EMV Migration

The United States is phasing out magnetic-stripe cards and replacing them with EMV chip cards. Why is that necessary? Because magnetic-stripe cards are outdated - using technology from the 1960s – and are less secure, making them very easy to counterfeit.

Our EMV SDKs and EMV Kernels speed up and simplify your EMV migration efforts so you can focus on what you do best!

The United States is phasing out magnetic-stripe cards and replacing them with EMV chip cards. Why is that necessary? Because magnetic-stripe cards are outdated - using technology from the 1960s – and are less secure, making them very easy to counterfeit. Our EMV SDK and EMV Kernels simplify your EMV migration efforts so you can focus on what you do best!

The United States is the last major market in the world that hasn’t moved to the widely established EMV chip card standard.
The result is that 50 percent of the world’s credit and debit card fraud is happening in the United States, while only 25 percent of the world’s card transactions are conducted here!

What is EMV?

EMV stands for ‘Europay, MasterCard, Visa’ and is the standard for payment processing created and maintained by EMVCo. EMVCo is overseen by its six member organisation: American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, UnionPay, and Visa. It is also supported by dozens of banks, merchants, processors, vendors and other industry stakeholders who participate as EMVCo Associates such as Creditcall.

EMV describes a payment transaction between a chip card and an EMV-enabled terminal. EMV chip cards contain an embedded secure intelligent microprocessor, making all transactions dynamic and unique. This makes it much harder for fraudsters to create counterfeit cards.

Do merchants have to upgrade to EMV?

Merchants are currently not legally obliged to migrate to EMV but since October 2015, the cost of fraudulent transactions will have to be covered by the merchant. This is also known as the liability shift, where the liability from covering any costs caused by fraud, has moved from the card brands such as American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard and Visa, to the party in the chain, who hasn’t upgraded to EMV, most often the merchant.

Is EMV a new technology?

Absolutely not. EMV has been tried and tested in Europe and other parts of the world for more than 10 years. The UK began the process of promoting EMV in 2002 and completed the full roll out in 2006. The UK has seen an almost 70 percent decrease in counterfeit card transactions since the adoption of EMV chip cards, according to Barclays, UK’s biggest acquiring processor bank.

Why is EMV migration taking so long?

Number of payment terminals and cost to replace them

To be able to pay with an EMV chip card, each and every single magnetic-stripe card terminal used in a store, restaurant, dentist, beauty salon, cab, vending machine, parking meter, ATM, self-service kiosk, ticketing terminal, to name a few, has to be replaced with a new EMV chip card payment terminal.

Considering the size of the United States and number of payment terminals, this is a logistical challenge and not to forget a costly undertaking. It is estimated that EMV migration will cost the United States between $8 billion and $12 billion which won’t happen overnight.

Technical complexities

Migrating to EMV is not just a matter of buying a new EMV chip card reader, plugging it in and EMV is enabled. All the point of sale software has to be upgraded too by integrating an EMV capable device.

A magnetic-stripe card reader is a very simple piece of equipment with no intelligence, making it very easy to integrate. An EMV chip card reader on the other hand is a sophisticated miniature computer with its own API which makes integration more complex. It requires a lot more knowledge and understanding of the EMV standard and the EMV network certification process. Here at Creditcall we have a whole team who have been at the cutting edge of EMV for well over a decade.

I am a POS software developer, how do I add EMV to my solution?

If you are a POS developer, you will need an EMV Level 3 certification for each and every PIN pad and processor combination you would like to integrate with.

An EMV chip card reader can’t just be unpacked, plugged in and EMV migration is done. Integrating an EMV chip card reader with your POS solution is a complex, standard driven and time consuming process.

As we’re dealing with EMV here, certifications aren’t a one off process and have to be repeated every three years. Do you have the knowledge and capacity to keep your solution up to date?

Once integrated, your POS solution needs to be certified. With hundreds if not thousands of POS software developers serving different markets, processors have reached a certification bottleneck. Dependent on your size and relationship with the processor you might be pushed right to the bottom of their priority list, resulting in significant certification delays. The EMV certification process is not simple, special costly test tools are required along with an excellent understanding of the EMV transaction flow.

If you want to provide your customers with a choice in EMV chip card readers such as Ingencio, Miura Systems, Verifone and numerous processors such as Chase Paymentech, First Data, TSYS amongst others - each EMV chip card reader and processor combination has to be certified separately. In other words if you want to use two different chip card readers with two different processors this equals four lengthy processor certifications! This is a very complex, costly and time consuming undertaking.

EMV requires ongoing updates of EMV chip card readers in the field. You need to know how you will keep those up to date especially if several 1,000 payment terminals are deployed all over the United States. A terminal management system or TMS is the answer.

While EMV reduces the risk of counterfeits cards, cardholder data also needs to be protected while in transit which is best done with the help of point to point encryption and tokenisation.

The solution

We at Creditcall have dedicated our lives to make EMV migration faster and easier for you. With ChipDNA, our EMV SDK for iOS, Android, Windows and Linux, you get access to our vast list of pre-certified EMV chip card reader and processor combinations saving you time and money.

We work very closely with the major processors in the United States. Our ever growing list currently includes Chase Paymentech, First Data, Elavon, Heartland and TSYS with whom we have pre-certified EMV chip card combinations with Ingencio, Miura Systems and Verifone.

I manufacture card readers, how do I ensure they are EMV compliant?

If you are a manufacturer of EMV chip card readers or PIN pads, you will need an EMV Level 1 Library and a so called EMV Level 2 Kernel which can be both, contact or contactless.

EMV Level 1 Library

The EMV Level 1 Software Library manages the communication inside the card reader.

EMV Level 2 Kernel

The EMV Kernel manages the communication between the EMV card reader and the chip on the credit or debit card.

Are there more certifications?

We are afraid so. Once the EMV Level 1 Library and EMV Level 2 Kernel are integrated into your reader, they need to be certified by EMVCo. This EMVCo certification is not a one-off process and must be repeated every three years.

With over one million of our EMV kernels deployed worldwide and having passed every single of our 200+ EMVCo certification first time, we know a thing or two and can help you speed up your process saving you time and money.

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