A Snapshot of EMV Compliance in Action—Cautionary Tales of Disparity and Misinformation

We all know that EMV chip cards are now the gold standard for secure payment processing, and Advanced Payment Solutions has long been educating our clients on why this transition is so important for their businesses. If you’re still confused about EMV cards, you’re not alone. Likewise, your employees may be even more misinformed about how these new rules for credit card transaction security affect your business. We believe many owners are struggling to get on board and comply with EMV. To get a picture of how businesses across multiple industries are handling the EMV transition, we asked a team member to report about her day-to-day payment transactions in her own community and see how frontline employees handled payments. Here are the places she visited and her perceptions of her experiences, as well as how employees seemed to know EMV:

  • Major national retailer—She reported this company seemed on point with EMV. The terminals were up and running, accepting both debit and credit chip cards. Transaction times proceeded quickly, though she did report that the terminal gave an unpleasant sound, almost like a danger warning, when indicating card removal.
  • Regional grocery store—Despite the presence of EMV terminals, this retailer still had not implemented the process, so she had to swipe her credit card. Employees had no idea when or if EMV capabilities would be enabled on the terminals.
  • National home improvement retailer—In a strange turn of events, this retailer was able to process EMV cards as credit, but not debit cards. When she questioned the employee, she was told that EMV was always supposed to be for credit cards only and that no debit cards can be processed, even if they are chip cards. When she pointed out that other retailers process both types of transactions, the employee was adamant that EMV is a credit-only concept.
  • Small, local business—This business had the very basic credit card reader typical of this type and size of operation. However, it was still EMV enabled and employees were well-versed in payment processing.
  • National bookstore chain—She reported that this establishment had EMV-compatible terminals, but they were not enabled and she had to swipe her card. Employees also had no clue when or if the policy would change.

Our team member experience showed how even the largest businesses surprisingly still struggle with EMV, yet some smaller businesses adapt easily. We were surprised at the disparity in EMV knowledge and practice, which is why we are so committed to educating and empowering our own clients in order to embrace EMV compliance. As your leader in credit card processing risk management solutions, AVPS wants to help your business, and prevent you from becoming one of these cautionary tales of poor EMV transitions.  To learn more, contact us for assistance.

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