EMV Payments Are Coming. What Do You Need to Know?

Practically every country in the world has fully transitioned from magnetic stripe cards to EMV-enabled credit cards—except for the United States. Named for the three companies that created it—Europay, Mastercard, and Visa—EMV is a tiny chip embedded in many payment cards. It is virtually impossible to counterfeit and offers much stronger security features than most American cards. As its popularity grows, bankers and business consultants will be critical in helping small businesses make the transition toward EMV payments — and a more secure future.

Why EMV?

EMV is the name for the secure chip embedded in more than 2 billion payment cards worldwide. The vast majority of these chipped cards still haven’t arrived on the US market. The reason for their popularity is simple: they dramatically reduce card fraud. Although the technology still isn’t widely known, EMV is too beneficial for Americans to overlook much longer.

Did You Know?


The United States accounts for only a quarter of the world’s card transactions, yet more than half of all fraudulent card transactions happen here.


Expect losses due to card fraud in this country to top over $10 billion in 2015.


Credit card fraud rates have doubled in recent years, representing 10 cents out of every $100 transacted.

-27% FRAUD

Europe has already greatly reduced card fraud with EMV. For instance, fraud in the UK dropped 27% between 2007 and 2012 — when EMV cards became widely accepted in that country.

The Impact of EMV on Small Merchant Businesses

What happens if a consumer uses an EMV chip card and the merchant doesn’t have an EMV-compliant terminal? If the transaction is found to be fraudulent, the liability for any charges is left with the merchant.

What’s the main reason business owners cite for not upgrading? A lack of knowledge about EMV payments. However, by shifting to EMV, your customers minimize the damage they’d experience from card fraud for card-present transactions, if it were to happen.

Merchants can either eliminate risk by upgrading their systems, or they can do nothing and risk major losses to potential card fraud. More consumers will gravitate towards EMV payments as they become aware of EMV’s strong data protection. If a merchant isn’t ready to accept EMV payments, it will translate into lost business—business that most small merchants can’t afford to lose.

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