EMV technology has been mandated for the US market since October 1, 2015. It was a necessary change. Fighting hackers and thieves with security technology from the 1960’s in the 2000’s was a losing battle.
Through a variety of methods, hackers were able to steal millions of peoples credit card information. This stolen information was then sold to other criminals on the internet part called the “dark web”. These criminals then would use this information to either make counterfeit cards or make fraudulent purchases online. The vulnerability of the traditional credit card, the mag stripe card, being stolen came to the public’s attention in 2013 when 40 million people’s information was stolen from Target.
Breach after breach from companies all over the US soon followed the Target hacking. This cost the banking industry billions and facilitated the move faster from the mag stripe card to the EMV smart chip card. The EMV smart chip card uses a complicated algorithm that changes the pertinent information of the card holders personal stats each time it is used making it almost impossible to steal.
In an effort to facilitate this change faster and encourage more wide spread use of the EMV cards, banks and the processors set a date of October 1, 2015 to mandate the use of the EMV cards.
The problem with this mandate, was it was mandated by banks and processing companies and not necessarily a US government lawful mandate. This means you had private/publicly traded companies that were telling the American public and merchants what to do. The roll out was not smooth. What was discovered, is the companies that were pushing for this mandate, were not speaking with each other. Each had their own program, and of course their program did not work with the other company’s programs. Terminals did not work with new software; processing companies did not have enough new processing terminals to fulfill the demand. Software techs programming these terminals were overwhelmed and it was taking upwards of 6 weeks to update terminals.
Even with these issues, both Visa and Mastercard are reporting about a 49% compliance for merchants across the US. Chip card issuance is higher with over 90% compliance by the big banks. The rollout has been slow and painful, but reports have shown that in-store fraud has decreased dramatically in the last 18 months. This means the mandate is working but it will take another 48 months to become fully implemented across the country.
Businesses are taking advantage of today’s improved technology through the use of the merchant account services. Online businesses are now becoming more popular because of the ease and convenience they provide customers. Aside from the easy set-up online and the low maintenance it requires, businesses are also able to transact in real-time thanks to the merchant account services. For this reason, alone, it encourages customers to buy from these businesses and consequently, increases their sales as well.
There are a lot of merchant account service providers that business owners could choose from. Make sure that in the end, you choose the provider that will suit your business type. Different providers offer different features and different service rates. Do a thorough research of how they provide their service and how they conduct the transactions. The best merchant account service providers are those who respond fast to customer transactions and process payments quickly. Some banks also offer credit and debit card processing services. Moreover, if you already have several businesses, some providers offer better rates or deals for their services; make sure that you also inquire about it as this will help you save more money.
Listed below are some of the online merchant solutions that online business owners could look into.
1. Payment Gateways: Payment gateways follow certain criteria for payment processing which assures the security of merchants as well as customers. These gateways have the capability to simultaneously process credit cards. Transactions pass through two layers of authorization which secure the information of the card issuer and the transaction made in the payment gateway. The transactions done through the payment gateways are processed within two seconds once the payment has been made and received and the transaction will be reflected on your bank statement within two days.
2. Retail Accounts: Most online transactions are usually carried out with the use of credit cards. Most online purchases are paid by credit cards. However, customers have become wary of using their cards because of online fraud and credit card hacking. Make sure that you have a provider that is not only secure but seriously makes it a point to keep information about the transaction private. Having retail accounts will ensure an increase in sales and will encourage more customers to transact with your business.
3. Wireless Solutions: For online businesses who wish to expand, this online merchant solution could be your best bet. This type of merchant solution allows you to process various transactions even to and from remote locations through the use of wireless terminals. This would be a very good solution to those business owners who would not only want to operate from a single location only. Moreover, through iPhones, iPads and other Android systems, business owners could still transact and process various credit card purchases. If you wish to avail of this online merchant service, all you need to do is to sign up at any legitimate and credible mobile merchant account provider.
Running an online business store is a good way to start your business. It offers advantages such as ease and convenience for customers, as well as, easy and low-cost startups. Look for the best online merchant account service providers who will not only help your business gain customers but will also assure your profitable business returns.