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EMV Standard and Smart Chip cards

by Intuit Updated 3 months ago

Learn the basics and understand the importance of shifting to EMV in this article.

What is EMV?

EMV is the global standard for smart card payments and acceptance devices and was named after the original developers, Europay, MasterCard and Visa.  EMV refers to smart or chip cards that contain an embedded chip or microprocessor, which provides stronger security features and other capabilities that are not possible with traditional magnetic stripe cards.

Why is EMV important?

EMV provides merchants with increased fraud protection from counterfeit, lost or stolen cards, because the embedded chip is more secure than the traditional magnetic stripe technology.  The chip in EMV enabled cards generates a unique one-time code that cannot be replicated by counterfeit cards.  EMV has already been adopted in many countries, and the United States transitioned to EMV chip cards in October 2015.  That means that if you swipe a fraudulent EMV/chip card with a magnetic stripe reader today, you could be liable for that charge.

What is the difference between Chip & PIN and Chip & Signature?

Chip & PIN and Chip & Signature are two types of chip cards in the market.  Chip & PIN requires a PIN to complete the transaction and any data stolen from the merchant is useless because the transaction data expires after it leaves the Chip & PIN reader.  Chip & Signature requires a customer signature to complete the transaction. In the U.S., most card companies are only offering Chip & Signature. Chip cards also have the same magnetic stripes as non-chip cards and may be used in the traditional methods of swipe or key entry, but these transactions will not have the additional security protections provided through EMV card readers.

What does this mean for my business?

If you’re concerned about fraudulent credit card transactions, you may want to get an EMV reader.  Using an EMV device to read the microchip will authenticate that the credit card is valid, which reduces your liability for fraudulent transactions.

Some questions to consider in deciding if you need an EMV-compatible reader:

  • Do you sell to customers that you don’t know?
  • Do you sell expensive items?
  • If you accept a fraudulent credit card and can’t collect the funds, would that have a material impact on your business?

What do I need to do?

It’s your choice. You can switch to an EMV card reader. Or, you can do nothing and continue to accept credit cards as you always have, but with increased liability for fraudulent transactions resulting from counterfeit cards. EMV readers are now available for QuickBooks GoPayment. We will inform you if and when other EMV products become available.  If you use our GoPayment app to collect payments, the mobile QuickBooks Payments Card Reader is available for $49 and you can purchase it here.

Will I be liable for fraud losses related to the EMV liability shift?

Starting August 15, 2016, if you process a counterfeit or stolen EMV chip card using a magnetic swipe card reader using the GoPayment app, or via online Merchant Service Center, you may be responsible for any chargebacks and fees resulting from the fraud.  We encourage you to get the new EMV card reader as soon as possible to reduce your EMV-related fraud losses when processing card-present transactions.  If you are a QuickBooks Payments customer and use QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop (Pro, Premier), or QuickBooks Enterprise, powered by Revel Systems with a magnetic swipe card reader and you unknowingly accept a counterfeit or stolen EMV card in a card present transaction, Intuit will continue to cover EMV fraud liability resulting from such fraud until further notice.

Having problems with your new EMV card reader?

If after receiving your reader you are unable to charge a card click here for more help.

Do I need to worry about EMV if I do not accept card payments in person?

If you plan on processing card present transactions in the future, you may consider ordering an EMV card reader to reduce your liability for counterfeit or stolen EMV/chip cards. If you only key in credit card data instead of swiping cards, you will not be affected by the EMV liability shift, but you should always be aware of the ways to prevent fraud when processing online or phone transactions. More information is available in this link.

EMV compliance is not a law and it is up to each business to decide if upgrading to EMV card readers is right for them.  Although it is optional, EMV will help protect your business by providing increased fraud protection from counterfeit, lost or stolen cards, because the embedded chip is more secure than the traditional magnetic stripe technology.

EMV transactions will take longer than traditional magnetic stripe cards, because the EMV device reads the microchip to help authenticate that the credit card is valid.  During that authentication process, the chip card has to be inserted into the device for the entire transaction, which involves back and forth communication.

Where can I learn more?

QuickBooks AppsQuickBooks DesktopQuickBooks Online AdvancedQuickBooks Online EssentialsQuickBooks Online PlusQuickBooks Online Simple StartQuickBooks Online SolopreneurQuickBooks Payments

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