As a consumer, it’s still surprising to go into a store, and be asked to ‘swipe’ rather than ‘dip or tap’. While in Europe EMV has been the norm for almost a decade, here in the US the reality is there is still a long way to go, even though the market has been transitioning from traditional mag-stripe cards to EMV since 2015.
Today, more than half of credit and debit cards worldwide are now EMV and nearly two-thirds of all card-present transactions involve EMV. Despite this, many mom-and-pop stores and home-grown retailers have yet to make the switch.
It appears that, even as adoption rates increase, there’s still resistance from some merchants to enable EMV acceptance. In many cases, they’re simply reluctant to replace their outdated mag-stripe infrastructure with point of sale devices that can read chip card data.
So why should retailers switch to EMV?
While there are many reasons, the most obvious is because it is much more secure than traditional mag-stripe cards which have several vulnerabilities – cards can be stolen before they are signed, signatures can be erased and forged, and magnetic stripes can be cloned without the owners knowledge.
On the other hand, with its integrated chip (IC), EMV is very hard to copy or counterfeit. EMV cards offer two types of authorization – signature or PIN containing up to six digits. When the card is PIN enabled, it’s even more secure and if the card is stolen, the thief needs the PIN to use it. In markets where EMV is established, payment card fraud rates have fallen significantly, by up to 76% according to Visa.
But if you are still unconvinced, there are other reasons, beyond security, why EMV is a great investment:
- Reduced liability and fewer chargebacks
EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, the major card issuers who developed it to solve their collective card security issues. In many countries, including here in the US, these card issuers and their processors are now implementing liability shifts for non-EMV transactions – transferring the onus from the issuer to the merchant if a fraudulent transaction takes place. This means that if you don’t support EMV you are more likely than your EMV-accepting competitor to see your hard-earned profit get eaten up by fines, fees and chargebacks.
- Convenient for consumers and staff.
EMV offers faster, more convenient payments, including enabling contactless ‘tap and go’ payments. If you can accept contactless, you can transact faster than with cash, meaning shorter lines, less hassle than reconciling/banking dollars and less temptation of theft at the point of sale too.
- EMV paves the way for e-loyalty and more
Its ‘smart chip’ can hold more than payment data, creating opportunity for added value services and features such as supporting complex loyalty schemes. It can also be used to implement everything from mobile wallet applications to charity donations. Increasingly, EMV is also being used to support transportation, ticketing and secure site access.
- Use EMV POS devices for more than cards
With contactless enabled EMV readers, retailers can also accept NFC and mobile payments. With more people carrying smartphones than cash or cards – especially millennials and Gen Z – it means you’re much less likely to miss a sale, and more likely to see AOV increase.
Combined with smart acceptance devices, commerce-enriched payment gateways and POS service apps, there’s no question that EMV gives sales businesses lots to get excited about.
High value retailers more susceptible to fraud can minimize their risk, while low value, high volume outlets can speed throughput and convenience, and those where service drives repeat business can deliver a raft of new customer-facing loyalty services connected to the consumers EMV card.
So, if you are looking to gain greater security, reduce lines, and drive revenue, why wait?
Learn more about EMV benefits here.