Now that EMV technology has emerged, merchants are beginning to replace their terminals with EMV-compatible models. In order to have a seamless transition, it is crucial for businesses to train their staff on the basics of EMV and how they will be processing transactions from here on out. Doing so will not only ensue a smoother acceptance for your staff, but also for your customers. 


Here are 3 fundamental tips managers should make sure to train their employees on in regards to EMV: 


Identify What an EMV Chip Card Is
Knowing what an EMV chip card looks like is probably the most important aspect your staff needs to distinguish. Being able to take a look at a card and noticing it contains a chip will allow the employee to start the transaction off the right way. 


The chip in an EMV card holds a tiny microprocessor that sends a unique, one-time-use encrypted code to the terminal during a transaction. This chip also stores and keeps a consumers payment information safe and secure. 


Know How to Process a Transaction
Employees should also be trained on how they will complete a transaction with an EMV terminal. Prior to the liability shift, consumers would simply swipe their card on the side of a terminal and the magnetic stripe on the back would provide the necessary payment information. 


With an EMV terminal, the chip card will be inserted chip-side up inside the base of the terminal and remain in the terminal until the purchase is complete. Once the card is authenticated, cardholders will then sign for their purchase just as they normally have in the past. 


Make sure your staff also knows what to do in case a fallback occurs. When a fallback transaction occurs, the chip card will not work when it is inserted and instead will have to be swiped on the side of the terminal. 


Several other countries have the capability to process EMV transactions by a chip-and-pin system, where cardholders will enter a four-digit personal identification number, as they would with a debit card. Likewise, there are also quick-pay tapping terminals, where the EMV card is “tapped” and is activated using Near Field Communication (NFC). However, the United States currently does not have the capability to process EMV cards via chip-and-pin nor through quick-pay tapping terminals. 


Help Customers Use Their EMV Cards Properly
In the next several months, there will be many consumers who will be using their EMV chip cards for the very first time and will not be familiar with how to use it when checking out. Be sure your staff is not only patient with customers but are also knowledgeable on how the customer needs to insert their card in the terminal. 


Below are some tips employees should make sure to remind customers of as they use their EMV card: 

  • Make sure customers are not swiping their card and show them where to insert their EMV card inside the terminal
  • Leave the card inside the terminal during the transaction until the screen says to remove it
  • Be sure and pay attention to prompts on the screen for any additional instructions
  • Don’t forget to take the card out of the terminal after the transaction is complete


It may take some time before consumers become comfortable making transactions with their new EMV cards. However, merchants can help alleviate any uneasiness customers may experience by training their staff on how EMV works. Having a staff that can easily identify a chip card, knows how to process an EMV transaction, and can help customers use their EMV card the right way will go a long way in terms of customer service and result in a smoother transaction experience.