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How Will EMV Affect My Customers?

customer paying with chip credit card at payment terminal
As the EMV Fraud Liability Shift Date of October 1, 2015 nears, retailers are in the midst of planning to meet EMV standards and ensuring they are providing the necessary levels of security for their customers. But while meeting these standards will protect retailers from liability for credit card fraud, they will also need to consider how the change to the new system will affect their customers.

New Technology

EMV credit cards include a chip which contains the card’s information, and in order to meet EMV compliance, retailers will need to install terminals which can accept these cards. Instead of swiping the card through a magnetic stripe reader, EMV cards will need to be inserted into the terminal to read the information on the chip. Additionally, with some terminals being NFC (Near Field Communication) enabled, mobile "tap & pay" features will give customers additional payment options. As a result, retailers will need to be sure they understand how their equipment functions in order to provide the security that protects themselves and their customers.

PINs vs. Signatures

While most countries use “chip and PIN” authentication, requiring a customer to enter a PIN when making a purchase with their credit card, the United States still uses “chip and signature” authentication. Following the adoption of EMV, most transactions in the United States will continue to require a signature, but some cards will begin shifting to the use of PINs, so retailers will need to be aware of when a PIN is required to complete a transaction.


With the adoption of new equipment and procedures, retailers will need to ensure that all employees understand how to accept EMV credit cards, including how cards need to be inserted in the card readers and when a PIN or signature is needed for authentication. Providing training for employees before deploying the new system is essential.

In addition, it is important to communicate the importance of these new procedures to the customers, especially since transactions may take longer to complete. It is important that employees understand the procedures for accepting EMV credit cards and are able to assist customers who are learning these new procedures. It is also a good idea to post signage explaining the new technology and its benefits to the customer in order to help them understand the change.

While the deployment of EMV compliant technology provides challenges, the level of security that it provides will ensure that both you and your customers are protected from security breaches.

If you have any questions about EMV compliance or would like to know how Level 10 can help you deploy the new technology to your stores, please contact us.