally cheaper, because they have a simpler design and less hardware. You can still get all the other bells and whistles, so the exact cost for a terminal will depend on what features you want. As a ballpark estimate, you can expect a retail price of about $200 for a basic EMV chip card terminal.

The latter types of terminal usually cost a bit more, but are branded as “future proof.” That’s because they support magstripe transactions as well as the two technologies that are likely to dominate the US payments space in the coming years: EMV (chip cards) and NFC (contactless payments, such as mobile wallets). Again, you can get a mix of features in addition to support for the different payment types, and the more features you have, the more you will pay. If you want to know more about NFC and why it matters to the US payments industry.

One of the major hurdles in EMV adoption has been the longer transaction times with chip cards: Instead of simply swiping your card, you need to insert it and wait for the terminal to tell you it’s okay to remove the card. And initially, EMV transactions were, well, slow and laggy. To combat this, the card networks have worked hard to develop solutions to reduce the amount of time the card needs to be inserted into the terminal. Overall, the time it takes to make a payment with a chip card has dropped considerably. However, keep in mind that exact times will vary according to the hardware manufacturer as well as the payment processor (and your own internet connection speed plays a role too).

What About Mobile Chip Card Readers?

“But wait,” you say. “I don’t have a POS or cash register, or even a physical storefront. I just take payments on my phone or tablet. And people are still giving away free magstripe readers. Why do I need to upgrade?”

The mobile processing space has been the slowest in terms of EMV chip card adoption. But even so, mobile chip card readers (the kind that connect to your smartphone or tablet) are starting to catch on, too.

Most basic magstripe readers still rely on the 3.5mm headphone jack, which is obsolete on recent iPhone models. Most Lightning connector magstripe readers are expensive.

Instead, mobile payment companies (and hardware manufacturers) have switched their focus to Bluetooth connections, which work with iOS and Android equally well. And rather than make just magstripe readers that work with Bluetooth, these devices also have chip card readers built in. (I need to point out that some headphone jack card readers do support EMV, but by and large chip card readers use Bluetooth.)

As with terminals, mobile chip readers tend to come in two designs: magstripe and EMV, or (2) magstripe, EMV, and NFC/contactless (often called “all in one” readers). However, mobile hardware tends to vary much more than terminals, so you will see some exceptions, such as the Square Contactless + Chip Reader which supports chip cards and NFC payments, but not magstripe.

 
Do I Need To Accept EMV Chip Cards?

EMV is officially here to stay. However — much to my dismay — magstripe transactions probably aren’t going away yet, either. So where does that leave us?

As a business owner, you should have an EMV chip card terminal or mobile reader. It is the smart decision to protect your business and it can also help win over customer trust by showing that you’re keeping up with the latest hardware and security measures.

If you’re a very low-volume business, or you’re in the type of industry with very small transactions (dry cleaners or coffee shops, for example), I will admit that the risk of a fraudulent transaction is fairly low. But it’s still a risk, and an EMV terminal (or mobile chip card reader) isn’t all that expensive.

If you’re a larger business, you have a high average transaction size, or you deal in the sort of goods that are desirable to scammers, you absolutely should be looking at an EMV terminal if you don’t already use one. Again, the cost of the reader isn’t all that much, and if you do deal with larger transactions, the cost of one case of fraud could easily be equal to the cost of an EMV terminal or reader.

If you’re not accepting chip card payments yet, it’s time to reach out to your payment processor and ask about upgrading your hardware. If you’re able to, this is also a great opportunity to shop around a bit and see if another payment processor can offer you a better deal on hardware as well as transaction costs.

https://www.merchantmaverick.com/really-need-emv-chip-card-terminal/

EMV: Merchant Migration Slower Than Anticipated

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Only 37% of U.S. merchant locations are fully equipped for EMV card acceptance, narrowly missing a projected 40% rate of deployment predicted by management consulting firm Strawhecker Group, according to research it published Wednesday.

The current study showed payment processor readiness, gateway readiness, and technical staff resource availability affected the speed of implementation most. The card networks set an Oct. 1, 2015 date for EMV adoption, after which non-compliant parties faced a shift in fraud liability.

Jared Drieling, business intelligence manager at TSG, anticipates a faster rate of implementation by merchants who delayed to avoid any changes to the payment process ahead of the 2015 holiday season.

“It appeared that some merchants delayed EMV migration completely until the holiday season ended to prevent friction and confusion at the checkout line,” he said in a Feb. 17 news release. “I suspect that many merchants that have delayed, especially merchants in higher risk categories, felt the impact of the liability shift last year and we’ll see them aggressively ramp up plans to migrate.”

TSG said it expects 50% of merchant locations to be able to accept EMV cards by June, and 90% in 2017.

TSG sampled 92 payments services providers that service almost 4 million merchants, or 50% of card transactions.

 

CardWorks Merchant Services is offering FREE upgrades to EMV equipment for all merchants new and old.  Reach out to your sales agent or our Merchant Support Team (merchantsupport@cardworks.com) for more information about becoming compliant today!

