Jeremy Julian

[Video Blog] Critical EMV Answers

August 17, 2015

Critical EMV Questions Answered by The Restaurant Technology Guys

There have been so many questions flooding our inboxes at The Restaurant Technology Guys blog and Custom Business Solutions that we felt it would just be easier to sit down and record a short video to address some of the most common questions. EMV is such a big deal right now and there is so much uncertainty as to what that means for the restaurant industry that we had plenty to talk about. Below are the questions we addressed in the vlog, but if you have any questions we didn’t address on the video, feel free to tweet us at @RestTechGuys or email us to have all of your questions answered… Or you’ll at least get our best effort! Be sure to keep up with us on social media, as we’ll be updating the status of EMV as the October 1st deadline quickly approaches.


What is EMV?

  • EMV stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa.  Essentially, all “EMV” really is is that computerized chip that you see on most new credit cards that are being issued today. If you’ve ever done business or traveled in Europe or Canada, you’ve likely seen some of these cards in those areas. When this specialized card is inserted into a special reader, it communicates directly with the bank to confirm that the card is legitimate. The chip on the card is designed to be like that individual card’s “fingerprint”, if you will. It’s the only one out there, so if it’s the real deal, the bank will know it.

How does EMV impact my restaurant?

  • In terms of your core restaurant operations, EMV will not impact your restaurant. However, when it comes time to pay, taking EMV transactions will create some different workflows to your restaurant. For example, because the card has to communicate directly with the bank, most transactions take longer. As far as some of the additional challenges Chip and PIN has posed in the areas that have already adopted this technology, the US is immune to these… for now.  In the “EMV World” there are two types of authorization forms: Chip and PIN, and Chip and Signature. In places like Europe that have adopted Chip and PIN, customers are required to input a PIN number at the time of purchase. This means the customers have to be able to input a PIN number either at the table or at a counter. This creates additional hardware costs and slows down speed of service. Initially, in the US, the standard will be Chip and Signature, which will be similar to the process we all know and love today, just with a chance of a slightly longer transaction time.


When is the EMV deadline?

  • As of this writing, the deadline for restaurants to have to be equipped and able to accept EMV transaction is October 1st, 2015. But stay tuned with us via Twitter, Facebook, and our webcast series for the latest and most up-to-date information regarding EMV.


What is the EMV liability shift?

  • Essentially, the liability shift redirects who has to pony up the cash if there is a fraudulent card transaction that occurs in the restaurant. Currently, if a ‘fake’ credit card is swiped your restaurant and the charges get disputed, you get some of that money back. However, come October 1st, if there’s a fraudulent charge that comes from a fraudulent chipped card and you don’t take the card as a “chipped” transaction, you’re not going to get any of that disputed money back — the full responsibility of that transaction would fall on your restaurant.


Are PCI and the EMV liability shift the same thing?

  • Oftentimes, people come to us thinking that PCI and EMV are related. While both are vehicles that intend to protect entities (be it business or consumers) from credit card fraud, they are not related.  PCI is a business-facing entity (made up of a conglomerate of credit card brands) that dictate security measures to help protect consumers’ card data by way of limiting its exposure within the business.  EMV is a consumer-facing technology to help reduce cloned cards. So are they related? No, not really. However, both are attempting to keep consumers and businesses safe from the pangs of credit card fraud.


EMV vs. Point to Point Encryption

  • Point to Point Encryption and End to End Encryption are technologies to secure the card number. Essentially, these methods scramble the card data from the card swipe (for example, NorthStar Order Entry uses this technology). This ensures that if the POS is hacked or breached, the card data the thief obtains would be unusable. It would just be a bunch of jargon and indecipherable numbers, letters, and symbols. EMV, on the other hand, helps protect from fraudulent card charges. As mentioned above, the ‘chip’ is like a fingerprint for that particular card. When the card is inserted into the EMV reader, the card communicates directly with the bank to make sure the card is, in fact, legitimate.


Is my restaurant ready to accept EMV transactions?

  • Honestly, this one is a tough one to answer as a blanket answer. This is a pretty technical question that is best answered by jumping to 4:45 in the video above and listening for a few minutes. More than enough info to get you going.


Is EMV something I’m legally bound to do?

  • Not at all. You can decide not to move forward with making the changes for EMV, there’s nothing that says you absolutely have to do anything. However, there are some risks that you’ll be exposing your business to that may or may not be worthwhile. These risks may or may not be worth it to you as a business owner. If you have any questions on what kind of risks may be associated with not making the switch to EMV, feel free to reach out to us and we’ll be sure to address all the risks.


What are my next steps with EMV?

  1. Connect with your POS Provider, your payment processor and stay in contact with RTG for the latest!


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