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EMV in the Industry - Part 1

Tuesday, 29 April 2014 15:13
Posted in Blog
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Being in the payments industry for nearly 14 years, I have seen the business evolve into a complex web of rapidly changing technology, a near infinite scope of interchange levels and PCI regulations.   Acquiring knowledge over the years, it has become easy to quickly absorb innovations, like mobile and the cloud.  At first glance, EMV appeared to be just another regulation. However, it wasn’t long before I started to hear colleagues misinterpret, more often than not, what the regulation is and what it means to merchants.  I can truly say that EMV is the biggest change I have witnessed in payments thus far and certainly the most misunderstood. 

You may not realize it, but EMV is shaking the foundation of payments.  Processors are making changes to their platforms, hardware companies are updating their equipment, software companies are updating their applications, financial institutions are updating their ATMs and networks and issuers are in the process of re-issuing cards imbedded with smart chips.  Consumers have begun to receive these new cards, along with letters that explain the added security benefits these cards provide.  With recent news surrounding the massive data breaches happening at national retailers (such as Target Corp., Neiman Marcus Group, and Michaels Store Inc.), consumers have plenty of motivation to use their new cards - but are any of their favorite retailers prepared to accept them?

Merchants are overwhelmed and confused as to what all of this means to them.  Unfortunately, merchants will have to get acquainted with EMV, because not only does it affect them from a compliance and POS hardware/software perspective, but the entire card acceptance process will change.  In the next few years, swiping a transaction will become a thing of the past.  The credit card will never leave the customer’s hand.  And if the merchant cannot accept a true EMV transaction, their customers may go elsewhere. 

In addition to the prospect of possibly losing customers, as of October 2015 (October 2017 for fuel), merchants will own fraud liability on any card present, non-EMV transaction.  Merchants not wanting to take on the liability will have to devise and implement an EMV conversion plan that covers their POS systems and staff.   

We’ve only scratched the surface of EMV.  Over the course of the next year, this weekly blog will serve as a resource to help you understand the vast landscape of EMV, one topic at a time.  It will discredit some common misconceptions and equip you with the tools you need to acquire new merchants.  In addition to being an educational resource, it will advise you on which products are EMV ready and offer tips on how merchants can implement a plan.

As an ISO or sales agent, EMV means opportunity.  Having that face-to-face interaction with merchants allows you to provide powerful information that is very relevant in today’s marketplace, giving you an edge over the competition.

We will start next week with the mandate itself and cover the timeline and industries affected.  One step at a time, we’ll get there together.  Until then, happy selling! 

By Melanie Gonzalez
  Director of Product Development

Melanie has spent her entire professional career in the payments industry, working for Top 10 processors such as First Data, WorldPay and Vantiv.  She has a proven track record helping companies develop go to market strategies, build multi-million dollar sales channels and engineer highly technical product solutions that drive revenue and strengthen client relationships.  Melanie recently joined EPSG as Director of Product Development and will lead EPSG’s initiative to build an innovative and robust product suite.

Last modified on Thursday, 29 May 2014 15:02