 

 

Source: PaymentSource


How Can Merchants Close the EMV-NFC Knowledge Gap?

 

 

EMV NFC

One of the more perplexing elements of the slow, long-awaited march to EMV-chip cards in the U.S. is the lack of awareness that still pervades among merchants and consumers alike.

At the same time, mobile wallets such as Apple Pay have had no trouble becoming household names despite having fairly low adoption.

Three months past the U.S. EMV liability shift — the soft deadline set by the card networks for EMV adoption — Scott Holt, a vice president at Ingenico in North America, sees a chance to finally shift consumers away from their old payment methods. The twist is that it won’t be by consumers’ choice.

By the end of 2016, much of the U.S. retail market will be compliant with EMV and mobile wallets, Holt said. Consumers will have no choice but to abandon magnetic stripe payments, but when they do it will open up the opportunities to choose something other than EMV’s chip-and-dip process, he said. “People will have to learn a new experience with EMV anyway.”

The migration to both Near Field Communication-based wallets and EMV will place pressure on floor-level personnel at retailers to educate consumers on the new technologies. In particular, cashiers are the key to a smooth transition to new payments technology, as Beatta McInerney, a business development manager of payments for point of sale technology company ScanSource POS and Barcode, explains in recent column for PaymentsSource.

Retailers must train cashiers to spot if a consumer has an EMV chip even if the merchant is not accepting EMV cards at this point, McInerney said. This gives retailers an opportunity to teach the process at a more measured pace.

“Consumer experience is largely dependent on the education of retailers,” Holt said, adding that includes the skills to recognize and help consumers who are confused about how the new terminals work. Placing the right prompts into point of sale software is also important, he said.

The delays aside, Ingenico reports the EMV migration in the U.S. is progressing similar to other countries, adding it’s tracking the migration to tailor the education it will provide to merchants over the course of the next year.

Read the rest of this article at PAYMENTSSOURCE.COM.


In a First for Debit Networks, Shazam Adds a Mobile Feature to Shut off Lost Or Stolen Cards

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In the wake of the arrival of EMV chip cards and ahead of the holiday shopping rush, the Shazam debit network has launched a mobile feature that lets cardholders disable their debit cards should they be lost or stolen.

While networks like Discover Financial Services have advertised a similar feature for credit cards, the new Shazam feature, which is part of its Bolts mobile app, is the first of its kind for a debit network, a spokesman for the network tells Digital Transactions News. “You just click a button and [the card] is off,” he says. “It’s attractive for consumers and financial institutions because that’s less fraud for them.”

Since the service went live at the end of September, it has blocked some 600 Shazam cards. As the holiday-shopping season approaches, the network expects many more will be switched off as cardholders lose their cards in the shopping frenzy. “As the volume goes higher seasonally, it stands to reason there’s more potential” for lost-and-stolen fraud, says the spokesman.

The feature, whose formal name is Bolts Transaction Control, is rolling out to the network’s 1,300 member financial institutions and is one of three services available for Bolts, a mobile app Johnston, Iowa-based Shazam launched in January 2013. The other two are transaction alerts and peer-to-peer payments, a service Shazam added this summer.

So far, about half of the Shazam members have integrated Bolts and have added Transaction Control. Those banks account for some 1.3 million debit cards out of the network’s total of 4.9 million active Shazam-bugged cards. Of these, just over half a million are now active on the new service.

For the rest of this story by John Stewart, head to DIGITAL TRANSACTIONS.


TSYS and Ingenico Group to Offer New Semi-Integrated EMV Solution

 

 

TSYS TSS, -1.12% a leading global payments provider, and Ingenico Group , a global leader in seamless payments, today announced a new semi-integrated solution to simplify the EMV [®] certification process. TSYS is the first processor to Class A certify Ingenico Group’s new offering, which is designed to enable partners with the ability to easily build and deploy secure EMV and NFC solutions.

The combined TSYS and Ingenico Group offering provides Value-Added Resellers (VARs) and Integrated Software Vendors (ISVs) with a simple and secure pathway to begin enabling EMV payments. This easy-to-implement solution empowers VARs and ISVs to focus on developing their core products, while offering them a secure method for accepting payments, including magnetic stripe, EMV and NFC contactless payments.

Using a semi-integrated approach, communications between the PIN pad and point-of-sale (POS) system are limited to non-sensitive exchanges, preventing card data from entering the POS. By taking the POS out of the payment flow process, not only are EMV certification and PCI compliance simplified, but overall costs and time required for EMV implementation are reduced as well. Fully certified through all major card brands, this new TSYS-certified solution also has the ability to process with TSYS Guardian Encryption [SM] , ensuring payments are both reliable and secure.

 

For the rest of this article, head to MARKETWATCH.

 

For any further questions about the exciting advances with Ingenico products, please contact CardWorks merchant support:

(866) 210-4625 X1

merchantsupport@cardworks.com


EMV Shift : Real Life “Mad Men” Take on EMV Marketing

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EMV Shift : Real Life “Mad Men” Take on EMV Marketing

One of the more difficult challenges of the U.S. EMV conversion is getting the word out, especially given the urgency of the October deadline the card networks set for a fraud liability shift.

