Ever wonder what commonly used payments terms like EMV, NFC and PCI actually stand for? Or what much-hyped technologies like Apple Pay or tokenization mean to your business? Unlike many industry buzzwords out there, these ones actually matter because they are transforming the way people pay. Here’s a quick overview of five key payment terms that are making card acceptance faster, easier and safer for retailers and consumers alike.
1. EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa)
EMV is the international standard for chip-embedded cards and their terminals. Most countries, including Canada in 2007, have already adopted EMV because it’s much less susceptible to fraud than magnetic-stripe cards. The U.S. is currently switching to EMV and the major credit card brands have set October 1, 2015 as the date issuing banks and merchants must be chip-and-PIN ready. After this date, the party that doesn’t support EMV will be held liable for fraudulent transactions, providing a major incentive to complete the switchover on time.
2. NFC (Near field communication)
NFC is the technology behind contactless payments. It makes the wireless transfer of data possible between two devices in close proximity, such as a smartphone and a credit card terminal. By offering secure tap-to-pay convenience without the need for physical cards, NFC mobile payments are set for major growth in North America.
3. Apple Pay
Apple Pay is Apple’s new mobile payment service that lets its iPhone and Apple Watch users make payments at the point-of-sale and within apps. Users add their credit or debit card information to their device’s Passbook app, which stores the data until there’s a tap to buy. To make a purchase, the user taps their device to a contactless payment terminal while placing their finger on the Touch ID fingerprint scanner. A vibration and beep confirm the transaction was successful. Apple Pay launched in the U.S. last year and is expected in Canada towards the end of 2015.
Tokenization technology protects credit card data as it moves through the payment system by replacing sensitive information with temporary substitute values called tokens. Even if a company’s security is breached, the fraudsters will find nothing but tokens with meaningless information.
Smartphones that use tokenization to securely store credit card information prevent stolen phones being used for fraudulent shopping sprees. Online retailers are increasingly using tokenization solutions, such as Moneris Hosted Tokenization, to securely process credit card transactions without incurring the scope, risks or costs associated with storing sensitive data.
5. PCI DSS
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is designed to detect and prevent the sort of high-profile retailer data breaches that have occurred in recent years. It provides a set of objectives and requirements that businesses storing, processing or transmitting cardholder data must follow. Enforced by the Card Associations (American Express, Discover, JSB, MasterCard and Visa), failure to comply can lead to large fines, fees or termination of processing services. Not to mention the devastating hit a merchant’s reputation takes if a breach does occur. Ensuring PCI DSS compliance makes good business sense.
All these terms relate to trends in digital payment technology that are offering merchants and their customers way more security, speed and convenience. Moneris can help your business take full advantage of these developments, while helping ensure you stay PCI compliant.
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