It’s September, which means the deadline for the EMV liability shift is less than four weeks away. For the last nine months we’ve put significant focus on the topics of EMV technology, the liability shift and things every merchant should know. If you’ve been following along you know that we’ve covered a lot of important topics related to this change. If you haven’t been following along, no worries. This roundup of the articles will make it easy to find the topics and information you need.
First Quarter Report
We started the year talking about the EMV issue from a global perspective. The bad: the U.S. is lagging behind the rest of the world in EMV chip card adoption. Also, experts projected that U.S. credit card fraud will exceed $10 billion in 2015. The good: EMV chip cards are a part of the solution to the fraud problem. These new chip cards offer a higher level of security making them more difficult to hack. The deadline: the rules are changing as of October 1, 2015 and the fraud liability will shift to any merchant who has not upgraded to EMV chip card technology.
Second Quarter Report
In June we provided an update on how the U.S. was progressing. The bad: Experts estimate that only 59% of retail locations will be EMV compliant by the end of 2015. It’s the main reason we are focusing on this topic. We want our clients to be EMV compliant and fully protected. The good: 70% of credit cards will be issued as EMV cards by the end of 2015 in the U.S. attacking the fraud issue head on. The deadline: the banking industry is not expecting a ‘big bang’ after the October 1st deadline. What they are anticipating is a more gradual adoption phase that will last well beyond the deadline.
Third Quarter Report
With only three months to go, it was becoming clear that EMV would be more advantageous for industries with high credit card fraud. The good: hospitality expects to benefit from the technology by significantly reducing the industry’s excessively high fraud rate. The bad: Many merchants still don’t fully understand their exposure when it comes to the full impact of liability. The deadline: With only weeks until the deadline we provided a merchant’s guide to the essential details of EMV technology. We tackled the issue of integration with your existing POS system and included an upgrade checklist to get you through the process.
The bottom line: it’s ‘go’ time simply because you don’t want to increase your exposure to liability. Call us today so we can explain your options and get you EMV compliant sooner rather than later.
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Do your EMV and POS systems play well with others? Or more importantly, do they play together at all? As the fast-approaching October 1st deadline looms, we are focused on providing helpful information about upgrading your systems. Merchants of any size or industry should take this opportunity to explore the options of EMV chip-ready technology and how it integrates with existing POS devices and systems. We’ve defined the different options below to help you determine what will work best in your business.
Option 1: Standalone
Standalone means your transaction device serves only one purpose: to authorize and clear payment card transactions. This device stands alone without any connection to your electronic cash register or other POS device or system. Upgrading will mean a change out of your current transaction device. For smaller businesses with simple processing needs, a standalone device is a quick and effective tool for processing payments. The available features and options will be limited to those offered by your processor.
Option 2: Semi-integrated
Semi-integrated means your transaction device connects to your POS device, usually over a local area network that is then connected to a payment controller. Mid-sized merchants typically utilize the semi-integrated device for the flexibility it offers. This option gives you a choice of PIN pad manufacturers, acquirers, processors, and third party vendors as well as a network for multiple registers or check out stations. Upgrading to EMV chip technology requires device upgrade and software changes to support the new devices and data exchange.
Option 3: Fully-integrated
Fully-integrated means your store’s POS system controls all the components, and the integrated POS platform physically incorporates the transaction devices. Software called middleware is required for full integration. This option will also require the support of an IT system integration expert. And because of these requirements, this option is the most complex and most costly to implement. But it is also the most feature-rich and efficient way to manage your systems and process. Large, multi-location merchants favor this option due to the flexibility in choice of equipment and processors as well as communication with the systems that control inventory and revenue reporting.
So now you have a better understanding of ‘playing well with others’ when it comes to EMV technology upgrade and your existing POS environment. Many details contribute to determining what type of devices and software would be best for your specific business. Regardless of which option fits your needs, remember that Evolve Systems is your one-stop merchant services provider.
We have the technical expertise in-house to support any option you choose. So choose wisely, my friend.
