Article | November 17, 2014

EMV: What It Really Does For Retailers

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EMV Steps For SMB Merchants

By Dave Oder, President/Chief Executive Officer, Shift4 Corporation

In the wake of the massive retail data breaches we’ve seen over the past 12 months, the organizations behind EMV (also known as Chip and PIN or smart cards) have become very vocal in promoting EMV’s ability to secure credit card data. Unfortunately, not everything we’re hearing about the technology is true.

The first great misconception many retailers have about EMV is that it will stop the tide of breaches. Based on the nature of EMV technology, we have no reason to believe that Chip and PIN technology would have prevented any of the major breaches of the past year. The card brands and major banks that support EMV are capitalizing on the industry’s heightened fear of breaches to advance their EMV agenda, when in fact this technology is only a small part of the solution necessary to stop these attacks.

Why All the Hype?

Starting in October of next year, any merchant that doesn’t have certified EMV payment terminals in place will lose the protection they have long enjoyed against fraud losses. This may explain why the card brands and banks that have historically absorbed billions of dollars in annual fraud costs are funding PR campaigns to convince us all that EMV is the silver bullet for card data security when industry experts agree that it is not; it is going to save them billions. But what does it do for retailers?

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