The Smart Cards are coming!

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The Smart Cards are coming! Is your business ready?

The credit card and debit card world is undergoing a fairly important transformation that will impact all of us. In this new age of daily data breaches, identity theft, and online fraud that transformation is a good thing.

According to Smart Card Alliance, approximately 120 million Americans have already received a new Chip Card and that number is projected to reach nearly 600 million by the end of 2015. If you have a card in your wallet it’s going to be replaced. In addition, if your business accepts credit and debit cards for payments the way customers pay you is changing too. More about that later.

A Smart Card, or EMV card, is a chip-enabled card that provides an extra layer of security for you when you pay in a store, online, through your mobile device, or use an ATM. EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, the three companies that created the new standard, as well as the merchant payment terminals, and the automated teller machines (ATMs) that will now be accepting them.

Data on the new cards is stored in a chip, or integrated circuit, rather than on the traditional magnetic stripe that has been on the back of the card since the beginning of time. For the time being the new cards will have both a chip and a magnetic stripe to insure universal compatibility while the industry shifts to this new way of payment processing technology and to the new terminals.

The banking industry says this win/win solution will protect consumers and merchants against fraud and identity theft. Why?  The new cards add a layer of protection for the issuers through the enhanced integrated circuit approval process. The new cards will better protect consumers from fraud and theft because counterfeit cards will be virtually impossible to create – just because someone has your card number doesn’t give them access to the payment process.

If you are a merchant accepting credit and debit cards you have to upgrade all of your terminals to be EMV compatible. If you don’t, in the new world of chip cards the burden and associated costs of fraud now become your responsibility.  So if your business has multiple registers and multiple locations that means you are going to need new terminals everywhere.

Ask your banker or merchant services provider for more information about the Smart Card revolution that is underway. The chips are coming, the chips are coming!

Joe Harkins
Wheelhouse Marketing Advisors
www.wheelhouseworks.com

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