Card processing software makes the difference in full EMV conversion

It's 2016, and by this point, many cardholders likely have access to EMV-enabled payment cards. However, some merchants haven't yet made the necessary updates to accept these cards, and even those that have the right terminals aren't necessarily seeing customers use their chips. Instead, as Payments Source notes, these customers are still swiping, and the reason may have to do with the processing software necessary for EMV payments to go smoothly.

Most can tell that the chip-and-pin system hasn't reached the same widespread popularity in the U.S. that it enjoys in other countries. The source spoke to CTO Mansour Karimzadeh of the SCIL-EMV Academy, who explained that the missing piece could be software. Without it, an EMV-enabled terminal isn't fully operable and customers will keep using their cards to swipe, defeating the purpose of the conversion.

"To be able to use EMV, they have to put that software in and then do a number of certification tests to make sure the terminal works correctly and to make sure the processor can actually see transactions coming in," Karimzadeh said. He also noted that as many as 45 percent of merchants "have the new terminals but are not using them for one reason or another," as the source said.

The transition to the new system has caused other anxieties for Point of Sale stores. Ars Technica reported on the Florida-based B&R Supermarket, which wants to sue card networks over what it sees as an unfair certification process. For businesses that need to make a full change, achieving certification could prove to be a strain when they aren't prepared.

Merchants should match EMV-enabled terminals with the appropriate payment processing software to ensure that they fully enable chip and pin functions and do best by their customers.

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