Dispelling the Myths about EMV

Across the globe, customers now use EMV (chip card technology) to pay for goods and services instead of relying on the familiar magnetic strip system we’ve become so accustomed to. In brief, EMV chips offer a secure system that connects the payment card at the point of sale using a unique security code for each transaction.

This alternative to the mag-stripe makes payments infinitely more secure thanks to the added traceability offered by the transaction number but there are still those who cast aspersions over EMV technology.

For example; there are many who believe using the EMV system doesn’t offer any benefits to the vendor or service provider but this is a myth. Swipe systems may offer an efficient process but there is a distinct lack of security when compared to EMV. A lost or stolen card can be used by anyone who happens upon them, hence the average of over £300 per fraud case recorded in the UK. EMV can prevent, or significantly reduce fraud, thanks to the need for a secure PIN number.

Equally, the swipe system relies on staff to check the signature attributed to the card meaning self- service isn’t an option for businesses who rely on mag-stripe only systems. This verification system is hardly infallible and it means the business has the added expense of additional staff members to carry out the verification process – ignorance of advancement can be costly.

A similar complaint comes from those who believe the EMV system is just a fad and, if ignored for long enough, will simply fade away in favour of the trusted swipe system. This too is a myth.

EMV migration is now mandatory and, in the US alone, more than half of all payment cards are now EMV chip cards – some 600 million. The shift was driven mostly by the target of reducing card fraud but it has grown thanks to the global acceptance of EMV technology – it has been prevalent in the UK for a long time now and the EU noted an 80% reduction in card fraud as a result of the shift to EMV systems.

Critics argue that the USA has been somewhat slow on EMV migration uptkake but that isn’t the case; it has been growing at a similar rate to the rest of the world but the habitual use of the mag-stripe has delayed the inevitable somewhat.

Finally, many naysayers believe that the modern alternative to card payments will quash the need to move to an EMV System: the mobile payment/wallet system. This is a valid point but the majority of users will feel more comfortable with a tangible payment card than they would relying solely on their mobile phone or smart watch.

The EMV is a far more secure system and technology manufacturers, as well as credit and debit card providers, intend to proceed with EMV implementation instead of favouring the mobile payment systems.

This isn’t to say that NFC technology will be ignored by providers; instead the focus remains on the most secure of all systems – EMV. Good news for businesses who have embraced the migration and, hopefully, a persuasive slant on the matter for those who still have their doubts.


Unsure of the right solution for you?
We're here to help.

Contact us