How EMV Works

How EMV Works

Consumers are used to swiping their card so the payment terminal can read the magnetic stripe on the back of the card. This changes with EMV. Consumers will “dip” or insert their credit card into a slot on the payment terminal. They can also tap it on a contactless terminal to create a transaction. The payment terminal then reads the chip or receives the card data in case of a contactless transaction. The card is not handed-off to the merchant and there is no swipe. Only EMV-capable payment terminals can read and decode the chip card.

Magnetic Stripes

On the credit cards we used until now, the card number was stored on the magnetic stripe on the back of the card. When you swipe the card at the checkout, the payment terminal reads the card information from that stripe and then sends it the transaction for approval. The card number is static, which means that it’s always the same number for every transaction, which makes it relatively easy for fraudsters to hack the terminal or the network, steal your card number, and use it elsewhere.

EMV Chip Cards

With EMV chip cards, your information is better protected. The cardholder is most vulnerable to fraud after they dip the card. During this process an EMV cryptogram is created that keeps sensitive data away from cyber-thieves. Unlike magnetic stripe cards, EMV chip cards send data that changes with each transaction. EMV chip cards transmit a unique variable algorithm with each transaction. This makes the data more secure than the static data found on magnetic stripe cards. Even if a criminal manages to grab the number from the store, it’s mostly useless because it won’t work a second time. It also can’t be traced back to your real card number. The EMV chip has the same information as the magnetic stripe on the old card. However, it creates a unique code that gets reorganized with each purchase and takes into account numerous different variables. Furthermore, it’s not linked to a card member’s account.

Find EMV Support from PrismPay​

The EMV chip card requires the terminal to perform many stages of complex processing, including the cryptographic authentication, to successfully complete a transaction. This means that adding support for EMV to existing payment applications can be a daunting task. See more about how POS Cloud Connect can ease the EMV transition burden. Sign up below for details on how PrismPay can help you with EMV.
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