Credit and debit transactions have reinvented the way restaurants accept payment for the past decade or so, but as the transactional market evolves, so have payment machines. EMV machines are part of this evolution that will accept microchips embedded in cards. In fact, starting Oct. 1, 2015, merchants who haven’t invested in EMV-enabled equipment will be liable for fraudulent purchases made with a counterfeit credit or debit card. So, will your restaurant be adapting to the new EMV machines?
To first understand if it’s worth your time and expense, it’s best to understand what an EMV machine does. Long used in Europe, this chip card technology has been used as a way of further preventing fraudulent purchases on credit or debit cards. While swipe technology has many advantages, it’s not as foolproof as a microchip in protecting against fraudulent activity.
But America is finally catching up with the times, and last year The Aite Group estimated that 70 percent of credit cards and 41 percent of debit cards in use in the United States will be EMV-enabled by the end of this year. It’s important to note that while you’ll be liable for fraudulent charges should you NOT opt for EMV machines, the choice is ultimately yours. In fact, there’s no legal or regulatory requirement for merchants to install EMV readers or take action by Oct. 1.
At the same time, fraudulent activities typically occur with high-end retailers, electronic stores, and other retailers, and this may mean that investing in EMV machines is simply unnecessary for your restaurant. If you see a growing problem after the October 2015 liability shift, you may want to reevaluate.
Weigh the costs and ask the right questions as you upgrade to ensure that your restaurant is making the right choice. As you upgrade your POS system, make sure the new system incorporates not only EMV technology, but also encryption and tokenization technologies which the NRA considers these technologies far more important for restaurants than EMV.