Monthly Archives: April 2016

Why the Switch to EMV Remains Slow – And How You Can Stay Secure

Banks have converted around 60% of their debit and credit cards to EMV cards, which are more secure than traditional magnetic strip technology. These cards generate a random number at the time of the transaction, making them much more difficult to counterfeit than traditional credit cards.

Although the United States is responsible for about 50% of fraud worldwide, the changeover remains slow.

Most of the big retail chains, such as Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, have already converted to the EMV-enabled POS systems. Small businesses that use simple systems have also converted.

However, about 42% of businesses – most of which are mid-sized companies – haven’t made the switch. And, among those companies that have switched, they still run into problems.

In fact, according to some industry reports, 4 out of 5 EMV-enabled card readers aren’t able to accept chipped credit cards.

What’s Causing the Delay?

There are several reasons for this:

  • One problem isn’t the hardware – it’s the software. In order to be able to accept chipped cards, custom POS software must become certified by each of the credit card companies as well as merchant banks. Becoming compliant takes time and only causes more delays.
  • Another problem is the fact that debit cards are processed differently from credit cards. Since these two types of cards are processed differently, it only makes software updates more complex and time-consuming.
  • Also, the EMV credit cards allow anyone to sign for a transaction. Since there is no verification for the signature, this still doesn’t prevent fraud.

What You Can Do to Stay Secure

In the future, we will be able to use these chipped cards with PIN numbers, which will be even more secure than signatures. Implementing this layer of security, though, is a hurdle in and of itself, and will take even more time and money.

Until then, what can you do to make sure you are as secure as possible?

Pat O’Boyle, from MSP Consulting, has this suggestion:

“Pull out the piece for credit card acceptance to get it EMV ready, so you don’t eat all that risk. Then once your POS vendor is EMV ready and you’ve upgraded with all the right tools in place, then put the EMV payment back into the overall system.”