EMV continues to be a dominant concern for many RMS customers. As we work towards release of our EMV solution there’s not much new to share, so in this months update I’ll be taking a more in depth look at some of our most frequently asked questions. If you haven’t had an opportunity to review our previous updates, take a moment to read through our March Update article for a high level overview of EMV, Point-to-Point Encryption and other processing changes to expect later this year. I also recommend reading through all of the information available at www.rm-solutions.com/emv so you’ll be familiar with all of the terms discussed in this update.
What’s the latest news from RMS?
Readiness for EMV continues to be a top priority for RMS. We are diligently working with our processing partners to prepare for release of an EMV solution in the 4th quarter of 2015. The latest information we have available confirms that we will initially release a non-signature capture device that will accept credit card and EMV transactions. This device will work in concert with your existing signature capture pads. We will maintain this dual device option moving forward. We continue to be told by our processing partners that they anticipate supporting an EMV capable signature capture device sometime in the second quarter of 2016. Once they have announced the device(s) they plan to certify we will make that information available.
Why do some large retailers already have EMV?
If you’ve been to a retailer that is already able to run EMV transactions, you may be wondering why RMS’ EMV release is taking a bit longer. There are a couple of important things to take into account here. First, a retailer that is accepting an EMV embedded card is not necessarily running the transaction as EMV. Remember, you can run a transaction using a card that is EMV ready just as you would any credit or debit card transaction. Second, many large retailers represent their own processing options. They handle the transaction from beginning to end, meaning that for them, there are no third parties involved in the process and they are able to control implementation and development.
As a result, the credit card processing world initially focused its attention on tier 1 and 2 companies and fell far behind on providing timely solutions for independent businesses. To give you an idea of how far behind the industry is for independent businesses, they were supposed to have specs in place 18 months ago and we have still not received final development specs from any of our processing partners.
So what is the impact on you if you don't have EMV in place by October of this year? Nothing, in fact. You will still be able to take credit cards with or without EMV chips, but you won't be able to process them as EMV transactions. Remember, October 2015 is simply an incentive date where the acquirer agrees to shift liability from you to them for fraudulent transactions on EMV cards processed as EMV transactions. The bottom line - you will have no more risk on October 1, 2015 than you do right now.
What do I do when credit card processors contact me about EMV?
Each week most retailers receive multiple calls from processing companies trying to get their business. If you’re receiving these calls you’re probably hearing all kinds of hype about EMV, ApplePay, P2PE, and more. You may even be tempted to consider a change in processing companies based on promises of lower rates or better service. Normally we try to be as accommodating as possible when it comes to letting you choose the processing company that works best for you. However, due to the broad scope of changes headed our way, at this time, it is our recommendation that RMS merchants do not move forward with any processing changes unless absolutely necessary. As we don’t yet know what the process will be to shift to EMV processing, changing processors now could unnecessarily complicate adoption of EMV should you choose to. Instead, try working with your existing processor to negotiate your rates. Most of the time, your existing processor will be able to meet or beat new offers. I also highly recommend reviewing this article that will help to clear up much of the misinformation you’re likely to hear about EMV.
Is there any word on cost yet?
Cost will still greatly depend on what company you utilize to process credit cards as well as when you plan to adopt EMV. We’re working to provide ballpark figures within the next couple of months so that you can plan and budget as needed. Remember, October of this year is not a deadline for EMV implementation. You have the option to continue processing as you do today until you are ready to make the change.
I again encourage you to review the information available at www.rm-solutions.com/emv for all of the latest developments.