As a consumer you probably worry about data breaches, like the one that resulted in 40 million card numbers being stolen from Target. Well, as a result of recent Mastercard and Visa changes now you need to worry as a business owner too. But if you have a chip card reader, you are protected!  You might not have realized it, but October 1, 2015 was a big day for businesses across America. That was the day that businesses were expected to use chip readers instead of swiping, all in the name of beefed up security. Credit card issuers like Mastercard and Visa transferred the fraud liability to any merchant that was not using a chip reader. This meant if you swiped a card and it was used fraudulently, you the merchant would be liable.

What is EMV?

EMV stands for “Europay, MasterCard and Visa.” EMV set out to create world-wide standardized protocols for “integrated circuit” cards and the hardware necessary to accept these cards. EMV are also known as chip cards.  In 2005 chip cards became the status quo in the Europe, and in 2012 Canada joined.  These chip cards are manufactured with a small integrated chip in the card.  Payment data is read from this chip instead of from the magnetic stripe.

How does the EMV payment terminal protect against fraud? 

The magnetic stripe on traditional credit and debit cards store unchanging data.  Whoever accesses that data gains the sensitive card and cardholder information necessary to make purchases. That makes traditional cards prime targets for counterfeiters, who convert stolen card data to cash.  Unlike magnetic stripe cards, the chip generates a unique cryptogram for every authorization, making it theoretically impossible to duplicate an approval code to commit fraud.  If a hacker stole the chip information from one specific point of sale, typical card duplication would never work because the stolen transaction number created in that instance would not be usable again and the card would be declined.


Switching to an EMV payment terminal will decrease chargebacks and reduce fraud.  It is not expensive nor difficult to switch to an EMV payment terminal and the protection that the switch will provide you with is well worth the cost.