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Credit Card Processing: From Magnetic Stripes to EMV

A large number of problems, issues, and conspiracies revolving around credit card processing led to standardizing all credit card transactions according to a new format, EMV.

Named after its introducers, EuroPay, MasterCard, and Visa, the credit card processing technologies around the world will be taken over by EMV latest by October 2015. All merchants, merchant account holders, and merchant account services will be subjected to new EMV standards and most importantly, it will indicate a shift from magnetic stripe cards to chip based cards.

The new chip based cards would be inserted in a terminal to use them, and this is why a major behavioral change is expected in retailers, alongside customers.

“EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, a global standard for inter-operation of integrated circuit cards (IC cards or “chip cards”) and IC card capable point of sale (POS) terminals and automated teller machines (ATMs), for authenticating credit and debit card transactions”

Migrating To EMV

The most important and might even the most difficult part about EMV is migrating to an entirely new mode of payments. Some businesses might find it overwhelming adapting to a new payment option, but the benefits outweighs the difficulties. Here are some practices you can implement to migrate to EMV:

Don’t Wait To Move To EMV

You might feel the pressure when a large number of merchants and merchant service providers have migrated to EMV, as banks would start to issue out new cards to customers and there would not be more time to adjust then. Businesses that haven’t already migrated to EMV might find themselves answering customers as to why the service still needs to swipe the customer’s new chip and pin cards, especially when EMV is being introduced as a safer mode off payment.

Train And Adapt

You might also need to train the entire staff and skillfully adapt to the new technology as payment with EMV is a lot different. Contrary to the previous swipe method, customers now need to insert their card into a terminal and enter a pin. To make the customer experience as smooth as possible, you need to be sure that everyone on your end is familiar with the new technology.

Have A Plan In Place

One of the major reasons behind this major move to EMV is security, however, fraud prevention alone might not be able to deliver an acceptable ROI, for the effort required to implement this technology. The equipment and hardware costs can also be too overwhelming for some;  therefore it is best to start early.

Get a business plan together even before the implementation begins. This way you will be able to achieve other important benefits when moving your current equipment and software.

Although small business owners are still not required to move to EMV in the US at this point, but it would be in their best interests. Gradually, when majority of merchants and merchant account services have shifted to EMV, this will leave magnetic stripes more prone to being targeted for fraudulent activities.

Moreover, as issuing banks give out chip and pin cards to customers, they are also going to be looking for newer payment options. Therefore, you may want to ensure that you all the terminals are chip capable and your payment acceptance system can process chip cards.

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