Merchant Chip Card - EMV Frequently Asked Questions

Did you know that you may be liable for fraud if you don’t update or replace your current terminal to a chip-enabled terminal?

The payment industry rules are changing. Starting October 2015, merchants that accept chip cards via a chip-enable terminal will be better protected from fraud losses resulting from in person counterfeit magnetic stripe card transactions. However, if merchant payment terminals are not chip-enabled for in person transactions, the loss and liability will likely shift to merchants if a counterfeit debit card or credit card is presented at non chip-enabled terminal. For more information regarding the liability shift call our processing partner Merchants’ Choice Payment Solutions at 800-327-0093.

What is a chip card?

Chip cards, also known as EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) cards, are payment cards that that have an embedded chip. Chip cards are based on a global card payment standard called EMV, currently used in more than 80 countries. There are more than 3.4 billion chip cards issued across the globe. Learn more at emv-connection.com/merchants

Why are chip card transactions more secure?

Chip card transactions offer advanced security for in person payments by making every transaction unique and are virtually impossible to counterfeit or copy. If the card data and the one-time code are stolen, the information cannot be used to create counterfeit cards and commit fraud.

When am I liable?

Merchants will generally be held liable for fraudulent transactions when a chip card is presented for payment but the merchant does not have a chip-enabled terminal and is only able to process magnetic stripe transactions. Fraud liability for lost or stolen cards varies by payment network.

How do I know if my terminal is chip card-enabled?

Chip-enabled terminals have the same features you are used to with a payment terminal, with the addition of a slot for the customer to insert their card. The slot is typically located at the bottom or the top of the payment terminal. To ensure your terminal is chip-enabled, contact your local branch, our processing partner Merchants’ Choice Payment Solutions at 800-327-0093 or our Woodforest Merchant Group at 888-584-2265 or 832-375-2820.

What if the terminal doesn’t accept chip cards?

Chip cards will still have a magnetic stripe on the back, so even if a terminal is not yet chip -enabled, customers can use their card as they do today. Contact your local branch to discuss Terminal or PIN Pad options to enable your terminal to accept chip cards to avoid the liability shift. The Fraud Liability Shift is not a mandate, so there is no penalty if you do not have a chip-enabled terminal. However, if you do not have a chip-enabled terminal by October 2015, you may be at risk of higher liability if counterfeit cards are presented to any of your terminals.

How do I know if a customer has a chip card?

The customer’s card will have chip on the front of it. The magnetic stripe remains on the back.

How will a customer know if the terminal accepts chip cards?

Chip-enabled terminals have all of the features you are used to with a payment terminal, with the addition of a slot to insert your card. The slot is typically located at the bottom or the top of the payment terminal. If the terminal is chip-enabled, it will prompt them to insert it instead of swipe.

I have chip-enabled terminals. When do I tell my customers?

You should communicate with customers before, during, and after implementation of chip-enabled terminals.

  • Before: Focus on training cashiers and staff to help customers complete a transaction.
  • During: Focus on the customer experience; cashiers and staff can advise customers to follow prompts and help them with insertion and removal of the chip card.
  • After: Focus on customer experience; continue to provide training for cashiers and staff as necessary.

How is a chip card used at the terminal?

If the terminal is chip-enabled, it will prompt the customer to insert it instead. If you have chip-enabled terminals and you see that your customer has a chip card, you can tell them to insert their card for a chip transaction. These basic steps will help your customers complete a transactions successfully in your store.

     

1)  The customer should insert their card with the chip toward the terminal, facing up. The chip card should not be removed until the customer is prompted by the terminal.

  

2)  The customer will provide their signature or PIN as prompted by the terminal. Some transaction may not require either.

 

3)  When the terminal says the transaction is complete, the customer can remove their card.

If the customer has questions, remind them to follow the prompts on the terminal and leave their card inserted until prompted to remove.

Can customers still pay in store if they don’t have a chip card?

  

Yes, chip-enabled terminals will still accept magnetic stripe card payments for customers who do not have a chip card.

During the transition to chip, customers are being told to swipe their card as they normally would and follow the prompts.

Is my POS system chip card enabled?

Contact your POS provider to verify they are chip card compatible. Please refer to your POS terminal for contact information for the POS provider.

For more information regarding the liability shift call our processing partner Merchants’ Choice Payment Solutions at 800-327-0093.

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