As the deadline for the EMV liability shift quickly approaches, many people are still out of the loop on the changes that will be taking place this October. EMV will significantly change the way payment transactions will occur and it pays to become aware on how it will impact transactions. In order for EMV to be integrated smoothly, several different organizations will be key resources for EMV implementation. 


Merchant Service Providers
Merchant services providers will play an essential part to help both bank partners and merchants with the transition to EMV. 


For example, merchant service providers can assist bank partners on researching what type of business each of their merchants are (ex: restaurant/retail, etc.) This will help relieve the burden for banks significantly as merchant service providers will gather merchant data for banks on what merchants in their portfolio are EMV compliant. 


A great way merchant service providers, such as First American Payment Systems, support merchants is by offering informative content on their company website about EMV. Such articles they can discuss include topics on how EMV will affect small businesses directly, a FAQ on EMV, and statistical information related to EMV. Merchant service providers are a vital outlet on selling EMV compliant terminals to merchants, by pushing them to upgrade their equipment so they are not held accountable for fraudulent charges once the liability shift occurs. By doing so, merchant service providers place themselves as a key resource to merchants to gain their business. 


Banks can add meaningful value to the relationships with their business customers and merchants as well as consumers. Merchants will most certainly have questions and concerns about how EMV will affect their business, and banks can do their part by explaining the importance, timeline, and benefits of EMV. As banks gain knowledge from merchant service providers, they will be able to assist merchants with any future inquiries and become a fundamental informational source. 


Banks should also become proactive in providing marketing material on EMV for consumers. Some examples could include informational brochures, a FAQ sheet on EMV, billing inserts, and making sure they are spreading EMV awareness content on their company website as well. As a result, consumers who bank at their business will gradually become more aware of the effects and implications of EMV technology. 


Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs)
As a trusted partner for merchants, ISOs are in a great position to help foster public awareness about the upcoming liability shift to merchants. One step ISOs can do is meet merchants in person to explain what the switch to EMV-enabled terminals or POS systems means and how it can be done efficiently. ISOs can also provide online educational resources for merchants as additional support. 


ISOs need to be direct with merchants and be very clear on what may happen if a merchant doesn’t upgrade their equipment to EMV-compliant terminals. When the liability shift occurs, the responsibility will shift to the party that is the least EMV complaint with the fraudulent charge, typically the merchant. 


According to a TSG survey, only 34% of merchants within the U.S. will be EMV compliant in time for the October 1st liability shift. 


“Many merchants lack awareness of the EMV mandate or may be hoping to avoid future liabilities. While hurdles are indeed present, merchants can no longer avoid having specific security measures in the face of the rising number of data breaches,” spoke Senior Associate at TSG, Ken Oros. 


ISOs can make a definite impact with merchants by informing them of the dangers of not becoming EMV compliant, in addition to encouraging them to upgrading their POS systems that will accept EMV transactions. 


EMV technology will be an excellent tool to protect all parties involved with a transaction. With the help from merchant service providers, banks, and ISOs, all parties can actively learn about EMV and help guide each other as well as merchants and consumers on the benefits and security measures EMV will provide.