The EMV Liability Shift is Here - Three Key Changes To Expect

For those in the retail and payments industries, today—October 1, 2015—is a game-changing day. Both businesses and card brands have been working to update payment terminals and credit cards to be EMV-ready, and now, the liability shift deadline is upon us. Starting today, US retailers using non-EMV-compliant technology will be held responsible if a fraudulent transaction using a chip card is performed at their store.

To make sure businesses are ready for all the changes happening this October, we’ve outlined three things that will be different with EMV.

Payment Security Will Get an Upgrade

The United States is one of the last countries to adopt chip card technology. It’s also home to 47 percent of the world’s fraud (with only 23 percent of total global purchases). EMV’s mission is to change those statistics and make paying at US businesses safer. Using the chip that’s embedded inside each card, a conversation happens between the card and the payment terminal to authenticate each purchase in a more sophisticated way than magnetic stripe cards. Since a unique transaction-identifying code is used each time, it’s easier to pinpoint fraudulent transactions.

Businesses that haven’t already upgraded to an EMV-ready terminal, however, could soon become an easy target for hackers as more and more retailers become prepared. If you need to double check your EMV readiness, we’ve created a short assessment to help.

Old Habits Could Die Hard

It’ll likely take some time for shoppers to switch from automatically swiping their cards to dipping them, instead. Cashiers should pay careful attention when a customer is about to pay, and if they’re sporting a chip-enabled card, instruct them on the correct way to complete the transaction. Shoppers will also need to resist the urge to remove their card from the machine before the transaction is completed,. Otherwise, they’ll need to start the process again.

Since some individuals have yet to receive EMV cards, all payment terminals in the United States will still allow that familiar swipe for now, but ensuring shoppers who are able pay by dipping actually do so will make the checkout process more secure.

Customer Questions Are Inevitable

A cashier’s job may not be done after instructing a shopper how to dip their card instead of swipe it. Odds are, as the industry adjusts to EMV, customers’ curiosity will be at an all-time high. For that reason, it’s important to make sure sales associates are equipped with answers about how EMV can keep customers’ sensitive card information safe, and can make a strong case that any extra time at the register is well worth the wait—even if it requires a bit more small talk than usual.

What is your business doing to make sure the transition to EMV is a smooth one? Leave a comment or send us a tweet @Cayan and let us know!

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