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Upgrading to EMV chip card technology will be simple for some merchants. For larger organizations, the process involves multiple steps and takes a bit longer. Our experience to date has shown that the upgrade process should be thoughtfully approached with assessment, planning and execution steps to ensure a successful transition. We put together this simplified upgrade checklist to help guide you through the process more easily. Let us know in the comments below if you find it helpful.
- Determine who will take the lead on the upgrade project. Get a team together comprised one person from every department that will be impacted by the upgrade. Appoint a single manager or lead to manage the overall upgrade project.
- Assess your current payment processing operations. Document how transactions are handled and determine where there might be room for improvement. Take advantage of this upgrade to address any gaps in your operations. It’s a good time to set up your merchant operations to be compatible with future changes and improvements.
- Determine what terminal hardware options will meet your merchant operations needs for the long term. Decide on which POS devices will require integration, upgrade, or replacement. Be sure to consider which EMV solution will work best: standalone, semi-integrated or full integration. Each option refers to how it will work with your existing business systems such as Point-of-Sale systems, inventory management or accounting programs.
- Create your implementation plan. Include the order of upgrade by department, location or POS station, a list of items needed for each upgrade and a schedule that allows for down time. If you have more than one location, we recommend that you choose one as a pilot site to test, troubleshoot and resolve issues before going live across all of your locations.Your plan should include project milestones, an estimated timeline, and contingency plans.
- Create a training schedule for your staff. You may need to schedule multiple training sessions based on shifts and locations. Train your staff on the key points of inserting a chip card into the device and leaving it until the transaction is complete. Some POS terminals will prompt the customer with on-screen instructions and audible tones to guide them.
- Confirm that your merchant services provider will be on-site for the duration of the implementation to troubleshoot operational issues and support your staff. Make sure they have live 24-hour support available.
- Upgrade your pilot location or workstation. Test, troubleshoot and resolve any operational issues.
This checklist is a simplified guide outlining the steps you will take to upgrade to EMV chip card technology. The size and complexity of your operations will determine the amount of time and level of details required to complete a successful transition.
If your merchant services provider hasn’t contacted you yet about upgrade, don’t worry. We’ve got your back. Give us a call to get started.
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As the October 1st deadline approaches, we will be providing you with as much useful information as possible to get you EMV chip card ready. The hype is getting a bit crazy so we thought it would be of value to provide a no-nonsense guide covering the things you need to know and what you need to do as a merchant.
Know your card types
The types of EMV chip cards you will be seeing as a merchant are:
- Contact cards – they communicate with the reader over a contact plate on the card. That plate must come into contact with the terminal usually by inserting the card into a slot. The card must remain inserted for the duration of the transaction.
- Contactless cards – they communicate via radio frequency (RF) and must contain an antenna to use near field communication. Near field communication is defined by Wikipedia as:
the set of protocols that enables electronic devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching the devices together or bringing them into proximity to a distance of typically 10cm or less.
- Dual interface chip cards – combine both technologies and can communicate either way.
Know your terminal and technology capabilities
The point of sale terminals and technology you should have in place by October 1, 2015 are referred to as dual-interface terminals. These new terminals will process EMV chip transactions from a combination of payment types including contact chip cards, contactless cards, eWallet apps, mobile devices and even the magnetic stripe cards. The terminal you ultimately select will be based on your business transactions. You will need to discuss details such as typical transaction amounts, domestic or international transactions, and other transaction parameters.
Know your needs and make a plan
Looking at your business transactions is just part of the picture. Depending on the size of your business it may take an investment of time to assess your current needs and create a plan to migrate to this new technology. This point is the main reason why as a merchant services provider, Evolve Systems has been working on this upgrade process with our larger clients for several months now. Our experience to date has shown that the upgrade process should be thoughtfully approached with assessment, plan and execution steps to ensure successful transition.
In our next post, we’ll provide a detailed checklist of the steps in the upgrade process. It’s not too late to schedule time with us and get started…but don’t wait much longer.
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