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    11 Replies Latest reply on Dec 7, 2013 9:27 AM by Moderator Melinda

    What is EMV?

    amspcs Ranger

      EMV has been in the payment processing news lately, and we are receiving many calls asking what it is all about? Basically EMV is a joint venture of the major credit card companies to provide a solution to help combat card fraud. For more information, please go to

        • Re: What is EMV?
          Moderator Cath Guide

          Thanks for the heads up on AMV.  I googled Wikipedia and found additional information.  It benefits all of us to keep current.



            • Re: What is EMV?
              amspcs Ranger

              You're welcome. The reason it is important for merchants to be knowledgable is because I see a potential scam on the horizon.  Sooner rather than later, all the stripe reading machines out there will become partially if not totally obsolete.  That means there are a lot of suppliers and ISO's out there who are going to be stuck with a boatload of these soon-to-be antiques.  I suspect some will use them as 'bait' to pirate away unsuspecting merchants with the ages-old "switch processors and get a FREE terminal" ploy.  When (not if) any of you merchants out there are approached in this manner, here's a word to the wise:  DON'T DO IT !!!

            • Re: What is EMV?
              thedavid Adventurer

              As of today all merchants have till October of 2015 to convert to the new EMV terminals. Something tells me that date will be extended... Yes, there will be billions of dollars spent on new credit card processing terminals by merchants and processors. That will open additional avenues for processors for manipulating merchants into switching their merchant accounts. However unfortunate that is, the EMV initiative should finally do away with credit card fraud.  Interestingly enough the US gave the world plastic cards but ends up being the last one to switch over to the more secure and versatile EMV.

              Now going back to amspcs original comment about deceiving ISO's...A lot of my clients receive deceiving phone calls by other processors about merchant services in Las Vegas promising free equipment for switching the account. Our answer is the same, take it if it is a better deal, it never is... This is by no means an advertisement, but rather a friendly reminder that the credit card processing industry is one of the least mandated ones, and one should be very careful when evaluating their merchant account provider.

              Dave G

              • Re: What is EMV?
                Moderator Berta Guide

                Thanks everyone for sharing such valuable information with the rest of the community!



                • Re: What is EMV?
                  diohernandez Wayfarer

                  EMV IN GENERAL

                  Q. What does EMV stand for?

                  A. Europay, MasterCard®, and Visa® created a global standard for cards—chip-based payments—

                  which is now maintained by EMVCo, LLC.

                  Q. Who is EMVCo, LLC?

                  A. EMVCo manages, maintains and enhances the EMV® Integrated Circuit Card Specifications for

                  chip-based payment cards and acceptance devices, including point of sale (POS) terminals and

                  ATMs. EMVCo also establishes and administers testing and approval processes to evaluate

                  compliance with the EMV Specifications. EMVCo is currently owned by American Express,

                  MasterCard, Visa, and JCB, a Japan-based company.

                  Q. What is the difference between a chip-based payment and that processed with

                  a magnetic stripe on the payment card?

                  A. The most important difference between a magnetic strip and an embedded microprocessor, or chip, within a payment card, is that the traditional payment card with a magnetic strip can be more susceptible to counterfeit fraud through skimming. Skimming occurs when a card is swiped through reader recording all necessary payment information. Later, this recorded data is used to manufacture a duplicate card. Common scenarios for skimming are restaurants or bars where the skimmer has possession of the victim's credit card out of their immediate view. Other instances of skimming have been accomplished at ATMs or fuel pumps using a device placed over the card slot that reads the magnetic strip as the user unknowingly passes their card through it.

                  Q. Are all merchants expected to comply?

                  A. U.S. merchants are not required to support chip processing. However, there are many disadvantages of not staying current with the technology and commerce that the rest of the payments world embraces. The cost of fraud, which persists in unique and often elusive ways, can be much greater than what will be required in cost, time and training for the migration to EMV, whether the merchant is a small business or a multinational enterprise. Merchants in the U.S. are beginning to see international travelers coming to the U.S. to use those cards, so it’s important that the U.S. start to gain adoption of this payment type. As consumers travel here more frequently with these cards, merchants will be expected to be able to process the transactions.

                  Q. What are the advantages for merchants?

                  A. Chip technology heightens security through the use of stronger authentication that reduces the value of stolen data. In addition, it primes the U.S. payment platform for the arrival of more mobile, eCommerce and uCommerce technology that allows for instant payment of goods and services.

