By now, you've heard the term "EMV is coming." by the army of merchant service reps knocking on your business doors and calling you a dozen times a day. The reality is, it is coming. The question is when. In October of next year (2015), there will be a shift in merchant liability. At that time, credit card processors will be responsible for fraud losses that occur when a cardholder (your customer) is forced to pay using a magnetic strip instead of a chip card. Notice your credit cards now have both a magnetic strip and a chip. That's because businesses currently have the option to swipe credit cards using existing Point of Sale (POS) technology if they dont have an EMV-compatible device. To be clear, EMV is not a mandate by the card brands (Visa/MC/Disc, Amex, etc.) or the government. Merchants have a choice.
Although many payment device companies are incorporating EMV technology into their terminal designs, it may be a tough sell to enforce the conversion on a specific date with business owners unwilling to spend money on new equipment. That being said, we anticipate Visa and MasterCard will provide a number of incentives to encourage US merchants to transition to EMV—including an opportunity to skip annual PCI compliance validation. After all, EMV cards are much more secure than traditional magnetic stripe cards because the chip significantly reduces opportunities for card payment fraud at the POS.