Criminals are tireless. No rest for those wicked souls, right? Wrong. They’ll have no choice but to rest once their efforts at fraud are thwarted by an EMV smart card reader!
These criminals… they will stop at nothing until they figure out a way to get as much information about consumers as they can to use for their own gain.
One of the biggest threats to consumer safety is credit card fraud. It has become very easy for fraudsters to gain access to credit card users’ personal information through their credit card accounts. Traditional magnetic stripe cards make it too easy for them.
Magnetic stripe cards are the commonly accepted form of credit card here in the United States and it has been this way for years. Consumers have always known there was a risk involved in using credit cards, but they didn’t realize until the last few years how serious this risk has become.
When large retailers like Target and Home Depot had their databases invaded and their customers’ personal credit card information stolen, this risk came into full-on 20/20 vision for everyone. It was time for a change.
Well, the change is happening right now! Credit card companies are finally transitioning all credit cards to what is called an EMV smart card. These smart cards have been in use in every other major market in the world for several years now. The United States is the last one to finally jump ship from traditional magnetic stripe cards.
Well, sort of.
The new EMV cards have a tiny microchip embedded in them which stores the user’s sensitive information and encrypts the data it holds. They create a unique code for each transaction performed which can only be used once.
The difference for your business is you need to have the proper equipment to accept these smart card payments. EMV smart card readers are slightly different than traditional swipe readers. The main difference might be a subtle one if your customer isn’t paying attention.
These new payment terminals have a slot built into them (usually below the PIN pad) your customer will insert their smart card into.
Everything else should look the same or similar to the old terminals. The PIN pad, signature screen, and swiper will all be there too.
Once your customer inserts or “dips” their smart card into the smart card reader, the microchip and the terminal can “talk” to each other. This “conversation” involves the microchip communicating with the financial institution connected to it and the verification process begins. The customer will enter a PIN number (known only to them) or sign on the signature screen to authorize the purchase.
It takes a few moments for verification and the transaction is complete. The customer can remove their card and take their goods with them.
These new EMV smart card readers will still have the magnetic stripe portion on them for customers who don’t yet have an EMV smart card yet.
There is a push to have EMV smart cards only usable through the entering of a PIN number and eventually this will be the case. But for the time being, smart cards in the United States will still have the magnetic stripe on them and the signature option will be used with cards which aren’t PIN activated.
These EMV smart card readers vary in price. For small businesses, their banking institution should provide them with replacement readers. Obviously the bigger the retailer or business, the higher the cost to replace payment terminals will be.
Why do you need these EMV readers? Well, besides the fact it is now a requirement, it will soon be the only way for your brick-and-mortar business to accept credit card payments. Without these EMV smart card readers, you will be left behind the new wave of smart credit cards. Don’t shoot your business in the foot. Jump on board!
The deadline for businesses to have this new equipment and technology installed in the U.S. was October 1, 2015. This deadline proved difficult to meet for a lot of businesses in the States for various reasons.
Part of the reason is certain financial institutions have yet to switch their customers’ cards to the new EMV cards and are waiting until the cards expire to make the full switch. It is a massive cost for credit card companies, banks, and businesses to make the shift. Each in their own respective ways.
For businesses, the hardware and software changes can be very expensive to purchase and install. The best thing for small businesses to do is space the expense out over a scheduled time frame. Then they aren’t hit with a massive expense all at once.
Ultimately, this change will save your business money. It will drastically reduce fraudulent purchases your business could potentially be held liable for. It will also help put your customer’s minds at ease knowing their personal information is more secure.
An EMV smart card reader for your business is not only required, it’s necessary to reduce fraud. This is the whole point of this transition to EMV!
If you have any questions or want an incredibly affordable smart card reader, give RedFynn’s super friendly and helpful support a call at (888) 510-9871.