We've gotten a few questions about the upcoming changes regarding credit card processing and the upcoming EMV liability shift, and thought it best to address them.
What is EMV?
EMV is the term for the style of credit cards with a chip built into them. While these cards as currently issued have magnetic stripes for backwards compatibility, if being used with an EMV reader they are simply inserted into the reader and information is read off the chip.
What is the benefit of EMV?
When used at the point of sale, with proper equipment, it is vastly more difficult to counterfeit the chip card in comparison to recoding a magnetic stripe.
What is the liability shift?
Unlike baseline PCI compliance, there is not a strict deadline for converting to EMV currently scheduled. Rather, in October, there is what's being referred to as a liability shift.
What this means is that if there is an incident that using EMV could have prevented, and the merchant does not use EMV, the loss of that transaction will fall on the merchant. There are not fines beyond that loss of merchandise. This can mean, if your merchandise and average sales are relatively low, that the increased time to do transactions and cost of the EMV do not make it worth the cost - it is not very likely that you will see roadside hotdog stands using EMV for credit card transactions in the near future.
When will an EMV solution become available within ExtremePOS, Musicware and Praiz?
The solution with Mercury Payment Systems and Datacap has very recently become available to developers, and we are working on integrating to it now. We are anticipating an update including it becoming available at some point in September.
What will I need to use this solution?
First, you'll need to be using, or start using, integrated payments. If you're using a separate terminal for your credit cards, you'll want to contact the provider for information about their EMV solutions.
Second, you'll need to be on the upcoming version of ExtremePOS, Musicware, or Praiz. If you are not on support, you'll need to purchase an update.
Third, you'll need to get the relevant hardware, most notably an EMV pin pad that has been prepared to work with your processor. Information on pricing and models will be forthcoming. The devices we will be selling will be serial port devices; you'll need to check for an open serial port on each computer you want to have an EMV pin pad.