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Retailers Should Prepare Now for Chip-Based Credit Card Standards

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Technology

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/// Guest post by contributor Dan Hudson, First Data

Payment industry experts generally agree that a chip-based standard, also called EMV, for credit cards will come to the U.S., but predictions of when and in what form vary. While there is no government-enforced mandate at this time, Visa and MasterCard have come out with directives on implementing smart card technologies, and more announcements will likely come.

Retailers of all sizes are starting their education process and beginning to formulate plans to understand what chip-based payment enablement means to them and options for accepting chip-based credit and debit cards.

In order to accept smart cards, retailers would be responsible for upgrading/replacing their POS devices, which comes with a price tag. The cost of an EMV terminal will be determined by the features, functionality, quality, support and form.

As long as you’re updating your POS devices, you’ll want to future-proof your investment as much as possible, which means you’ll have to decide whether or not to deploy contactless along with a contact connection. Many manufacturers and payments players are adding new functionalities into the EMV-enabled equipment to be ready for future innovations. Most EMV-enabled POS equipment will include contactless technology, allowing merchants to accept contactless and mobile payments which will provide a higher level of convenience for customers and will speed up the check-out time.

Merchants also will need to coordinate with their acquirer/processor to accommodate the transaction messaging for EMV-based payments. More data is sent to the acquirer in an EMV-compliant transaction than is sent in a conventional transaction. Both message types will need to be supported while merchants continue to accept magnetic stripe cards along with the new EMV cards and contactless devices. 

As EMV is deployed, there will be procedural changes at the POS. Customers who are unfamiliar with the chip-based cards, phones and fobs will need to be shown the proper way to insert or tap their cards in or over the devices and then to authenticate their identification. Employees will need to understand these new procedures in order to help customers and to explain the security benefits as customers complain or ask questions.

To begin preparing for EMV transactions, you’ll want to engage a POS provider and begin assessing what a smart card payment enablement plan would look like for upgrading all consumer-facing POS devices. You’ll also want to speak to your third-party POS software providers to understand their strategy for becoming EMV compliant. Discuss with your processor when it will be ready for smart card processing and discuss other ways you can reduce fraud and data theft risks as part of a comprehensive payments security plan. 

First Data has provided reader's with access to a white paper on EMV payments. Download What Merchants Need to Know About EMV here.

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// Read more blog posts on truckstop technology here 

{Guest Post} Guest post provided by NATSO Chairman's Circle member First Data. In 2005 NATSO joined with First Data to develop a direct, cost effective and competitive solution for payment processing that is fast, convenient and secure. You may use First Data now but that doesn’t mean you are covered by the remarkable NATSO/First Data program! The NATSO/First Data program includes a “cost+” rate structure with numerous reduced fees that include a $0 chargeback fee. Utilizing the vast payment industry experience of First Data coupled with direct oversight of NATSO industry experts, our program supports practically all forms of electronic payments including fleet, credit and pin debit cards plus customized gift & e-loyalty programs. For more information and to get started, contact Dan Hudson at (703) 398-5831 or email Dan.Hudson@FirstData.com

The opinions and advice given by guest post contributors are not necessarily those of NATSO Inc. The posts should not be considered legal advice. Qualified professionals should be sought regarding advice and questions specific to your circumstances.

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About the Author

Dan Hudson

Dan Hudson

Dan Hudson is a seasoned payment industry specialist with over 15 years of service. 

After a U.S. Air Force enlistment as a fire fighter and studies @ George Washington University; in 1998 Dan Hudson joined Concord EFS, now First Data, as a payment services representative. 

He quickly began to specialize in the Truck Stop & Petroleum payments sector, which led to the NATSO/First Data Direct Program.