Some companies are starting to treat this marketing challenge as an opportunity, making their advertising more about the shift to EMV security than about their own products. ShopKeep, a mobile point of sale provider, is running an advertising campaign that cuts straight to the chase.

One ad states bluntly: “The card companies will hold you liable for fraud if you don’t have EMV technology — liable for their cards. That’s going to make you mad.”

Partners and Napier New York produced the ShopKeep ad campaign, which features two television spots and other digital content. One of the TV spots is a branding message around ShopKeep tied to the need to migrate to EMV, the other general messaging around EMV, liability and ShopKeep’s role.

“The liability shift is coming, and among our target market of small to medium sized businesses there’s not a lot of awareness,” said Brian Zang, senior vice president of sales and marketing at ShopKeep. “They mostly have their heads down running their businesses.”

“It starts with consumers. Consumers don’t necessarily know what EMV is,” Zang said. “If you’ve traveled that means ‘OK, my card has a chip on it now.’ But I don’t think that people understand what it means for the larger payment industry.”

CardWorks Acquiring – Merchant Services continues to work with our industry partners to provide merchants with affordable, easy-to-implement EMV solutions with the industry’s best security capabilities. To ensure your equipment is EMV compliant, contact CardWorks Acquiring Merchant Support today at (866) 210-4625 X1 or via email at merchantsupport@cardworks.com.

To read the rest of this story, visit PAYMENT SOURCE.


EMV Shift : Real Life "Mad Men" Take on EMV Marketing

EMV PICTURE

EMV Shift : Real Life “Mad Men” Take on EMV Marketing

One of the more difficult challenges of the U.S. EMV conversion is getting the word out, especially given the urgency of the October deadline the card networks set for a fraud liability shift.

Some companies are starting to treat this marketing challenge as an opportunity, making their advertising more about the shift to EMV security than about their own products. ShopKeep, a mobile point of sale provider, is running an advertising campaign that cuts straight to the chase.

One ad states bluntly: “The card companies will hold you liable for fraud if you don’t have EMV technology — liable for their cards. That’s going to make you mad.”

Partners and Napier New York produced the ShopKeep ad campaign, which features two television spots and other digital content. One of the TV spots is a branding message around ShopKeep tied to the need to migrate to EMV, the other general messaging around EMV, liability and ShopKeep’s role.

“The liability shift is coming, and among our target market of small to medium sized businesses there’s not a lot of awareness,” said Brian Zang, senior vice president of sales and marketing at ShopKeep. “They mostly have their heads down running their businesses.”

“It starts with consumers. Consumers don’t necessarily know what EMV is,” Zang said. “If you’ve traveled that means ‘OK, my card has a chip on it now.’ But I don’t think that people understand what it means for the larger payment industry.”

CardWorks Acquiring – Merchant Services continues to work with our industry partners to provide merchants with affordable, easy-to-implement EMV solutions with the industry’s best security capabilities. To ensure your equipment is EMV compliant, contact CardWorks Acquiring Merchant Support today at (866) 210-4625 X1 or via email at merchantsupport@cardworks.com.

To read the rest of this story, visit PAYMENT SOURCE.


EMV: Chase Begins Issuing EMV Debit Cards

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Banking giant JP Morgan Chase & Co. has begun issuing EMV debit cards, with plans to convert its entire debit card portfolio of 34 million cards to chip by the end of 2016, Chase announced Tuesday. Chase began testing chip-enabled debit card issuance in Arizona and Illinois two months ago, a Chase spokesman tells Digital Transactions News. Chase expects 70% of its debit cards to have chips by year’s end. The spokesman would not say how much the EMV debit conversion will cost Chase. One estimate is that a chip card may cost between $3 and $7 to issue. On the low end, the conversion thus might cost $102 million.

Chase debit card holders with lost, stolen, damaged, or expired cards will receive the chip versions first, as will consumers opening new accounts. “Our mass reissuance will occur in the next 12 months,” the spokesman says. The plans also call for converting Chase’s Liquid prepaid cards to chip.

EMV is meant to better secure point-of-sale transactions by migrating credit and debit cards from magnetic-stripe payments to chip ones. Issuers are expected to dramatically increase the number of chip-enabled credit and debit cards over the next several months in anticipation of the payment card networks’ Oct. 1 liability shifts that will place the onus for fraudulent transactions at the point of sale on the party, whether it’s the merchant or acquirer, least prepared for an EMV transaction.

CardWorks Acquiring – Merchant Services continues to work with our industry partners to provide merchants with affordable, easy-to-implement EMV solutions with the industry’s best security capabilities. To ensure your equipment is EMV compliant, contact CardWorks Acquiring Merchant Support today at (866) 210-4625 X1 or via email at merchantsupport@cardworks.com.

Want to read the rest of this story? Check out Digital Transactions.