3 Big Changes At The Checkout Now That The EMV Liability Shift Date Has Passed

EMV Liability Shift Date

The EMV liability shift deadline has come and gone. That means all U.S. businesses using non-EMV-compliant technology will be held responsible in the event of a fraudulent payment card transaction. While these new cards may be unfamiliar to shoppers stateside, it’s a transition that many other countries have successfully made. In fact, the United States is one of the last countries to adopt chip card technology. Still, as the saying goes, better late than never since the U.S. is home to 47 percent of the world’s fraud(with only 23 percent of total global purchases). EMV’s mission is to change that, and make payments in the U.S. more secure.

But there’s more to EMV than a change to fraud responsibility. Though much of the payment process has remained the same, understanding what the different is will make a big impact on everything from preparing cashiers to informing customers. Here are three key changes businesses with EMV-ready terminals (and your IT customers that are planning to upgrade soon) should know about.

  1. Payments are more secure than ever. For credit card brands that have distributed chip cards nationwide and businesses that have updated their payment terminals, EMV is a welcome change because it brings increased security to payments. The authentication process used for chip cards is more sophisticated than the process used to authenticate magnetic stripe cards. Chip cards use a unique transaction-identifying code to authenticate purchases, which makes it easier to pinpoint fraudulent transactions.

    While payments are more secure than ever for businesses that have upgraded to EMV-compliant technology, those that haven’t could soon become an easy target for hackers. All the more reason to prepare before the holiday shopping season hits.

  2. Transaction times may feel longer. Instead of swiping credit cards through a card reader, customers will need to insert, or dip, their card into a slot. Cards that are inserted into a terminal and immediately removed will likely be denied. Some payment terminals will even beep at customers who try to remove their card too quickly or attempt to swipe instead of dip. The new process isn’t as fluid as swiping a credit card. Customers will need to stick their card into the reader and let it sit until the transaction has been approved.

    Some chip card transactions may take a few seconds longer to process than magnetic stripe card transactions, and even if they don’t, the extra time with the card in the reader can feel like an eternity for customers used to a quick swipe motion.

  3. Cashier instructions are key to a successful checkout experience. Chip card payments require customers to change old habits. Instead of swiping, they will need to dip cards and leave them in the reader to process. While the new system may seem simple, sales associates might encounter shoppers who still try to swipe their card or take the card out of the reader before the transaction is complete — especially when some other businesses still aren’t using EMV-compliant technology. That means cashiers will need to identify chip cards and instruct customers on how to use them properly. Clear and concise instructions at the checkout are imperative to a quick and seamless payment experience.

    Associates will also need to be able to answer any questions that pop up during checkout. With a new payment system in place, customers are more than likely to have questions. For those in the retail and payment industries, the EMV liability shift has been a major talking point for months, but customers are less likely to be familiar with the news. Make sure your clients’ employees are prepared with an EMV elevator pitch. They should be able to explain the new technology, how it works, and how it benefits customers.

EMV brings increased security to payments and a new experience at the checkout counter. It’s important to embrace these changes and work with customers to make the payment process as smooth as possible. Soon dipping instead of swiping will be second nature to shoppers everywhere. Until then, your clients will need to keep these changes in mind and help customers through the transition.

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