In 2019, there are more ways to pay for things than ever before. Whether you’re using cold hard cash, waving your smartphone in front of a machine, or sending currency digitally, the world of payment processing has never been more innovative. With that being said, there is one type of payment that’s going just as strong as it ever has: credit cards. Despite the growing number of ways to pay digitally, virtually everyone still carries around a debit or credit card, and as a business owner, it’s important to make sure you have a good credit card processing system on hand.
There are plenty of things you should look for in a good credit card processing device, but one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself is this: do you have a chip reader? EMV chips have become the standard for debit and credit cards since 2015, but even with four years in the game, many businesses haven’t yet adapted to this new standard. Perhaps that will change when you learn how beneficial chip readers are!
Here are some reasons why chip readers have replaced the traditional magstripe swiping payment, and why you should consider one for your business.
What Is An EMV Chip?
Pretty much anybody who has handled a credit card in the last five years should be familiar with credit card chips by now, but there is still some confusion among the general populace about what exactly these chips are, and why they exist.
In a nutshell, three companies teamed up in the 90s to create a new standard for card payments: Europay, Mastercard, and Visa. This is the namesake of the EMV acronym, and although the EMV chips didn’t gain prominence until the 2010s, they’re far more secure than swipe-based payments. These little golden chips are so much more secure to the point where credit card processing machines won’t even allow customers to pay with the magstripe if chip functionality is available.
What Are the Advantages of EMV Credit Card Chips?
Aside from the superficial aspect of inserting the card instead of swiping it, there’s one major difference between credit card chips and swiping magstripes: security. Your data (or the data of your customers) is far more secure in a chip-based payment, and it dramatically reduces the likelihood of your credit card info being stolen.
As reliable as credit cards are, fraudsters and schemers have found ways to exploit them over the years. The biggest problem is static data; magstripes contain your credit card information, but they’re static, meaning that the data is constant and unchanging. So, if someone were able to get a hold of that data, they’d have unlimited access to your credit card until you get it canceled.
There are many schemes that prey on people’s credit cards, one of the most popular ones being skimming devices. Credit card skimmers are fake card readers that are placed on top of commonly-used machines, such as ATM machines and gas station pump readers. They look convincingly real, and they can steal your card info in one fell swipe. But with EMV chips, this kind of theft isn’t possible.
Why Credit Card Chips Are More Secure
EMV chips are a more safe and secure payment option because they do away with static data. Every single time you make a transaction, the EMV chip exchanges data with the credit card reader, and a one-time code is created to pass your payment info to the machine. After the transaction, that code is “terminated.”
Essentially, the payment processing has more steps that each transaction has to go through, and it uses encrypted data throughout the whole process. It all sounds a bit confusing, but the biggest takeaway is that it’s an order of magnitude more difficult to steal credit card information with this system. Thieves would have to break into and dissect the entire cryptography process that’s used to generate transaction codes, and then they’d have to isolate and target the transaction code for the specific purchase they’re trying to steal information from. In other words, it’s really hard — certainly a lot harder than slapping a skimmer down and calling it a day.
How Your Business Benefits From a Chip Reader System
Credit card fraud happens all the time, but ideally, you’d probably prefer it not to happen at your business. And believe it or not, this is possible — it’s not unheard of for fraudsters to put skimmers on simple credit card readers within a store and have it go unnoticed. You don’t want to be the one that gets blamed for someone’s credit card being compromised.
At Envision Payments, we offer credit card processing systems that can read EMV chips, and take payments from anywhere. Online, in-person, you name it. Don’t leave your business and your customers vulnerable to fraud — click here to learn more about our credit card processing systems, and contact us today if you have any questions.