By Joe Musitano, Nov 7, 2014 11:47:39 AM


Don’t get intimidated by this new “EMV” term. As an IBM customer, you are likely used to lots of acronyms.  Of the AS/400, the AS was for Application System.  And with System i, the i stands for...  Back to EMV, which stands for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa...

It’s actually pretty simple to understand – even if you’re not a techie.  EMV is a fancy jargon term that describes a new payment processing technology. You might also hear about “chip cards,” “chip and PIN,” and “chip and signature” – they all refer to the same thing.

The term “EMV” comes from the developers of this technology – Europay, Mastercard, and Visa. Some credit/debit cards already use this technology (it’s widely used in Europe and Canada). EMV simply uses a small microprocessor that’s embedded into your credit or debit card. Banks and credit card companies want you to use them because they’re more secure than magnetic strip cards. 

For now, most cards in the U.S. do not have this embedded microprocessor. Some cards will have both a magnetic strip and microprocessor, and eventually magnetic strips will go away entirely.  There is a chargeback liability shift to merchants from the issuing bank for not accepting EMV technology on October 2015. Just keep in mind that this date will come and go for most merchants as they have a low incidence of chargebacks today. But for merchants that are fraud targets or have high ticket items that can be easily resold on the streets, than October 2015 becomes more meaningful.