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How the Move to EMV Benefits Your Business

Key Takeaways

  • The chip in debit and credit cards generates a unique code for every transaction that keeps account information encrypted.
  • If a customer has a chip card but a business doesn’t accept them, the business will be held liable for losses from stolen data.
  • Look into terminals that accept not only EMV cards but also contactless mobile payments.

EMV card readers have increasingly become the norm for businesses that take credit card payments on-site, and most customers are now used to “dipping” instead of swiping.

If you haven’t made the transition to chip card readers, consider the following ways that accepting these more secure cards can protect your business.

Why is EMV so much safer?

The chip in debit and credit cards generates a unique code every time it’s inserted into a terminal with a chip reader. The code is specific to the transaction and cannot be used afterward, and account information transmitted during the sale is encrypted.

By contrast, swipe transactions use the data that’s permanently encoded in the magnetic stripe on older cards, so criminals can create counterfeit or cloned cards and use them for swipe transactions. In addition, the account data on the magnetic stripe is captured by the reader as is, making it more vulnerable to data theft.

How does the card industry’s transition to EMV affect businesses?

If your customer has a chip card but you still use the old magnetic stripe reader, your business will be held liable for any losses from stolen data. Another risk: criminals always seek out the easiest targets for fraud. With so many merchants installing the high-security readers, holdouts become an even more tempting target.

What’s the best way to upgrade terminals?

Businesses should reach out to their current card processing provider or business banker with questions about upgrades so they can find out exactly what is required. Most merchant service providers offer EMV-capable terminals.

If you’re going to upgrade your equipment, consider adapting to other emerging customer preferences at the same time. Look into terminals that accept not only EMV cards but contactless mobile payments as well. Offering multiple payment options makes it more convenient for customers to make quick purchases and may help drive up sales.

What does this mean for online transactions?

EMV has made in-person fraud more difficult, so online fraud — where the card is not presented to the merchant — has become an easier target. When you upgrade terminals, take the opportunity to review the safety of your online transactions. Merchant service specialists can advise you on adding tokenization or fraud-protection systems that replace sensitive information with a string of meaningless characters.

The bottom line

If you haven’t switched to chip card readers, consider the benefits of starting your transition soon. Your business will be better protected against losses and you may be able to give your customers more convenient payment options.

More information

We are committed to helping your business reach its potential. Our dedicated business banking professionals can help you find the right product to match your business’ needs. To learn more about Citizens Bank Merchant Services, please call 1-800-428-7463, visit us online, or visit your nearest Citizens Bank branch.

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