What Is EMV? What Businesses Need to Know

EMV is a technical normal designed to restrict in-person card fraud. It stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa — the businesses that created it. EMV has been adopted by main cost networks. Slightly than utilizing the normal magnetic strip, an EMV bank card makes use of a small laptop chip to retailer info and make transactions safer. Whereas accepting EMV playing cards isn’t a requirement, companies that select to not settle for them face extra legal responsibility for fraudulent expenses. Right here’s what to know.

How does EMV expertise work?

Previously decade, EMV chips have been slowly changing magstripes — the magnetic strips generally discovered on the again of bank cards. A magstripe shops information distinctive to a given bank card, such because the bank card quantity, and might solely talk in a single route by sending its information to a point-of-sale terminal. It can’t react to a POS terminal’s makes an attempt to verify {that a} bank card is just not fraudulent.

How magstripes work

Magstripe card. (Getty Photos picture)

Magstripes use static information, which suggests they do not encode your info when sending it via a bank card terminal. In consequence, conventional bank cards haven’t any means of defending the info as soon as a terminal has accessed it.

Consider it this manner: Swiping a magstripe is like writing down your bank card info and sticking it to the again of your bank card. Anybody who can learn the piece of paper can use the data to make a duplicate of your bank card and cost purchases to your account.

How EMV chips work

EMV-chipped card. (Getty Photos picture)

EMV chips provide a safer methodology for storing and transmitting bank card info. Whereas magstripes ship a bank card’s quantity on to a terminal, EMV chips use encryption and tokenization to encode the info. This methodology retains the bank card info confidential all through the transaction.

So as a substitute of getting your bank card info written clearly on a bit of paper, utilizing EMV chips is like writing the data in code that may be simply learn by the cost corporations concerned within the transaction, however not by others.

How do EMV chips shield towards fraud?

EMV chips shield towards card fraud by verifying {that a} card is genuine.

Along with encoding bank card info, EMV chips additionally change the code each time information is transmitted to the cost corporations. Playing cards which have a magstripe solely are simply skimmed and copied, however chip playing cards are tough to duplicate, and transactions from an inauthentic card are simply flagged.

Though EMV chips make in-person transactions safer, they do not guard towards fraudulent on-line transactions the place the bank card is not inserted or tapped at a POS terminal.

Fee networks needed to economize by encouraging retailers to undertake EMV expertise that reduces potential fraud. They couldn’t pressure retailers to make the change, however they have been capable of give companies an ultimatum: Settle for EMV bank cards or tackle the duty for sure fraudulent expenses.

This alteration in legal responsibility, referred to as the EMV legal responsibility shift, went into impact on Oct. 1, 2015, for many retail companies. Areas that promote gasoline, resembling comfort shops, have been granted an extension: They didn’t need to implement EMV expertise to keep away from legal responsibility till April 17, 2021.

Upgrading to EMV bank card readers is just not a requirement by regulation, and companies can proceed to function with out accepting dipped or tapped playing cards. However doing so comes with elevated legal responsibility that might price them in the event that they course of a fraudulent cost.

What’s your corporation responsible for?

The shift doesn’t have an effect on all transactions, however some transactions will carry extra legal responsibility for companies with out EMV bank card readers.

Companies have elevated legal responsibility for:

  • An EMV bank card that’s keyed in or swiped with a POS app as a substitute of inserted or tapped.

Companies’ legal responsibility has not modified for:

  • On-line transactions, resembling purchases via a web site, with a digital terminal or in response to a digital bill.

  • An in-person transaction made with a non-EMV bank card (a magstripe card).

Advantages of accepting EMV chip playing cards

Accepting bank cards with EMV chips comes with a couple of benefits that might prevent cash and produce in additional clients. EMV chip playing cards:

  • Scale back the potential for fraud. Bank cards with EMV chips are tougher to repeat and pose a bigger impediment for hackers.

  • Decrease legal responsibility. If in-person card fraud nonetheless occurs whereas utilizing the EMV options of a card reader, you gained’t be liable.

  • Have gotten extra frequent. Accepting EMV chip playing cards permits you to work with extra clients preferring to pay this manner.

Find out how to settle for EMV chip playing cards

All main POS suppliers provide EMV chip-enabled bank card readers, and a few provide choices that mix expertise to permit companies to simply accept magstripe playing cards as nicely. Which kind of mannequin works greatest for your corporation will rely upon the way you count on your clients to pay for in-person purchases.

EMV chip card reader suggestions


The SumUp Plus card reader is a handheld system that accepts each sort of bank card: EMV chips and magstripes, in addition to contactless strategies resembling Apple Pay and Google Pay. It connects to your good system utilizing Bluetooth and has a display screen to show transaction particulars to the shopper. It’s out there for $19 and comes with the free SumUp app and dashboard.


Clover Go is a compact choice that permits you to course of each sort of bank card cost: EMV chip playing cards, magstripe playing cards and digital wallets, together with Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. It has Bluetooth performance, however no display screen to share checkout particulars with clients. It’s priced at $99 and gives reporting as a free POS characteristic.


The Sq. reader for contactless and chip playing cards is smooth and easy. It accepts contactless and EMV chip playing cards, in addition to Apple Pay and Google Pay. Nonetheless, you may’t use it to swipe magstripe playing cards. The Sq. reader makes use of Bluetooth to hook up with your good system, nevertheless it would not have a display screen of its personal. You may get the reader for $49 and make the most of Sq.’s free POS options.

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