What You Should Know About a Chip Card

a blue chip card for payment processing

Chances are, your bank has already issued you a new credit or debit card with a square chip card implanted in it. But do you know how to use it? Even more importantly, do you know how to let your customers use it at your business?

Chip cards are the payment processing wave of the future. But before they can really take hold, there are a few things payment service providers want you to know about them.

What is an EMV Chip Card?

“EMV” stands for “Europay, Mastercard, and Visa,” the companies that set out more than a decade ago to develop standardized protocols and hardware for the new technology.

Chip cards have been used throughout the European Union since 2005 and in Canada since 2012. Really, U.S. businesses are lagging behind in their credit card payment processors, since many terminals still don’t offer chip readers.

That’s increasingly changing, however. Payment service providers have begun to put pressure on merchants to upgrade to EMV technology, since they provide more security and universal access.

How Do Chip Cards Provide Better Security?

Unlike the magnetic stripe we’re all used to swiping at the payment gateway, the data transmitted through a chip is processed differently every time, making it more difficult for fraud attackers to duplicate. The chip itself is also much harder to counterfeit.

There are still some drawbacks, however. For instance, chip cards do nothing to enhance online credit card payment processing protection. But hopefully, they’ll provide a more secure solution for brick-and-mortar stores, which still make up 94% of all retail sales.

What If I Don’t Want a New Card Reader?

Right now, there’s no law saying you have to provide EMV terminals. You can continue to rely on magnetic stripes, since all major cards still come with the feature.

But there are potential liability fees. If fraud is detected at your business during a transaction with a chip-enabled card, you may be held responsible. The logic is that the enhanced security features of EMV might have otherwise prevented the fraud from happening in the first place. This might be a big “if,” but for the cost of upgrading to a new credit card reader, you won’t have to worry about it at all.

If you’re ready to make the change or still have questions about EMV, contact our payment service providers for more information.