For many merchants in the US, EMV compliance may seem like a huge mountain to climb. Unplanned financial outlays, increased employee education and training, and a lack of direction can stop many business owners in their tracks. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Help your customers navigate the move from mag stripe to integrated chip cards by leading with these three EMV basics during your next sales pitch.
1. The EMV Liability Shift is Key
When talking to your customers about the EMV Initiative coming to the United States in October 2015, merchants may only see the upfront costs to upgrade their payment systems. And while those costs are significant for business owners, it's the potential payouts for fraudulent activity that could have a much higher impact on cash flow.
Payment processors like MasterCard and Visa are not requiring merchants to migrate to EMV-compliant payment systems. Instead they are shifting the liability for fraudulent transactions to the party with the lowest level of security.
When a customer lacks an EMV card and the merchant's terminal has the upgraded technology, liability shifts to the card issuer. But when customers carry chip cards and the business lacks EMV capable POS terminals, liability falls back on the merchant side. And those fraud costs can be much higher than many business owners expect.
So before you sell a client on new hardware or software, take the time to explain how a lack of compliance with EMV standards can put a big dent in his cash reserves.
2. EMV Isn't Just Hardware Upgrades
Much of the EMV discussion focuses on upgraded terminals at the POS. But as you know, processing a payment involves more than just presenting the card on the front end.
Once a chip card is "dipped" into the terminal, software directs both employee and customer actions, and the card is authenticated via online or offline methods. That means both software and wireless connectivity come into play.
So when you're talking with a client about these EMV basics, be sure to spend an equal amount of time looking at expanded software capabilities and overall system connectivity.
Start by looking at these connection points:
- Manage card functionality with updated software between the card accepting terminal and the EMV card.
- Handle new data elements in an EMV transaction with software connecting the POS and the card accepting terminal.
- Evaluate connectivity between the POS and the payment gateway or switch.
3. Don't Forget About NFC and Mobile Payments
While near field communication and mobile technologies are not strictly EMV basics, you'll want to help customers understand and implement these complementary payment methods.
And the good news? Migrating to EMV payment technology at the POS makes it easier to give customers more secure payment options. Here's why.
Most EMV terminals shipped since 2014 are equipped to handle both contactless and mobile payments via NFC-enabled phones and contactless EMV cards. An upgrade to EMV plus a small investment in software needed to support both types of payments will net large rewards for savvy merchants.
Meeting the challenge of EMV compliance won't be easy, but you can help customers create a solid foundation by starting with the basics.
What EMV basics are you focusing on with your clients right now?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephen Bochniarz leads Ingram Micro’s DC/POS Payments Program. He has been part of the DC/POS division at Ingram Micro since 2013, specializing in POS hardware. Stephen has also become the subject expert on EMV readiness and supporting the payment terminals in support of payments and EMV implementation process. With over 12 years of experience, he has a strong background in retail, and retail management.
Have questions or want to learn more? Contact Stephen at:
Phone: +1-800-456-8000 Ext. 67366