EMV: Reality Check

Myth: Every business must get EMV or you will get chargebacks guaranteed.

Reality: No one is making anyone get EMV. This is a choice you as the business owner have to make. Gravity Payments exists to help educate you in making that choice, but we won’t force you one way or the other.

For some businesses, EMV might be a no brainer. The risk is that if you cannot accept an EMV chip card, and as a result your customer is forced to swipe their card, the customer would be able to claim that charge as fraud and your business will automatically lose the dispute. That is how the liability shift affects businesses.


Myth: Fake EMV chargeback risk is equal for all businesses after the liability switch.

Reality: If you are someone who knows their client base very well, say a doctor, or lawyer, or therapist, you might not be in a rush to get EMV because the odds of your clients claiming frivolous chargebacks that are not real fraud would be low. On the other hand, if you are a retail store or restaurant, you might run into a higher risk of frivolous chargebacks because you do not know your clients and they do not know you. Anyone could be purchasing your product or services.

That being said, the risk is never 0%, and EMV is a vastly more secure way to collect your customer’s payment information. This is because every time EMV is used, it creates a unique code that is used to run the transaction instead of the standard 16 card digits that swiping uses. If you have more questions about EMV or credit card processing for your business, let us know.


Myth: There is a law that forces every business in America to accept EMV chip cards.

Reality: There is no law that forces business owners to accept EMV chip cards. However, there was a shift in liability that puts businesses unable to accept EMV at risk.

Myth: If you do not take EMV, Visa/Mastercard/Discover and American Express will charge you extra month each month or raise your rates.

Reality: The major card companies will not increase your rates for accepting EMV or not. The cost per transaction is based on a bevy of factors, including card type (rewards cards, travel cards, cash back, etc.), acceptance method (swipe/dipped, ecomm, key-entered), industry, and with American Express, the average transaction size in dollar amount. If you have questions about your interchange and processing fees, let us know. We love to see if we can reduce hidden fees and remove headaches associated with credit card processing.

Myth: EMV chip cards and NFC contactless payment methods are the same thing.

Reality: EMV and NFC are totally different, although both offer a lot of the same features. Both are more secure and use unique codes or tokens to secure the payments. However, EMV and NFC are entirely different types of technology.

NFC stands for “near field communication” and allows devices such as smart phones, watches, and other wearable tech to communicate with an NFC reader when they are close by each other. EMV is a physical chip that communicates to the reader it is physically connected to. NFC is wireless, cardless, and can be very secure. EMV is not wireless, is inside a card, and is also very secure.


Myth: If you have EMV you do not need to worry about PCI compliance.

Reality: Wrong again. EMV has nothing to do with PCI Compliance. PCI stands for Payment Card Industry, and being in compliance is a way to ensure your business its due diligence to ensure the card data you are collecting is as safe as possible.


Categories: Industry Updates, Payments