Four EMV Liability Shift Myths Debunked

The EMV liability shift has been one of the hottest restaurant POS topics of 2015. With the looming shift on October 1st, 2015 many retailers are now taking steps to install EMV readers in their restaurants.

As a restaurant POS provider we’ve closely followed this topic as we’ve prepared our own products for this shift. We’ve found there are many misconceptions in the market about it and wanted to debunk four of the most common myths.

WAND-EMV-TerminalMyth One: EMV Prevent Credit Card Breaches. One of the biggest myths is if you get an EMV reader it will automatically protect your restaurant against the credit card breaches that have plagued retailers in recent years. This is simply not the case. In reality, EMV does little to prevent a data breach.  What it actually does is make any stolen EMV credit card data virtually useless to the hackers.  Therefore, EMV readers are certainly the first step towards reducing the likelihood of credit card fraud but in order to truly become secure you need to also implement basic security measures as outlined in the PCI DSS, including firewalls, network segmentation,  tokenization, and end-to-end encryption to protect your data.

Myth Two: Chip Cards Don’t Matter to Consumers. Another rumor circulating is it’s not consumers who care about using chip cards; it’s the credit card companies that are pushing them. Again, this is false. Customers are extremely wary of their information being breached and, as such, will take steps to ensure their data is protected. A chip cards study by MasterCard found that 75% of consumers agreed chip cards help protect their data and they expect to use these cards at merchants they frequent.

Myth Three: EMV is Something New. EMV chip cards have actually been around for many years, introduced in the European market as early as 1999. They are standard in much of the world already and, in fact, the United States is one of the last countries to begin using them.

Myth Four: The Cost of Adding EMV Readers is Greater Than the Cost of Fines from the Liability Shift. Many companies believe they are saving money by not adding EMV readers to their restaurants. They reason that fines they could potentially incur from having fraudulent credit card transactions after the October 1st liability shift are less than the cost to purchase EMV readers. While a valid point, the bottom line is the cost of having a credit card breach is measured in more than just a few fines incurred. There’s huge loses that can occur when a brand’s reputation is damaged. After Target’s infamous Christmas credit card breach of 2013 its profits fell by 40% and the company is still feeling the effects of the loss of consumer confidence in the brand. And given that 75% of consumers expect to use EMV readers when they shop, restaurants that aren’t catering to this audience could potentially face those customers going to the competition instead.

When it comes to updating restaurant POS systems for the EMV liability shift my strong recommendation is to be proactive versus reactive. Your company and customers will thank you for it.