For many restaurant owners, EMV has become the giant elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about, but that you know is there.

And with the liability shift that occurred in October 2015, EMV is becoming something you can’t ignore.

But many misconceptions about what EMV is – and isn’t – are floating around.  Thankfully, it’s not as complicated as it might seem.

Here’s a brief overview of EMV.

EMV: Eight Fast Facts

Let’s get down to brass tacks. When we talk about EMV, what does it mean, exactly?

  1. EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa.
  2. Europay, MasterCard, and Visa were the three main financial services companies which first established the EMV™ Integrated Circuit Card Specifications for Payment Systems in 1996.
  3. EMV is a global standard designed to authenticate “smart chip” technology.
  4. With EMV, traditional magnetic stripe cards are replaced with secure microprocessor chips which are built right into the debit and credit cards.
  5. The chips create unique numbers for every transaction when the purchase occurs.
  6. Consequently, EMV greatly reduces fraudulent transactions.
  7. The liability shift on October 1, 2015, was not a requirement or a mandate.
  8. Instead, it shifted responsibility to merchants (and other entities) so they now are financially liable for any charges made by fraudulent credit cards, if not processed through EMV device.

EMV & Restaurants: What You Need to Know

  • If you upgrade your technology to be EMV-enabled, your customers will still be able to pay with magnetic stripe cards if they don’t have cards with chips embedded in them yet.
  • You can still adjust your tips with EMV – even after the transaction has been processed.
  • EMV-enabled pay-at-the-table technology is becoming more popular.
  • You can adjust EMV chip-and-signature transactions like you already do for magnetic stripe transactions.
  • If your customers pay with chip-and-PIN cards, the transaction will be processed right when a customer enters in their PIN. This will save your staff a lot of time.

Speaking of chip-and-signature and chip-and-PIN cards…

Two Different Kinds of Smart Chip/EMV Cards

Currently, card manufacturers and banks are issuing two different kinds of smart chip cards to consumers. These include:

  • Chip-and-Signature Cards: In order to authenticate a transaction made with a chip-and-signature card, you are required to sign either a piece of paper or screen.
  • Chip-and-PIN Cards: More popular outside the U.S., but beginning to gain transaction here, chip-and-PIN cards require that you authenticate a transaction by entering in your PIN instead of using your signature.

Hopefully, this brief overview of EMV clears things up a bit about EMV is (and isn’t)!

To learn more, we invite you to check out the EMV solutions for restaurants available through Midwest POS.

For a more comprehensive explanation of EMV and how it affects restaurants, download our free ebook!