By Mark Schulze, Head of the App Market, Clover Network, Inc.

By now, many of your customers have encountered EMV. Some have tried to swipe and have been rejected; others actively look for the chip card reader on your POS to complete their transactions. However, all consumers still do not have EMV-capable cards and not all merchants are using the EMV capabilities of their POS systems, which means that the swipe is not dead… yet. Four months after the mandate shifting liability for card-present fraud to whichever party (merchant or credit card issuer) is the least EMV-compliant, here’s what you still need to know about EMV.

The transition is not complete

While EMV applies to both credit and debit cards from all card issuers (it does not apply to gift cards or store value cards), EMV-enabled debit cards are rolling out at a slower pace than EMV-enabled credit cards. The full transition consumer-side will indeed take time, but all merchants should become EMV-compliant as soon as possible.

All brick-and-mortar merchants are affected

EMV safeguards consumers in instances of card-present fraud, meaning ecommerce merchants with no physical store need not worry about EMV compliance. As of October 1, 2015, card-present liability shifted from the card issuer to whichever party (merchant or card issuer) is the least EMV-compliant. This means if your customer has an EMV-enabled card but you can’t accept EMV payments and fraud occurs, you will be liable. If your customer has not yet received an EMV card from his or her card issuer, but you are able to accept EMV payments and fraud occurs, the card issuer will be liable. The customer is never liable. 

EMV is an opportunity

As you likely don’t want to assume the financial burden credit card fraud liability, you will have to purchase new POS equipment to be in compliance. Selecting new equipment for EMV compliancy is an incredible opportunity to reassess how you run your business. Now is the time for you to consider upgrading from a legacy POS system or payment terminal to a POS that can do more than just accept payments. As your business grows, so can your POS, eliminating the costs associated with continuously investing in new hardware, as your business needs change.

As you are probably are aware, there are hundreds of POS systems in the U.S. market today that are not EMV compliant and may never be. Your existing POS may fall into this category. If a full POS upgrade is not in your budget, you may consider taking a "semi-integrated" approach so that you can be EMV compliant and continue to use your existing equipment. Semi-integration involves the addition of a customer-facing terminal to accept the EMV payment on behalf of the existing POS system.

At the end of the day, in order to protect your business, you need to be EMV compliant. Achieving compliancy shouldn’t be a hindrance, but rather a catalyst for improving your business. 

About Clover

In addition to being able to accept virtually all payment types, Clover’s suite of POS systems —Clover Station, Clover Mobile, Clover Mini and the new Clover Go—gives you access to the Clover App Market. With more than 125 apps designed for the restaurant, retail and service industries, the Clover App Market allows you to customize your POS capabilities to fit your business needs and ultimately accelerate sales, increase customer loyalty and improve day-to-day efficiency. For more information and to see which Clover product is right for you, visit Clover.