                  Q. Why has the United States been slow to adopt EMV?

                  A. Here, industry has run on a ubiquitous telecommunications and strong existing payment infrastructure. Today, however, there are concerns that unprecedented levels of fraud will start to migrate to the U.S. Due to recent large-scale incidences in other countries, acquirers, issuers and technology providers are working together to build a technological infrastructure that pairs with existing modes of payment processing here in the States.

                  Q. What is the cost to merchants?

                  A. Merchants should plan on the following expenses: hardware and system upgrades, training, implementation and certification

                  CARD BRAND MANDATES

                  Q. What is the timing of EMV migration here in the United States?

                  A. Visa, MasterCard and Discover including Diner’s Club International, and their respective PIN Debit networks of Interlink, Maestro and Pulse mandated that all acquirers be ready to support, at the host level, EMV transactions by April of 2013. This includes Bank of America Merchant Services. Visa, MasterCard and Discover do business through a traditional four-party model in which acquirers play a significant role. As such, acquirers are the only group mandated to support EMV. Bank of America Merchant Services has met this mandate.

                  Specific for Discover, direct connect merchants will be required to certify their ability to support EMV messaging; however, they are not required to implement EMV devices nor process EMV transactions.


                  Q. What about American Express?

                  A. American Express has not announced any mandates for support of EMV at this time; however, American Express specifications currently support EMV. Both acquirers and subsequently merchants may implement support at their option. American Express was an early adopter of EMV technology in 1996 when the company invested in EMV contact deployment (e.g. Chip and PIN, Chip and Signature). Today, the American Express Network is EMV-enabled globally and processes millions of EMV transactions annually. American Express is one of four major payment organizations that are equity members in EMVCo


                  Q. What is the certification process for EMV?

                  A. The certification process is made up of two levels of certification. Level I requires the merchant’s equipment to be certified: The device must properly communicate with the EMV-compliant chip on a card. The reader must be able to interact and perform properly with that formatted EMV chip on a card. Level II certification is validating that point of sale can actually process the chip card’s data elements correctly — authorization of the transaction. The data must be transmitted. In this process, the processor and the acquirer validate that the networks and the data intersect correctly through settlement. Each card brand possesses a different EMV implementation that must be tested against.

                  For the smaller merchants, they do have to invest in the hardware, but most of that testing is done by the acquirer, so if we’re selling small merchants a terminal that we’re calling EMV-capable or EMV-enabled, then that’s our role as the acquirer and processor, to make sure we’re providing an EMV-tested and capable/certified hardware.


                  Q. Is EMV the same thing as “Chip and PIN?”

                  A. No. Chip and PIN is an implementation option for EMV processing. That is, Chip and PIN may be used or Chip and Signature or Chip and no card verification method for some cases, e.g., low-value transactions.

                  Q. Is PIN more secure than signature?

                  A. There is information available that states that signature is a weaker card holder verification method than PIN. While Visa does not distinguish between PIN and signature, MasterCard does state that using PIN is a less risky option than signature.

                  Q. Who determines if PIN or signature is required?

                  A. While the card organizations can determine what they require, the decision is ultimately made by the card issuer. Upon card creation and personalization, the issuer will determine which card holder verification methods they will accept for a specific transaction. For example, if the issuer will only accept PIN, if the merchant POS does not allow PIN, e.g., no PIN pad, then the merchant cannot accept the card.


                  • Re: What is EMV?
                    amspcs Ranger

                    Update:  Please see our blog post which further explains what the migration to EMV means to the typical merchant.

                      • Re: What is EMV?

                        Thank you for keeping us posted on this important topic since this effects many merchants. Curious to see what some of our members experiences have been so far and how the conversion effected their holiday business.



                          • Re: What is EMV?
                            amspcs Ranger

                            Melinda, There is no reason for EMV to have affected any merchant this holiday season or anytime soon. It doesn't take hold until 2015, and a lot of us are guessing that even that deadline will be extended.  The danger here is that unfortunately there are a few unscrupulous payment processing agents out there who spin every event like this one into an opportunity to fear-monger their way into pirating a few new accounts. They'll tell merchants anything to get them to sign on the bottom line---for example, your current technology is non compliant and i'st  your current processor's fault, and you MUST upgrade your system today, and luckily I have SUCH a deal for you today only, and on and on.  And equally unfortunately, there are also merchants who fall for such scams. So the points I am trying to make are: (a) when one of these unscrupulous types knocks on your door and feeds you a line, don't fall for it; and (b) it won't hurt to begin casually shopping for technology upgrades today at favorable prices while you have the time, because when your time runs out eventually and you MUST upgrade, favorable pricing won't be so available.