Guest Column | May 31, 2013

4 EMV Facts That POS VARs Overlook


By Adnon Dow, VP, Global Mobility Solutions for SYNNEX Corporation


EMV has seen huge success in Europe and is quickly making its way to the U.S., presenting huge opportunities for VARs. EMV cards utilize an embedded chip to encrypt data for each and every transaction. The chip is activated electronically and can alternate between verification methods, whether prompting the user for a pin (chip and pin) or a signature to complete the transaction. Although MSR has been a huge component of the POS landscape in past years, there are several key reasons why EMV needs to be on every POS VAR’s radar moving forward.


It’s safer for consumers --- A skimmer can capture all information on an MSR in a single swipe, making it easier for thieves to replicate cards and carry out fraudulent transactions. With an EMV card, transaction data changes with each purchase, making it much harder for thieves to replicate and steal information. A study by the European Central Bank found that fraud declined more than 12% between 2009 and 2010 due to EMV card implementation. Businesses who offer early adoption of EMV technology are more likely to develop and maintain trustworthy relationships with their customers. Businesses that wait until the last minute to transition simply won’t have the same advantage.


It’s mandated --- By 2015, VISA, American Express, Discover and MasterCard will place the liability for counterfeit card transactions as the merchant’s responsibility, according to a recent study by Forbes. ATMs and gas pumps will follow suit by 2016 or 2017. VARs who educate their customers on this technology and how it will make their businesses better are going to stay ahead of the curve. These VARs will avoid the chaos of the migration to PCI 2.0. Any POS VAR remembers the 12-16 week lead times that were associated with these new devices. By getting out in the field and pushing this transition ahead of time, VARs can ensure that customers aren’t left exposed when the scramble for hardware comes around.


It’s accepted worldwide --- EMV has already been adopted and implemented by many of our peers in Europe, Asia, and Canada. For merchants, potential customers visiting from these countries expect the same, if not better security standards when their traveling in the US. VARs who adopt EMV cards will see more customers from abroad than restaurants or shops that don’t adopt the technology. For areas that thrive off of global tourism like New York, California and Florida, there is an excellent opportunity to convince merchants that the investment in EMV hardware is well worth it.


It opens new doors --- Contactless payment opens the door for utilizing interactive shopper reward and loyalty programs. A 2011 research study by ABI predicts that 50% of all smart phones will be NFC equipped by 2015. By utilizing loyalty programs that customers can opt into, merchants are able to push out short termdeals based on sales. They can even push out customer preferences tracked by internal databases to customers who haven’t visited the store lately but have passed by. This increases customer traffic and ticket size and can also be used for payment, all from a single device. Since EMV can support contactless payment, it’s easy to integrate these two items and provide a great solution for merchants. The ROI makes it even easier for VARs to sell.