October 1st marked the beginning of the EMV liability shift in the United States and changed the regulations in regards to credit card fraud. Banks are now distributing chip cards to consumers and merchants are beginning to install EMV-capable terminals for their businesses. However, many people are still uninformed on the changes that have occurred and still know very little about chip cards or EMV.
Here is some helpful information now that EMV has begun:
- The new EMV chip cards are debit/credit cards that hold a little gold chip on the front side of the card. The chip in an EMV card contains a tiny microprocessor that will send a unique, one-time-use encrypted code to the terminal during a transaction. This chip also stores and keeps your payment information safe and secure.
- It will be harder for criminals to copy chip cards and create fake cards, as they are more complex to replicate in addition to being more expensive.
- EMV chip cards will help reduce counterfeit fraudulent charges at the point of sale and assist in making in-store payments more secure. The codes that EMV cards emit cannot be re-used and are only good for one transaction, making them harder for criminals to commit fraud.
- As of now, the United States will only have chip-and-signature capabilities when authorizing a transaction. Most of the Western world has been already applying chip-and-PIN capabilities, requiring consumers to confirm using a PIN number for any transaction. Using a PIN instead of a signature is more secure, but unfortunately the U.S. will have to wait a little longer for this feature to emerge.
- Merchants who have not installed EMV-capable terminals will now be held fully liable for any counterfeit fraudulent charges that occur. As a result, the credit card companies will no longer be held responsible for any losses or damages that ensue.
- EMV chip cards will continue to have the magnetic stripe on the back, as magnetic stripe technology will not be going away in the near future. Non-EMV cards that do not have a chip on the front will still work at businesses up until their expiration date and will be used with the magnetic stripe.
- Rather than swiping a card at the point of sale, customers with an EMV chip card will insert their card at the bottom of the payment terminal. The card will stick out partially in the payment terminal and will not be completely inserted like at an ATM machine.
- One downfall with EMV cards is they do not protect against online fraud, and if stolen, can be used to make fraudulent transactions online instead.
With EMV in full swing, it is imperative to become informed on how EMV will impact the payment industry and how it could potentially affect both consumers and merchants. EMV technology will not only be a great solution to shield against fraudulent charges, but will additionally transform the way payment processing occurs.