Cartoon anthropomorphic EMV enabled terminal smiling

What You Need to Know About Mobile Payments

Cartoon anthropomorphic EMV enabled terminal smiling

Terminal talks about mobile payments!

Like any new technology, mobile payments might seem a bit complicated. Don’t worry, we’re covering what you need to know about the latest mobile payment technologies— without all the technical jargon.

 How do mobile payments work?

Apple Pay and Android Pay

 Apple and Android Pay rely on NFC technology. NFC stands for “Near Field Communication,” as in the phone and terminal must be near each other to work. Both the phone and the terminal must have NFC chips.

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay is different than Apple and Android pay because it involves MST technology. MST stands for “Magnetic Secure Transmission” and interacts with a terminal just like the magnetic strip on your card.

Both of these technologies allow your phone to internally store your payment info and to communicate with a terminal in order to authorize the transaction.

Are mobile payment technologies safe?

Yes. In general, today’s mobile payments are secure. Your card information is encrypted in your phone to combat fraudsters. Essentially, your phone holds a virtual card—a decoy that you use to make payments. Unlike a physical card, your financial information (i.e. your name and card number) is not directly used.

Here’s a few tips to make your mobile wallet even more secure:

  1. Make sure you have a passcode on your phone. If your phone gets lost or stolen, it will be more difficult for someone to use your phone to make payments with your card.
  2. Set your phone up to be able to be turned off from anywhere in the event your phone has been lost or stolen.
  3. Monitor your card statements for any fraudulent charges. If you see anything suspicious, call your bank.

Apple and Samsung Pay also utilize fingerprint verification (biometrics) in order to access your chosen payment.

Comparing Mobile Payment Apps

  • Apple Pay
  • Introduced 2014
  • One of the first mobile payment options to utilize NFC technology in phones
  • Works with iPhone models 6 and newer
  • Works with wearables (Apple Watch)
  • Accepts most Visa, MasterCard and most large organizations
  • Larger banks (like Bank of America) support Apple Pay, but support varies across smaller regional banks
  • Android Pay
    • Phone must be supported by NFC, which is available in newer Android models
    • Utilizes a downloadable app
    • Works on any compatible smartphone
    • Currently supported by fewer banks than Apple Pay

Apple and Android Pay are not yet widely accepted in stores due to the fact that this technology is relatively unknown to consumers.

  • Samsung Pay:
  • Works with newest Samsung phones like the Galaxy S7
  • Uses MST technology to mimic the magnetic strip on a card
  • Works by hovering your phone over any terminal
  • Use is not restricted to NFC enabled terminals
  • Does not work (due to weak signal strength) if your card has to be inserted into the terminal, like at a gas station

 

Have more questions about mobile payments, or wireless terminals, our customer services representatives will be happy to help- just call us at 1(800)317- 1819!

 

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REVONU POS and Holy Cross Monastery: a Match Made in Heaven!

Brother Will working in the shop with REVONU POS

Brother Will working in the shop with REVONU POS

While COCARD’s REVONU POS is already well known for powering payments at restaurants, salons, and retail establishments, it also helps Holy Cross Monastery manage their gift shop inventory, payments and book sales.

Read what Holy Cross Monastery’s Brother Scott has to say about REVONU POS and COCARD.

COCARD: First, what is your primary use for REVONU POS?

Brother Scott: Our system is in the gift shop where we sell a mixture of books, religious gifts, candy bars and snacks.

 

COCARD: What made your monastery choose REVONU POS for your payment processing?

Brother Scott: We have been working with COCARD for a while, primarily because the previous POS system we were using had recommended COCARD as a merchant services provider. Also, when EMV came about we were looking at how to accommodate that. We had the option to stay with a previous system or change to what COCARD was recommending. COCARD’s support had always been quite good so we felt confident in going with their recommendation, which was REVONU POS.

 

COCARD: How has REVONU POS improved the operation of your business?

Brother Scott: The previous software we used had been minimally updated since the 90’s. So, now that we have been able to use the newer technology, particularly the cloud based software to access the back office from anywhere, our store has been running a lot smoother.

 

COCARD: So you would say that REVONU POS has made your business run easier and more efficiently?

Brother Scott: Yes! Especially because COCARD’s customer service has been so reliable and has made converting to REVONU POS a smooth process.

 

COCARD: What is your favorite aspect of REVONU POS?

Brother Scott: Again, the newer technology and back office cloud integration is great! Also the staff in the store really like the ease of the touch- screen functions on the terminal.

If you think that your business could benefit from adopting a REVONU point of sale terminal, like Holy Cross Monastery does, call COCARD today at 1(800)317- 1819!

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silver American express chip card shown dipped, or being processed, in an emv terminal

EMV Pocket Glossary

silver American express chip card shown dipped, or being processed, in an emv terminalWith the liability shift here, we know that you’ve already got a lot on your plate. So we’re going to just take it easy and go over a few terms you may have already seen or will see as you continue to learn about EMV. This list can serve as a simple pocket reference during the transition. Print it out even, and refer to it as needed when reading your next article or blog post about EMV. We want the transition to be worry-free.

