Why EMV Compliance is important

Why EMV Compliance is important
May 02, 2018

Since the EMV mandate went into effect nearly two-and-a-half years ago, merchants, credit card providers and consumers have been busy making the switch to EMV payments. It is estimated that there are 785 million EMV chip cards in circulation nation-wide while 55% of all US storefronts are equipped to accept chip payments.

But despite the wide-spread adoption of EMV payments and technology, many merchants have yet to make the switch. Business often say that integrations take too long, cost too much and are too complex. Others say the certification process is too difficult to navigate. While it’s true that meeting EMV standards can cost time and money, businesses risk costly data breaches, chargebacks, turning away customers and damaging their reputations when they remain noncompliant.

If you still haven’t decided to adopt EMV technology, here are three reasons why EMV compliance is important to your business:


After October 1, 2015, in-store fraud liability shifted to the party – either the issuing financial institution or the merchant – that is not EMV compliant. In many instances, that party is the merchant. To provide a better idea of how this would work, here are a few key details to help you understand how the liability would fall:

  1. If the processing equipment a merchant has doesn’t support EMV and the customer swipes a chip card and it’s claimed as fraud, the merchant will be held liable.
  2. If the merchant hardware DOES support EMV, but the card used isn’t a chip card, the liability falls on the issuer.
  3. If the equipment supports EMV and the customer uses a chip card, the liability falls on the issuing bank of the credit card.

Based on these rules, it’s in a merchant’s best interest to upgrade their POS systems to EMV enabled technology. By doing so, they can protect themselves against fraud liability, fees and chargebacks, which cost more than $150 billion every year.


Since consumers and merchants started using EMV payments and technology in 2015, counterfeit fraud is down over 60%. There are several reasons for this. EMV chip cards require a PIN (Personal Identification Number) instead of a signature every time the chip card is used. This feature not only makes transactions more secure, but also authenticates the processes. Furthermore, fraudsters will no longer be able to forge signatures to steal money as the chips contain encryption algorithms. Additionally, EMV chips cannot be cloned or copied which means criminals who would try to create a similar card will not be successful. While EMV technology does not completely eliminate fraud, it has been successful in reducing counterfeit and puts safeguards in place that prevent fraudulent transactions.


Simply put, EMV has become the new standard for credit and debit cards. As previously mentioned, there are an estimated 785 million chip cards
in circulation in the US. And EMV transactions have reached a total of 1.26 billion as of September 2017. In different terms, EMV-based Visa transactions alone have added up to $59.4 billion in processed dollars. As the preferred payment choice by millions of consumers, it’s important for merchants to accept EMV chip cards. By becoming EMV compliant, merchants show their customers that their processes align with established security and technological standards, place a high priority on protecting customer’s data, and support their clients’ payment preferences all the while protecting themselves from counterfeit fraud.

If your business still has not achieved EMV compliance, you are putting your profits at risk. EMV Compliance is important for many reasons, but primarily because it will keep your business, profits and customers as secure as possible.