Card/Payment Security

Within your organization’s control, training may go a long way toward your protection efforts; read the related blog posts: 

At an industry level, payment security continues to evolve. EMV, described below, has almost become old news as additional strategies and technology emerge.

EMV Resources

EMV (stands for Europay, Mastercard, Visa) refers to security technology that is incorporated into cards with a smart chip. Access related resources:

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Other Resources Related to Security

Worldwide, card not present (CNP) fraud continues to rise as countries migrate to EMV/chip cards, but the industry is fighting back. 

More broadly, cybersecurity threats come in all sort of forms. Read the related blog post, Cybersecurity threats abound.


Following are questions card program managers might have as their organizations transition to EMV cards.

About the Cards

Q: Is an EMV card a chip card?
A: The terms EMV card, chip card and smart card all refer to a card with an embedded chip. The terms tend to be used interchangeably.

Q: Can the chip in the card be easily damaged or cease working?
A: No. Unlike a magnetic stripe, the chip is not affected by being next to mobile phones. An EMV-enabled POS device is what provides the “battery” to power the chip.

Using a Chip Card

Q: How do cardholders use chip cards at an EMV-enabled POS device?
A: Instead of swiping the card, they will need to insert (sometimes called “dip”) the card into the designated slot, so the device can read the chip. The card must remain in the slot until the transaction is complete.  

Q: Will cardholders need to enter a PIN when using a chip card?
A: Maybe, but most card issuers in the United States have decided to go the direction of chip-and-signature

Q: Will chip cards still have a magnetic stripe? 
A: Yes, because some POS terminals may not be EMV-enabled. Even if the POS hardware device has a chip card slot, the necessary chip-reading software may not be enabled. 

Q: Can a cardholder still use the magnetic stripe at a POS device, swiping the card through it as before?
A: It depends on the device. If EMV-enabled, the POS device could generate an error message, recognizing that the card is a chip card, even though the cardholder tried to use the magnetic stripe. In such a case, the cardholder would be required to try to the transaction again using the chip.

Suppliers/Merchants and EMV

Q: Do all card-accepting suppliers have to be EMV-enabled? Is EMV a mandate?
A: No. However, the October 2015 liability shift should incentivize suppliers to upgrade their POS devices to be EMV-capable. It is possible, though, that some suppliers will decide to incur the risk and not invest in new technology, especially if they currently do not experience much fraud. 

Note: The liability shift for gas stations/automatic fuel dispensers changed from October 2017 to October 2020.

Q: Will transactions with a chip card cost suppliers more to accept?
A: No. Card acceptance fees are based on other factors.