Frequent Asked Questions about EMV® Europay, MasterCard®, Visa®

What is EMV?
EMV stands for Europay MasterCard Visa, but really is just the term used for chip cards. A chip card is a card with a mini-computer or microprocessor included in the chip in the card. Chip cards have been in use outside the United States for several years.

Are businesses required to accept EMV?
It is not a requirement at this time. However, businesses may be liable for the cost of card-present, counterfeit fraud transactions after October 1, 2015.

What is NFC and how is it related to EMV?
NFC stands for Near Field Communication, which enables contactless payments. It is the short-range transmission of two-way communication between a chip card or a payment from a mobile wallet, such as Apple PayTM. The card or mobile phone is tapped or held near the reader; information is exchanged to complete the transaction.A chip card can in some instances also be read as a contactless transaction via NFC when held near the reader. Typically, updated, credit card machines and PIN pads are enabled to accept both chip (EMV) and contactless (NFC) transactions. That is the primary relationship between EMV and NFC.

What is the liability shift?
The liability shift begins in October 2015. If a chip card is presented and a business is unable to read it as a chip card, and the transaction/card is later deemed counterfeit – the business will be out the cost of goods/services sold and will need to reimburse the issuer of the card. It also works the other way – if a cardholder doesn’t have a chip card, but the merchant is set up to accept EMV and the card is counterfeit – the issuer is liable. Basically, the entity that does not support EMV is liable for card-present counterfeit card fraud.

Will EMV prevent a data breach?
No, but it will reduce lost, stolen and counterfeit fraud.

Can a chip card holder swipe their transaction?
Only if for some reason the chip cannot be read. If everything is working appropriately, the cardholder will almost always be prompted to insert their card to complete the transaction.

How can I order a PIN pad?
Current customers can contact one of our experienced representatives at 888-679-0240. If you are not yet a customer – contact our Merchant Advocate Team at 800-354-3988.

Can I key enter a chip card?
Technically, yes you can key enter a chip card number. However, beware key entering a chip card will not protect the merchant from the liability shift in the event of a counterfeit fraudulent transaction and the rate for key entered transactions is a higher rate for the merchant.

Who does a chip cardholder need to contact if they don't know their PIN?
Cardholders should contact the bank that issued their card to get their PIN. They will not be able to pay with their chip card if they do not know their PIN and are prompted to enter it.

What do I do if I need an EMV payment solution gateway? (POS)
Customers can contact one of our experienced representatives at 888-679-0240. If you are not yet a customer please contact our Merchant Advocate Team at 800-354-3988.

Will this cost me more?
TSYS Merchant SolutionsSM does not charge any additional fees for accepting EMV chip cards. You may, however, need to invest in a new card reader, POS software or credit card machine.

Will my fees go down?
Your processing fees will not go down, but you may see fewer chargebacks and fraud and thus retain more of your revenue.

Do I still need to validate PCI compliance?
Yes. Absolutely. Chip card acceptance and PCI validation go hand in hand toward protecting your business from fraud and data security breaches.

If I accept chip cards am I exempt from any fraudulent transactions?
You are not exempt from fraudulent transactions, but you may see a reduction in fraud due to the advanced security features in chip cards.

What is a chargeback?
Assessed when a cardholder or issuing bank disputes a transaction that you processed. You can be notified of the dispute via mail, email or fax. Common dispute reasons are: your customer doesn't recognize the charge, someone fraudulently used their card or when the product or service sold did not perform as described. You have the opportunity to contest disputes by providing written response and documentation.

Is there any material to train my employees?

  • Accepting a chip card on the iCT 250 [video]
  • Accepting a chip card in the iCT 250 [Restaurant & Retail]
  • Updating your current check out area to accept chip cards [blog]
  • Updating your current check out area to accept chip cards [video]
  • EMV - The Basics

Additional resources for EMV chip card acceptance are available at each of the card brand websites: Visa®, MasterCard®, Discover®, and American Express®

What happens if an EMV transaction fails?
In the event that the POS terminal cannot correctly read the chip card, the terminal will prompt to swipe the card. This is referred to as “Fallback”.

Can EMV transactions take place online?
Not at this time.

Will migrating to EMV reduce all chargeback types?
No, it will not reduce all chargebacks.

How does my customer insert their card if my credit card machine is behind the counter?
You will need a POS system or credit card machine that supports chip cards.See a few other considerations.

What happens if a company doesn’t migrate to EMV by the liability shift deadline?
The liability shift begins in October 2015. If a chip card is presented and a business is unable to read it as a chip card, and the transaction/card is later deemed counterfeit – the business will be out the cost of goods/services sold and will need to reimburse the issuer of the card. It also works the other way – if a cardholder doesn’t have a chip card, but the merchant is set up to accept EMV and the card is counterfeit – the issuer is liable. Basically, the entity that does not support EMV is liable for card-present counterfeit card fraud.

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