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EMV Implementation Tips

As more and more industries enter the EMV realm, there are both joys and challenges of having the EMV option. Customers and business owners can enjoy the security of EMV chip-cards to reduce fraud by protecting against loss from counterfeit stolen cards. Customers and business owners must also adapt to this new way to pay. When EMV is available to your business, know your device and teach your staff about it so they can help customers through the steps of an EMV transaction.


Cards with a mag-stripe and an EMV-chip will exist simultaneously until all merchants have EMV-capable devices and until all banks replace all existing mag-stripe cards issued to their customers with an EMV chip. Some devices have the EMV terminal slot, but it doesn’t function.

TIP: If you have a non-functioning terminal, make a sign or insert a placeholder to let customers know if EMV is not available. Some examples of sayings are, “Please swipe card,” “Swipe card here – Chip card functionality coming soon,” or “Please swipe; Do not insert card.”

Because the cards in use today have both a chip and a stripe, people may swipe their card first out of habit. If EMV is enabled on the device, it will reject the swipe and tell the user to insert their card instead. Once a person inserts their card (also called “dipping”) with the chip-end first, facing up, they need to wait to remove it until prompted to do so. While the card is inserted into the terminal, the chip and the terminal are communicating to verify the card is real and to validate the cardholder’s identity.

TIP: Advertise that you have EMV functionality available and tell people that they will need to insert their card into your device when it’s time to pay. This will help cut down on the time it takes them to complete their payment. While it only takes a few seconds for the device to reject a swipe and prompt to insert the card, the seconds can add up and lead to customer frustrations, both with the person paying and the people in line behind them.

Once the card is inserted, there will be different prompts that come up on the screen. The device will either ask for a PIN or signature, based on the card configuration. The device terminal reads the EMV chip and automatically reads the preferred cardholder verification methods (CVM) for that card. Some cards don’t prompt for either PIN or signature if the transaction amount is low.

TIP: If a user can’t remember their PIN, tell them to push the ENTER button or follow prompts to give their signature instead. While using the PIN is a safer method, the transaction can still be completed using a signature to save time and frustration if the card user is drawing a blank. If their behavior seems suspicious, you can always ask for a photo ID to match with the name on the card.

When the transaction is completed, it’s important that the user removes their card from the device. Some devices will beep until the card is removed; other devices will just display a message saying that the card can now be removed. As a merchant, get in the habit of double-checking that the customer has their card.

TIP: Hang a sign on your door with a reminder message like “Make sure you have your EMV chip card!” so that on the way out of your store, customers will have their memory jogged that they may have forgotten their card. If they do forget their card, keep it in a safe place and reach out to them via a phone call, text message, or email if you have their contact info.

Businesses Must Know About EMV

The New Chip Technology

What is EMV?

EMV, commonly referred to as chip technology, is the future of secure bank and credit card transactions in the United States that will greatly reduce the threat of fraud from counterfeit, lost and stolen cards. Basically, EMV is a set of specifications for smart card payments and devices that accept those types of payments. Those specs are then embedded into a microprocessor chip embedded on a bank or credit card. The technology and specifications are widely used in over 80 countries globally as the standard for secure card transactions versus the traditional magnetic swipe card in the U.S., which has been plagued with security issues for years. EMV also provides interoperability within the global payments infrastructure and EMV-compatible terminals making it easier for U.S. issued cards to use for secure transactions worldwide.

EMV Chip Card

When will EMV be Adopted in the United States?

As mentioned earlier, EMV standards have been in use worldwide for several years. Major card issuers, including American Express, Discover, MasterCard and VISA have announced their movement to EMV cards within the U.S. by October 2015. This will greatly increase cardholder protection against fraud and the compromising of data for most U.S. cardholders. For a list of United States credit and debit card issuers who have announced plans to issue EMV payment cards, visit It is important to note that introducing this particular technology into the U.S. requires the issuance of ‘hybrid’ cards that incorporate both the EMV chip technology as well as the magnetic swipe card. This allows uninterrupted card transactions, as more and more terminals and companies become EMV compliant. However, there will be no disruption in credit card transactions.

Will KeyCentrix Support EMV?

Absolutely! As an innovator and leader in supporting the pharmacy industry, KeyCentrix intends to support EMV technology prior to the October 2015 date to provide the best customer experience that is hassle-free.

Will New Hardware be Required to Support EMV?

Due to the uniqueness of the EMV chip technology, new hardware will be required. Although specific hardware has not been identified as of this writing, KeyCentrix is currently working with its credit card processing partners to determine the best signature capture and PIN pad device options.

To learn more about EMV technology, visit To learn more about KeyCentrix, visit