Fast Facts: EMV Technology
EMV technology was founded in 1994 by Europay, MasterCard and Visa (hence the name), and refers to a credit or debit card with a smart “chip” located in the card. There are now over 10 billion EMV cards globally, and the shift to this payment style has also prepared the market for other forms of digital payment including Apple and Google wallets.
Here are some fast facts about EMV technology:
- EMV cards use a smart chip instead of a magnetic stripe to hold the data required for a transaction to process.
- Fully implemented EMV enables a “chip and PIN” transaction, where the card is inserted into a chip reader, and a PIN is entered to validate. Because you create your own PIN, these are typically more difficult to crack than simply forging a signature.
- Chip cards reduce counterfeit fraud by 87%.
- EMV technology generates a one-time number, unique to each transaction, sometimes called a token, making it nearly impossible to recreate, therefore reducing fraud.
- EMV cards are largely global – meaning your US-issued card should work in any EMV country in the world.
- The chip inside an EMV card is tougher to tamper with or clone than the data contained in a MSR, which is why counterfeit fraud is reduced by these cards.
- Mobile EMV & wallet transactions contain the same chip technology, and are just as safe as physical EMV chip cards (if not safer!).
- Accepting EMV cards at your business will help you accept foreign cards, modernizing your payment process.
- EMV will not necessarily protect against a stolen card, so if your card is swiped, follow the same process you would regularly by having it deactivated as soon as you notice it is gone.
- Some EMV cards still have a forced signature, where even if the chip is inserted, a signature is still required. There is nothing preventing a thief from signing with a random signature, as there is no virtual link between your signature and the one you do after each transaction.
- Your card’s swipe capabilities should still work at a retailer that is not EMV compliant. That being said, most retailers are making the shift to EMV technology.
While many industries have transitioned towards EMV technology, the slowest adoption is found in gas pumps. Even though credit card companies imposed fines for slow or lack of adoption of EMV, the cost associated with replacing readers at gas stations is steep, and has slowed this transition.