The U.S. EMV chip card migration is well underway in an attempt to drastically reduce card fraud losses — as seen in the countries around the world that have already implemented EMV.
Because the chip cards add security to payments using the embedded microchip that uses dynamic data for each transaction, the cards are extremely difficult to counterfeit. As shown in the other markets that have already implemented EMV, the data show that card-present counterfeit fraud has dropped as much as 80 percent since embracing chip card adoption.
Of course any major payment overhaul can cause friction, but as Discover notes in its advice about migrating to EMV: “with ubiquitous commitment to chip cards by merchants and other payments stakeholders, the industry can reduce business disruption during the switch.”
Regardless of the size of the merchant, enabling chip card payments is critical to reducing card-present fraud. For retailers who have implemented chip card technology, however, that fraud is expected to shift to less-protected channels — such as online. And for those terminals that have not been upgraded, those merchants could become larger targets for fraud.
“The migration to EMV will take time and requires merchants to think through the best practices for implementation. EMV training and education is critical for employees, who should become well-versed in the benefits of chip cards and the security they bring to the brick-and-mortar point-of-sale environment,” said Ellie Smith, Head of the Discover Chip Center Of Excellence.
In order to assist merchants on how to achieve those best practices for implementing EMV, Discover has provided the following tips.
Training Employees On Chip Cards: Best Practices
- Designate experts among the team to understand payment options: Identify several managers as experts in different payment methods, including EMV and mobile payments, so they can jump in to help store employees and customers when the need arises. When at least one person at the store has up-to-date knowledge about the EMV migration, and other emerging payment methods such as mobile wallets, commerce can continue to run smoothly in-store, and customers will be grateful for the quick service they received if they are still getting used to the new chip card in their wallet.
- Discuss the different checkout processes for chip cards with store managers and employees: Chip cards may process differently from each other when used at the terminal. That’s because some card issuers will have a PIN behind their card, and others might have a signature behind theirs. Be sure to educate all employees on how the transactions might work once customers start using their chip cards. And always remember – chip cards need to stay in the terminal while the transaction is processed.
- Walk through the transition to chip cards and any other recent terminal updates: Recently, new payment methods have been introduced in addition to chip cards, such as mobile wallets, so it’s important to keep employees well-trained on the latest point of sale terminals and devices. When educating staff on the transition, walk through the go-live date for chip card acceptance in stores, but also remind employees about each type of payment that stores accept, from chip cards to contactless payments to mobile wallets, so no one accidentally turns away a certain payment type at checkout.
- Leverage videos, store signage and other useful industry resources: Educate employees further by using trusted industry resources. To help navigate through this new environment, Discover Network can help merchants to better understand chip cards and EMV-enabled terminals and other changes to the industry. The Discover Network EMV Resource Center provides many resources to prepare for migration to EMV, including a training video that can be played during the meeting. Discover Network also offers new signage to place on EMV-enabled terminals, windows, and counters. To download this signage, visit the Merchant Resources page.
- Remind employees about the power of friendly customer service: A trained staff, some patience, and friendly customer interaction can go a long way as the industry collectively migrates to new and safer payments technology. Encourage employees to be attentive to each customer and each transaction, especially as consumers have varying degrees of knowledge about chip cards. By providing an exceptional level of customer service, businesses can stand out from the rest, gain competitive advantage and keep customers coming back.