MAG Insights

Announcements from the MAG & Featured Articles

EMV Implementation: EMV Learnings - To Date (MAG Quarterly- Volume Four, Issue One)

March 3, 2016

Although several MAG members have already completed their conversion to EMV, most have not. We asked members and acquirers to comment on their EMV learnings and compiled a short list for your review:

  1. Hindsight is 20/20.   Start sooner, it may take 6 months to complete all testing and certification efforts.

  2. Engage EMV consultants, especially if this is your first time adding support for EMV. Get merchant references from consultants before hiring and vet to ensure they have the skill sets you need – all EMV consultants are not created equal.

  3.  Using a pre-certified semi-integrated solution reduces your time to market however it is a significant architecture change for most retailers (which can negate the time to market advantage).  Projects have also been slowed by merchants who are replacing their switch and not having a full understanding of what functions their switch performs, so make sure that the features you need most are still available for you in the new product.

  4. Very carefully consider staggering your implementation (e.g. credit, then debit, then, contactless – if at all).  Consider your existing mix of products accepted to determine appropriate areas of priority.

  5. Get all your vendors in the room, talking to each other on a regular basis.  If your PIN pads are provided by one vendor, your register software by another and your processing provided by a third – get them all on site, literally sitting in the room if possible.

  6. Not sure you can be successful outsourcing this effort, except for very small merchants with non-integrated card acceptance devices.

  7. Despite what all the vendors tell you, there is no such thing as EMV in a box.

  8. Be very open with the brands.  Your processor will try to manage the brand relationship, but despite what you are told, the brands are involved in the certification process.  The more clarity you provide regarding your real world processes, the less likelihood of confusion with specific test cases (this may have changed since we went through certification).

  9. Understand exactly who is involved with the process and where they are located.  Our processor used a certification vendor that had facilities in Europe, which due to time zone issues resulted in daily delays in obtaining test results and resubmitting tests.

  10. Engage teams across your organization from business, technology, and stores to make the right holistic decisions for your EMV implementation and checkout flow.
  11. Cashier training is very important.  This is a big change for consumers, and they will expect your cashiers to lead them through the process.

  12. Understand all costs related to the installation – its more than just the hardware costs (for ex. Cable costs, port splitter costs, mount charges, general installation charges, etc.)

  13. Solid planning and coordination of all vendor partners necessary for a successful implementation (terminal hardware provider; POS vendor; acquirer/processor; installer; training efforts; support)

  14. Strong commitment from all vendor partners is needed for a successful implementation

  15. Timing of EMV certification specific to your acquirer and terminal

  16. Replacement model for “broken” terminals- new vs. refurbished; turnaround time for replacement terminal to be shipped

  17. For franchised systems with multiple merchant IDs, solid understanding of the individualized “data”/credentials that are programmed into the terminals and the vendors QA process

  18. Availability of inventory up front and ongoing for replacements

  19. For a franchised system, rollout of these terminals is extremely complicated and very detail driven and is extremely resource driven – requires a lot of dedicated partnership and team work from all parties.  We are still in the early stages and are learning every day, but I can tell you that it is a time consuming and often times frustrating project in that surprises develop every day as most people involved are doing this for the very first time!

  20. Watch for chargebacks that should not be processed but are coming as part of the liability shift (petroleum outside for example).

  21. Monitor chargebacks closely to spot fraud trends. 

  22. There have been numerous reports of issuers misusing the chargeback process by charging back lost & stolen fraud items rather than restricting themselves to counterfeit fraud. Scan chargebacks more thoroughly to pushback against issuer misuse and engage with the card brands if necessary. Report instances of suspected misuse to your acquirer.