The EMV (that’s EuroPay, MasterCard and Visa)
Liability Shift Will Take Place Oct. 1, 2015.


By Chester Ritchie, NCR Merchant Solutions

After the date above, restaurants that do not have EMV-enabled payment terminals will be liable for chargebacks on counterfeit chip cards used in their establishment. Between the bank that issued the card, the restaurant accepting the card and the payment provider processing the card, whoever is least prepared to accept EMV will be held accountable.


Unfortunately, the impending EMV transition has turned into a market grab. Third-party payment companies, solution providers and hardware manufacturers are using the liability shift to spread false information and scare restaurant owners into rushing purchasing decisions they aren’t ready to make. Those decisions could have harmful, long-lasting implications on their operations.
While it’s important to eventually make the transition to EMV to avoid liability and minimize risk, restaurant operators should proceed with careful consideration to avoid falling for third-party scare tactics.

Here are the Top 5 restaurant EMV myths, debunked:

MYTH 1: EMV is required and will be enforced by a government or security agency.

If you’re a restaurant operator in the U.S., no government agency or industry association requires you to implement EMV. You will not be fined if you do not integrate EMV terminals by the Oct. 1 “deadline date.” It is your decision as a business owner whether or not, when and how to implement EMV.

MYTH 2: EMV is required for restaurants looking to become PCI-compliant.

You do not need to implement EMV to be compliant with Payments Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). While EMV can be one component of a larger data security strategy, it is neither required nor mandated by PCI DSS. Implementing EMV also will not automatically make you PCI compliant.

MYTH 3: Once a restaurant implements EMV, it can no longer accept mag stripe cards.

Magnetic stripes on credit cards are going to be with us for quite some time. In fact, new chip cards will also have magnetic stripes for this very reason. If you’re EMV-ready and a customer pays with an older mag stripe card, simply swipe it through your new payment terminal’s card reader. Regardless of whether or not you’ve integrated EMV into your POS, you’ll be able to take all credit cards in your restaurant.

MYTH 4: EMV protects restaurants from a data security breach.

Implementing EMV alone will not protect your restaurant from a potential breach. While EMV helps to prevent counterfeit card use, it’s not the end-all, be-all of restaurant data security. There are measures you can put into place beyond EMV – such as encryption, tokenization and automated fraud checks – that will give you better protection and peace-of-mind.

MYTH 5: EMV will achieve rapid, widespread adoption by both card issuers and other restaurants.
Industry experts estimate only 20 to 30 percent of cardholders in the U.S will have new EMV-ready cards by Oct. 1. Moreover, it will take at least three to five years for EMV to reach full acceptance in the U.S., and in Europe, adoption took much longer. Know that it will take a while for everyone to finally transition to EMV, and that you won’t be left behind if you choose to wait until after Oct. 1. You assume greater liability, but you can also assume more control over the transition to EMV than some would want you to believe. It’s important to separate fact from fiction and make the right decision for your establishment.