EMV: Short for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa, the developers of the card

Chip-enabled card: A credit card enabled with a microchip; also referred to as “chip and pin” or “chip and signature”, depending on the cardholder verification method

Fraud: the criminal use of a person’s credit card information to make unauthorized transactions

With the transition to EMV terminals, the US aims to decrease fraud. The US currently accounts for nearly half of all worldwide fraud. On a positive note, the EU has decreased card fraud by 80% since completing its transition to EMV cards, which means the US transition should be successful.

Liability shift: Starting October 1st the responsibility for fraudulent transactions switched to the party with the least EMV-capable technology

If fraud occurs with a non-EMV bank card, the bank is responsible. If fraud occurs as a result of a merchant’s POS system that can’t accept EMV-cards, the merchant is responsible. Only 20-30% of merchants are expected to use EMV-capable terminals by October 1st, with the remainder throughout the three to five-year transition period. So if you’re not there yet, don’t freak out. COCARD can work with you to determine a POS system that is right for your company’s needs.

Transaction authorization: When a chip card goes through rules set by the card-issuer to determine whether the transaction can be authorized; transactions can be authorized either online or offline

Card authentication: the process of making the card authentic or unique by providing a one-time code for the transaction

If someone does manage to actually steal this code and use it, the transaction would be declined since the code was already used.

Cardholder verification (CVM): how the issuer and merchant verify that the cardholder and the person with the card are one and the same. An EMV-terminal might require a pin, signature, or for low risk transactions, no verification method.

Mag-stripe card: Cards with a magnetic stripe on the back. Much of the world has already switched completely to EMV-cards, and the full-scale transition in the US is currently underway. Cardholder data on mag stripe cards is easy to steal using a simple card reading machine.

Cryptogram: A one-time code created during online authorization; a cryptogram validates that the chip and issuer are not counterfeit

That’s it. We hope that this glossary of terms is short and sweet, and that it provides simple definitions for terms that are often times used when discussing EMV.

And now that October 1st has come and gone we’re sure that your still standing strong. So don’t worry. Instead, continue to read up on EMV and take the information that is most valuable to you as a business owner. If you’ve got any questions, we at COCARD will be happy to assist. Feel free to give us a call at 800-317-1819.

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Cartoon illustrations of an EMV Chip Card reader and EMV Credit Card

The EMV Files: A Conversation with Chip and Terminal

Cartoon illustrations of an EMV Chip Card reader and EMV Credit Card

Last week we introduced Chip and Terminal, who have a lot to say about EMV, mainly because they are the main components in EMV technology. So we were lucky enough to be able to book a slot on their busy schedule this fall season to interview them and ask them a few questions. Personally, we think they’d be great on Bravo, but they might have competition with a real housewife or two.

COCARD: Hi Chip. Hi Terminal. We’re so glad that we could ask you two a few questions about EMV. Really, we’re honored. Could you just start by telling us a little bit about yourselves?

Chip: Sure, well I’m Chip, and I’m the small chip that’s embedded in credit cards with EMV technology. Banks have already started transitioning to cards including yours truly, and plan on having all cards in the US utilizing EMV technology within five years.

Terminal: I’m Terminal, and all cards containing chips, will be dipped into terminals to be read. I like to say that I give new meaning to dipping the chip. I provide a one-time code to authenticate the card. Because of this, your data is protected, preventing a person from stealing a code that is only good for one transaction.

COCARD: So when did you first realize that you worked so well together, that you were a great team?

Terminal: I’ll take this one Chip. We’ve had a couple of countries really benefit from EMV technology. There’s the UK, which reduced fraud by more than half between 2004 and 2013 upon implementing EMV cards. Then there’s Canada, eh, that started the EMV roll-out in 2003 and reported fraud of $29.5 million (CAD), down 79% from 2009, which was $142 million (CAD). So I would say that it’s taken some time to see the effects, but in the past few years, we’ve really seen the impact that EMV cards have had in reducing fraud for many countries around the world.

COCARD: EMV is new for many business owners. So I’m sure you understand how such a change might make people anxious. What would you say to assuage the fears of business owners everywhere?

Chip: Well, first the sky is not falling. It might seem like it, but it’s not. The proof is that it’s already been successful in other places, and the US is simply one of the few developed nations that has not adopted this technology. EMV, through its authentication process, is really what makes these cards, our cards, more secure. So they are a safe and secure way to pay for things. We think that any business owner can appreciate the feeling of comfort that security brings.  The big thing for business owners to remember is that banks have a five year plan and that only 21% of US cards will have the embedded chip by the October 1st liability shift..

COCARD: Anything else you’d like business owners out there to know?

Terminal: We just want you all to stay informed. Keep learning. The more you know, we think the less you’ll feel out of your element with something that can benefit your business.

COCARD: Thanks Chip. Thanks Terminal. You were both great. We appreciate that you were able to take time out of your busy schedules—you two are in high demand—to spend a few minutes with us at COCARD. Have a great day.

Chip: You too.

Terminal: Yeah, thanks COCARD.

