With just a short time remaining before the EMV Initiative and the associated liability shift happens in the US, many merchants still haven't updated hardware and software at the point-of-sale.
As you know, payment processors like Visa and MasterCard are pushing merchants to help reduce fraudulent transactions by upgrading to EMV compliant systems. In October 2015, businesses lacking the ability to process EMV "chip" cards at the POS will find themselves liable for costs associated with fraud.
While EMV is an established technology used around the world, including most of Europe, Canada, Australia, Asia, and Latin America, the United States has been slow to move away from the magnetic stripe card. But the push from the EMV Initiative seems to be gaining significant traction.
Javelin Strategy estimates 59 percent of retail locations will be EMV capable by the end of 2015, rising to 90 percent by 2017. And a recent survey by MasterCard indicates 57 percent of Americans expect to receive EMV chip cards in the mail in the next six months.
While these numbers show significant improvement, many businesses still need help in finding EMV compliant solutions. As a value-added reseller, you're in the perfect place to help clients solve this problem.
EMV compliant solutions for the POS include card payment hardware and software, and associated services like support and certifications. Here's what you need to know.
1. Improve security with upgraded POS hardware
The first wave of EMV cards and readers will offer both chip and magnetic stripe capabilities. That means a customer can still complete the transaction with a "swipe" if he hasn't received a new chip card in the mail. But the upgraded terminal will always default to the higher level of security, requiring the EMV compliant transaction when possible.
And upgrading or replacing POS hardware is an opportunity in disguise for merchants. Here's why.
Most of the new generation of EMV compliant terminals and POS systems also support contactless (NFC) payments from both EMV cards and mobile phones. That means more payment options for customers, faster transactions, and reduced fraud liability for merchants.
2. Enhance hardware and system connectivity with software upgrades
Hardware changes require software upgrades, especially where the card accepting terminal interfaces with the new EMV cards. That's because the various card brands (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover) have taken different approaches to EMV compliance in the US market. Transactions for each card type will require unique applications, called kernels, to manage card functionality.
The interface between the card accepting terminal and the POS system also requires an update to handle increased data elements in an EMV compliant transaction. The same goes for the connection between the POS and the payment gateway or switch.
3. Recommend additional EMV compliant services
Upgrading or adding new hardware and software to a POS system often takes some fine-tuning, especially with a new technology like EMV. That's why you'll want to tell customers about additional services that will smooth the transition.
Key injection loads encrypted software onto payment devices, allowing secure processing of financial information. EMV and PCI certifications ensure the entire system complies with both worldwide standards. And penetration testing identifies remaining security vulnerabilities.
What EMV compliant solutions are you recommending for your clients?
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