Lie #1: There are no EMV solutions ready for prime time 

a. Without talking about your own products, why is this false?

There are several EMV solutions already on the market. Some options include a fully integrated solution and others include a semi-integrated solution. One of the most popular options in the market today is a semi-integrated solution for VARs/ISVs looking to deploy EMV quickly and easily. Instead of taking several months to complete, a semi-integration solution saves time and money by avoiding a lengthy and complex EMV certification process and reduces the PCI scope by keeping the point-of-sale system out of the EMV transaction process. Typical integration only takes a few weeks and allows the customers of VARs/ISVs to begin using EMV capable solutions sooner. 


b. What can ISVs do today to address EMV in a satisfactory manner?

ISVs need to understand EMV regulations and how it impacts their customers. A great way they can differentiate themselves is by offering an EMV solution, as part of their overall security offering, to their customers so they have the highest form of payment protection available. An ISV would benefit by working with a payments partner that is knowledgeable about EMV and understands the details for implementation. Working in tandem allows an ISV to gain industry insight and have access to state-of-the-art EMV technology without having to design a solution from scratch.  


c. How much time does an ISV need to spend on EMV?

EMV is a really hot topic right now so ISVs should expect to spend time understanding what is and how it impacts their business. The next step would then be determining the best way to deploy EMV to their customers. ISVs wanting to deploy a semi-integrated solution could be looking at only a few weeks until EMV is fully launched. Those ISVs looking for a fully integrated EMV solution are looking at a longer time frame of several months up to a year before it is complete. 


d. Should VARs be selling any new systems that don’t address EMV?

VARs should be promoting the latest payment solutions that include the latest security features, so selling systems that don’t include EMV would not be wise at this point. They would also be putting their customers at risk for fraud if the customer doesn’t have an EMV solution. VARs should be making the transition to EMV solutions right now. Integrating EMV will also allow them to accept NFC payments, such as Apple Pay, in most cases. Those ISVs that offer both EMV and NFC solutions for payments will have a strong competitive edge over their competitors and will be able to provide a strong solution for both mobile payments and EMV. 


Lie #2: Digital wallets are too cutting edge and my customers don’t need to accept them yet 

a. Why should VARs be ensuring their merchants can accept digital wallets TODAY?

Consumers are now using their smartphones to make purchases via a mobile wallet instead of cash or card, and VARs need to make sure their merchants have the latest solutions to support this technology. Mobile wallets will continue to expand in popularity throughout 2016 with the additions of new wallets options, and it is clear that all of the major smartphone providers and tech companies are competing for market share. The time is now for ISVs to capitalize on digital wallets, and doing so will increase their market share long term. VARS will be at risk of losing customers to competitors by not offering these solutions.


b. What mistakes could VARs make when rolling out systems that can accept digital wallets?

VARs need to make sure they have the right hardware in place that accepts NFC/contactless payments. Without the compatible software installed, mobile payments using a digital wallet would not work. 


c. Should VARs be concerned with all the various players (those who will drop out and those who will pop up?)

No, as long as the VAR can offer the hardware solution for NFC/mobile payments that allows them to differentiate themselves in the market, they don’t need to worry about the mobile wallet players in the market. A benefit to having so many competitors offering mobile wallets is that all of the top tech companies involved helps expand the value, accessibility and popularity of mobile payments. 


Lie #3: Payment security is a problem for the software company, payment processor, or bank, not for me, the VAR. 

a. Why should VARs care about payment security?

Data breaches and fraud have become pressing issues within the payments industry and still remain hot topics. Recent breaches at Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile showed that not taking the proper security measures could be damaging to a business. Preventing a breach or fraud from occurring can be difficult, but thankfully solutions such as EMV, tokenization and encryption, and becoming PCI Compliant are all options VARs can integrate for the protection of their customers and themselves. 


b. How much involvement should VARs have in payment security of their merchants?

VARs should be proactively involved in payment security solutions for their merchants. By becoming knowledgeable on the latest solutions in place that are available, VARs will give themselves a competitive advantage and differentiate themselves amongst their competitors. Working with a payments partner will allow the VAR to put together technology solutions that will protect their business and their customer’s business.