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What Merchants Need to Know About Chip Cards (EMV)

What Merchants Need to Know About Chip Cards (EMV)

What is EMV?
EMV is an open-standard set of specifications that ensures functionality between chip cards and payment terminals. EMV originated as a joint venture between Europay, MasterCard®, and Visa® to improve payment safety through improved card security and standards. Today, EMVco is owned by American Express®, Discover®, JCB, MasterCard®, UnionPay, and Visa®. Find more information at

How are CHIP cards different from magnetic stripe card technology?
The EMV “chip” is a secure microprocessor built into a card or other payment devices (e.g. mobile wallet on smart phone). The chip generates a unique number for each sales transaction, making it extremely difficult to use a cloned card fraudulently on a card-present transaction. Magnetic stripe cards use static cardholder data that remains the same for every transaction, which makes them attractive targets for theft, cloning, and use in card fraud.

What does the financial liability shift mean and how will that affect my business?
Merchants who don’t use EMV capable – and enabled – POS equipment after October 1, 2015* will be responsible for card-present fraud losses in the following instances:

  • Counterfeit EMV card: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa move liability to the merchant
  • Lost or stolen card: American Express, Discover, and MasterCard move liability to the merchant; Visa keeps liability with the issuer

What are the key benefits of moving to the EMV standard?

  • Improves transactions security for credit and debit card-present environments
  • Creates common cardholder experience globally
  • Supports multiple methods of cardholder verification (signature, pin, etc.) providing flexibility of payment acceptance without sacrificing security
  • EMV adoption accelerates merchant capabilities to accept payments in new ways

Bank of Gravette and our merchant services partner, CBMS can help you get prepared for EMV and the credit card liability shift.