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EMV and Chip Enabled Gift Cards

Greetings!  Like so many things in life, the unintended consequences of the EMV liability shift for merchants can sometimes be subtle. Such is the case regarding purchases of gift cards using chip enabled cards. 

A New Survey Finds That Merchants Are Slightly Behind Schedule in Their Ability to Accept and Process Chip Enabled Credit Cards

The United States experiences 47 percent of global credit card fraud, according to Security Magazine, primarily due to the volume of magnetic strip cards still in use. Earlier this year, The Strawhecker Group found that only 37 percent of companies put measures in place to meet EMVCo’s requirements whereby merchants would be able to accept Chip and PIN cards, although 72 percent are expected to be ready to process chip cards by the end of 2016. The group originally estimated that, as of the survey date, 44 percent of businesses would be capable of processing chip-enabled credit cards, but merchants are behind schedule for the following reasons.

How EMV Will Help VARs in the Restaurant Arena

EMV adoption in the United States continues to grow, with Aite Group reporting that 70 percent of credit cards were EMV-enabled at the end of 2015. Although fast-casual restaurant owners face a fraud liability shift if they aren't equipped for EMV cards, some are delaying adoption due to concerns about upgrading their POS systems and longer transaction times. As a value added reseller (VAR), you can reassure your clients by conveying these key consumer benefits for EMV adoption.

3 EMV options for Table Service Restaurants

With the counterfeit card liability shift several months behind us, restaurants remain cautious on investing in equipment and POS upgrades required to enable EMV card acceptance. Many have prioritized implementing point-to-point-encryption and tokenization, to prevent costly data breaches, over EMV, which protects against fraudulent individual transactions initiated with counterfeit cards. A data breach could cost a non-PCI-compliant merchant anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 every month until they resolve all of their compliance issues. In contrast, EMV liability should generally be low for restaurants. Historic counterfeit fraud losses in this sector ran in the 1 to 3 basis point range, or $100-$300 for every $1 million in sales.  This is because fraudsters with counterfeit cards are less interested in a free meal and have seemingly focused their efforts on buying items that can be easily converted to cash, like electronics and prepaid gift cards.  

Customer Service: The Secret Sauce

Wow, just like that I am already 30+ days into my new position with Merchant Link! So far, as expected, it has been a great experience. I am learning a lot about Merchant Link’s systems, solutions, and most importantly the terrific employees here. While being a customer of Merchant Link for 20+ years, I was always amazed at how well they took care of me and my clients. Whether it was innovating new solutions, a rush order request, a credit card batch issue, or a concerned customer needing technical support, Merchant Link always seemed to be able to address the issue quickly and professionally.