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First introduced in 1996, there are now 1.55 billion EMV compliant chip-based payment cards and 21.6 million EMV acceptance terminals in use worldwide as of Q2 20121. With industry announcements from all major card associations, it’s only a matter of time before smart card technology becomes the new fraud-protection standard in the U.S. as well.
What is EMV?
EMV is a fraud-reducing technology that can help protect issuers, merchants and consumers against losses from the use of counterfeit and lost or stolen payment cards at the point-of-sale. EMV cards are embedded with a microprocessor or smart chip that interacts with the merchant’s point-of-sale device to make sure that the payment card is valid and with the use of a PIN that it belongs to the person using the card. This kind of chip technology adds layers of security against fraud and is virtually impossible to duplicate.
Why Introduce EMV?
The migration to EMV technology in the U.S and Canada will help:
Ensure that only the rightful card owner can use the chip card, protecting against lost or stolen card fraud
Protect data on the chip against unauthorized changes, protecting against counterfeit fraud
Enable U.S and Canadian cardholders to use their secure chip payment cards anywhere in the world
What is the Timing for EMV in the U.S and Canada?
Chip–based EMV payments are coming to the United States. Starting in 2011, the four major payment brands introduced their roadmaps for EMV technology and encourage its adoption. In April 2013, the first domestic milestone required processors like First Data to accept EMV–based payments from merchants. First Data met this milestone and is already approved by MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express in the US as a transaction processor and is processing EMV transactions for one large retailer on U.S.–based chip cards. October 2015 will mark the next major milestone where the fraud liability shift for all point of sale devices (except Automated Fuel Dispensers) will take effect. Liability shifts for Automated Fuel Dispensers begins in 2017.