The Restaurant Industry Prepares for EMV at the Point of Sale


In the wake of numerous credit card fraud events affecting millions of retail customers during the winter holidays, the restaurant industry prepares to meet the October 2015 EMV® compliance deadline by changing over to a more secure credit card acceptance technology. The rapid rise of counterfeit payment fraud in the United States clearly demonstrates the need for this solution and TransFirst® is prepared to help.

TransFirst met the April 1, 2013 mandate set by the major card brands for acquirers / processors to certify their ability to support U.S.based EMV transactions. The company is ready to help our restaurant merchants to make the shift towards a more secure technology. For an overview of this topic, we suggest you download The Simplified Guide to EMV for Merchants, one of the eguides found in the Free Resources section of the TransFirst website.

The EMV standard is widely followed outside of the U.S. and its adoption in America is intended to offer improved protection from fraud losses at the point of sale for merchants and issuers. Merchants (excluding fuel dispensers) who have not upgraded their point-of-sale (POS) credit card processing equipment to support EMV transactions (electronic payments made with chip-based cards) by the October deadline will be held responsible if a counterfeit or fraudulent transaction should occur on that card.

In a Nation’s Restaurant News article, Liz Garner, the National Restaurant Association’s director of commerce and entrepreneurship, states her belief that EMV compliance is not a complete solution. Garner says, “EMV technology protects against counterfeit cards to some degree, but it’s not a silver bullet for fraud.”

EMV is the best existing technology in use today to authenticate cards and cardholders thus ensuring that it is not a counterfeit or “cloned” card. Data on the transaction, generated by the chip, authenticates the card to the issuer. EMV transactions may also include a PIN, even for credit cards, which authenticates the cardholder to help prevent fraud through lost or stolen cards.

An EMV card has an embedded microprocessor chip used to store and protect encrypted user data. Unlike the data storage in the magnetic strip cards widely used in the United States, the chip codes generate a unique, dynamic code for each transaction which makes it more difficult to counterfeit. Transactions requiring a personal identification number, or PIN, and/or a signature, would add an additional protection layer — but it is not currently a requirement.

According to the article, Garner notes the restaurant industry is hoping for a more secure solution including the possible inclusion of the PIN requirement due to the investment operators will have to make to upgrade to the new technology. She states, “The worldwide standard is chip-and-PIN cards. Without issuing cards with PINs, it makes very little sense from fraud prevention and a lost-and-stolen type environment.”

Think about future-proofing your operation. We recommend you visit our credit card equipment page to find EMV-compatible terminals suitable for the unique needs of your restaurant or business. TransFirst can help you find the latest technology that will offer you the best value and help you proactively replace your current credit card terminals. Let us help you prepare to take on the future, today.


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