The EMV Hardware Equation

Since the October 2015 liability shift I have been talking with retailers about their EMV Strategy.

For those of you opting to adhere to the new EMV standards, conversations quickly evolve to one that is focused around hardware. It is during this conversation that I think many retailers are taking on a wait and see” approach towards EMV, weighing their current costs of fraud against the cost of EMV compatible hardware. 

The investment of EMV terminals is on average approximately $500 per lane, which typically doesn’t include the cost of injection, shipping, software loads, accessories (think cables and stands) not to mention the cost of time to install or train staff on the terminals themselves. However, there is more to the equation than the costs of fraud vs. cost of hardware. 

There is more to the equation than the costs of fraud vs. cost of hardware.

One must also consider, the value of being a retailer that gives the impression they are up to date with current security practices and technology. In addition, now entering the equation is friendly fraud”. Friendly fraud or chargeback fraud occurs when a consumer makes a purchase with their own card, but recognizes that the retailer doesn’t process their card using the new dip/​insert method, and then requests a chargeback from the issuing bank after, even though they’ve received the purchased goods or services. 

For those of you still on the fence regarding deploying EMV terminals, please train your staff to read and compare the last four digits of the card number with the ones appearing on the receipt or invoice. If the numbers don’t match, employees should ask for another form of payment. 

5 Tips for Choosing EMV Compatible Terminals

1. Ask your POS Provider

Talk to your POS provider and get their reccomendation for their supported hardware terminals and vendors.

2. Ensure you are aware of the specifics of terminal requirements.

  1. Firmware Version
  2. Software loads
  3. Supported Cables
  4. Supported Comm Types

3. Purchase from a reputable source

Buy from a reputable source that is aware of the above requirements. I’ve spoken to several retailers that purchase terminals and receive them only to spend more shipping them back out to have them injected or correct the software load.

4. Compare Costs

Ensure you are comparing apples to apples when it comes to cost. Many retailers just advertised the terminal price and don’t include the necessary peripherals. 

5. Consider Technology

Consider what technology you want to support and ensure you buy hardware that offers these features. For example, what is your mobile or tablet solution. If you are planning on rolling out a mobile POS you probably don’t need to purchase desktop terminals for all your workstations. Consider a 50/50 split of mobile terminals vs. desktop terminals.