EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and VISA, the global standard for inter-operation of integrated circuit cards (IC cards or “chip cards”) and IC card capable point of sale (POS) terminals and automated teller machines (ATMs), for authenticating credit and debit card transactions.
Merchant Account Services in Canada
In recent years, the emergence of point of sale terminals in the industry has changed the face of business as we know it. It is now highly unlikely that a merchant who does not offer their customer the capability of paying for goods and services with their debit or credit cards, will be more likely to fail in their business overall. Especially retail driven companies who depend on a high volume of sales. The banks deregulated years ago, creating a free market for providers to compete and drive the industry. The result of this is a many number of providers, and manufacturers to fill the need for these physical machines.
Though the technological change in transaction processing has been astronomical, the change in the physical pos machine itself has not been. Actually, since their inception in the early 80’s, nothing other than aesthetic preferences has altered the terminals themselves. Yes, there are a variety of colors and styles, but the software, the basic function of swiping a card to initiate a payment has remained unchanged….until now.
Credit Card Processing Security
We all have debit and credit cards with the “black stripe” on them. This has been the security information and up to now, has been an essential part of transaction processing. Basically, this is how the machines read the account information. But just as the truth is with all technology, for every new convenience and method there is a “hacker” trying to debug someone’s information for criminal intent. So the security measure of the black stripe has been compromised in the past. Chalk it up to the cost of doing business….but at the same time, industry thrives on necessity, and if there is a need to make these methods more secure, then the industry will respond.
EMV Certified – Chip Cards
This brings us to our newly incepted, modern day Chip or IC cards! Now, instead of the black stripe, the cards themselves are out fitted with the tiniest of micro chips that again, doubles as the security and information processor on the card itself. So, for the first time in 20 or so years, the merchants now have a reason to update or upgrade their physical terminals.
Now, the technical terminology for Chip Cards is linked to the definition above…in order for the terminal to be able to accept the chip card and “dip” the card instead of swiping it, the terminal and provider needs to be EMV certified. This allows the system to read the chip and utilize its security and information function so the merchant can now accept the transactions by dipping the card, not swiping.
EMV Certified – How Secure is It?
The security is not yet 100%. As mentioned above, with every new emergence of technology, a way to undo it closely follows, so dipping cards exclusively will probably not take over industry wide for another 4-5 years or so, by which time it will be the standard and cards with the black stripe will no longer be issued.
Yup, merchant services are not protected from the growth and improvement of technology, quiet the opposite; considering the sensitive nature of their functions, POS terminals and machines have to be at the fore front by using the most secure technology: EMV Certified POS Terminals.