U.S. EMV Myths Debunked: Myth #3

By : Andy Sirmon

April 07, 2015 04:36 PM

In our last post, we debunked the myth that EMV is required for PCI Data Security Standards compliance. For our third post in our EMV Myths Debunked blog series, we want to bring some clarity to whether or not you can accept non-EMV credit cards for payment after you add EMV-enabled payment devices to your system.


As banks start issuing chip-based credit cards to consumers, many U.S. businesses are wondering if they can still accept regular magnetic stripe credit cards after implementing EMV-enabled payment devices. The answer is yes.


MYTH #3: Once you implement EMV, you will no longer be able to accept credit cards with magnetic stripes.


Believe it or not, magnetic stripes on credit cards are going to be with us for quite some time. EMV won’t magically remove older magnetic stripe cards from circulation overnight, and you shouldn’t refuse those cards for payment.


If you’re EMV-ready, when a customer pays with an older magnetic stripe credit card you’ll simply swipe it through your new payment terminal’s card reader – that’s all you need to do. If the magnetic stripe card that was used turned out to be fraudulent, your liability for that purchase reverts to the card issuer, as long as you swiped the magnetic stripe card through your EMV payment terminal.


Over the next 12-18 months, you will see new EMV-ready chip credit cards start to be used by your customers. However, even those chip cards will have magnetic stripes on them so that your customers can pay with them at your store even if you aren’t yet EMV-ready. Regardless of whether older or newer cards are presented for payment, or whether or not you have implemented EMV, you’ll continue to be able to take and process all types of credit cards.


The takeaway: Credit cards with magnetic stripes will be in circulation for quite some time – even newly issued EMV cards will have magnetic stripes to allow for payment at businesses that have not yet implemented EMV. Businesses who implement EMV in their operation will still be able to accept magnetic stripe cards after October 1, 2015.


To read more about EMV credit cards, check out this FAQ from CreditCards.com that provides some great information about the new chip-based cards and how they’ll be used.


Keep watching this space next week for our next EMV Myth:


Myth #4: EMV protects your restaurant from a data security breach.


Andy Sirmon

NCR Hospitality

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Andy is a passionate marketer dedicated to helping make every day easier for restaurant operators. Here, Andy shares his insights on the restaurant industry and how disruptive innovation is transforming the way restaurants do business.