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CHip-B-W-968x1024

A Sky Without Limits, or Infinity and EMV

CHip-B-W-968x1024Chicken Little once said that the sky is falling.  Yet it still remains intact above us.  So while the transition from magnetic stripe to EMV might seem like a shift of cataclysmic proportions, the sky is not falling.  Your company will successfully transition from magnetic stripe to EMV (many already have), and next time you look outside your window, you’ll see the billowy clouds resting above, and not on the ground.

Yet we also understand that with anything new comes fear.  It’s normal.  So we’ve put together a few facts to calm your nerves.  We want you—the sagacious business owner that you are—to continue to make calm, smart decisions over the course of the transition.

Are you with us?  Well, here goes:

  • A transaction using EMV technology will take around 60 seconds compared to under 2 seconds with a magnetic stripe card. Magstripe cards are swiped and provide the terminal with the credit card number and expiration date, which can be easily copied by a card reader.  EMV terminals, on the other hand, require customers to “dip” the chip and verify customer data, which takes just a short while longer.  During this time, the Chip and Terminal begin a conversation.  Chip says, “Please authorize this transaction.”   Terminal replies, “I’ll need to make sure you’re valid.  I’ll also need to provide your card with a special code unique to this transaction because we can’t have any fraudsters trying to take your info.”  Chip responds, “Sounds great.”  Terminal says, “Now please sign, or enter your pin number.”  EMV takes a few more seconds than a magstripe transaction, but your data is more secure. 

 

  • Don’t panic. Although EMV has been adopted in Europe for over a decade, cards in the US still have a magnetic stripe.  Card companies have accounted for the ongoing transition by allowing terminals to still accept magnetic stripe cards. Card issuers expect the full transition to take anywhere from three to five years.

 

  • The term “liability shift” sounds pretty intense, like if you’re not prepared, the earth will shift, and you’ll fall off the edge of it. Oh, Copernicus.  Well, flat-earth jokes aside, the liability shift is not that cruel.  It is simply a method to eliminate fraud.  Starting October 2015, the party—either the business or banking institution—with the lesser technology will be responsible for the cost of fraud.  Instead of thinking of the liability shift as a way for others to make money off of your hard work, think of it instead as a way to ensure all parties are working together to eliminate fraud, which cost US consumers $16 billion last year alone.

 

In short, the sky is not falling, and EMV is not the end of the world.  Instead, it seems to be the beginning to new possibilities for business owners.  It might be an uncharted territory, but EMV will provide companies with the tools to chart their own course by allowing them to directly address fraud, a concern that leaves many involved feeling powerless.  So next time you look at the sky, we at COCARD hope that you view it with possibility, and nothing less than that.

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emv

The Truth About EMV!

emv

True.  Bats see just fine, and in spite of the idiom “blind as a bat”, bats really have no reason to serve as the benchmark for people with less than perfect eyesight.

Popular myths aside, fall is indeed upon us, which means that the start date of October 1st for the liability shift is near.  Are you prepared?

To test your EMV preparedness, see if you can determine whether each statement is true or false.

There really is no proof that EMV is a safer way to protect data.

False, false, and false.  Let’s look at two case studies.  Since introducing EMV technology in 2004, the United Kingdom reported 62% less fraud in 2013.  Canada has also reduced fraud losses to $29.5 million since transitioning to EMV technology.  Fraud in Canada is down 79% from losses in 2009 ($142 million).  With EMV technology responsible for the significant decrease in fraud in the UK and Canada, the technology aims to also decrease fraud in the United States as well, which currently accounts for nearly half of fraud worldwide.

All businesses—small and large—should be EMV-compliant.

True.  No business is too small to adopt EMV technology.  While it might be assumed that businesses with larger sales should adopt this technology, small businesses should also be sure to protect their sales as well.  Leave it to a pesky fraudster to think ahead and target a small business because the merchant assumed that fraudsters only targeted larger companies.  Prevent being caught off guard by being one step ahead of those who want to steal from you.

Adopting EMV technology is expensive.

For the business owner that thinks long term, false.  The average cost of an EMV terminal is between $400 and $700.  The average bill on a fraudulent card is $399.  You do the math.  While one fraudulent transaction probably won’t destroy you, starting October 1st, you, and not the associated bank, will be responsible for repaying losses resulting from fraud if your business is NOT EMV compliant.  You will also be penalized for the fraud that could have been avoided by installing an EMV card terminal.  When you add it all up, $400 to $700 is a small investment compared to the possible cost of not adopting the technology.  What’s more, card processors such as COCARD often discount card readers.  So call us today, and we will work within your budget.

In addition to business owners, employees should also be trained on how to properly use EMV technology.

True.  While you are schooling yourself on the ABC’s of EMV, don’t leave your employees in the dark.  Whether through workshops, a training program, or printed manuals, employees should understand how card terminals work for both themselves and customers who need assistance.  COCARD can work with you to develop a training program that’s right for your company.

So how did you do?  Did you get the right answers?  Regardless, this information will be useful as your company prepares for the coming liability shift and transition to EMV.  With foresight, you can protect your company from fraud and ensure, to the best of your ability, an environment that maximizes both security and profits.  There’s nothing batty about it, EMV we mean.

 

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