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Chip Card Technology (EMV)

Upgrade to a more secure way

to do business

Get Ready for Chip Card Technology

Chip Card Technology, also known as EMV, is an industry standard designed to help fight fraud. The 'chip' in chip card technology is a secure microprocessor built into a card or other payment devices (i.e. mobile wallet on smart phone).
The chip generates a unique number for each transaction and when it's used with an chip enabled POS system, transactions are more secure. The chip card and the chip-enabled POS system work together to form a system that helps reduce counterfeiting.

What's happening in October 2015?

Starting October 2015, all major card networks will institute a fraud liability shift in the U.S. This means that whichever party (business or card issuer) has the least secure technology may be liable for certain types of fraudulent transactions. To help avoid this liability, work with your processor or terminal provider today to upgrade to chip card technology.

Additional Resources

> Browse frequently asked questions
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Chip Card Technology (aka EMV)?
Chip card technology is an industry standard to help fight fraud. Chip Cards store information in a secure, embedded chip. American Express started issuing chip cards in the U.S. in 2012 and we are working to ensure our cards use this technology in the future.
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How do chip cards work?
A chip card is inserted (rather than swiped) in a chip-enabled terminal to verify the data. A signature or PIN helps ensure the card belongs to the customer. During the authorization process, a unique one-time-use code is created. The transaction is then authorized by the card issuer or the terminal itself.
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What are the benefits of chip cards for merchants?
Chip cards can help to reduce fraud, so merchants could see fewer disputed transactions, which will potentially lower fraud-related expenses. Plus, you can increase the confidence of your consumers because they can feel more secure with their transactions.
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What do chip cards mean for my fraud liability?
Starting October 2015, all major card networks will institute a fraud liability shift in the U.S. This means that whichever party (business or card issuer) has the least secure technology may be liable for certain types of fraudulent transactions. To help avoid this liability, work with your processor or terminal provider today to upgrade to chip card technology.
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What's the difference between chip-and-signature and chip-and-PIN verification?
Signature and PIN are methods to confirm the card belongs to the customer. At the time of sale, the terminal will indicate if a signature or PIN is required and what steps to take next. While chip cards themselves help prevent counterfeit payment card transactions, PIN verification also helps prevent transactions attempted with a lost or stolen payment card.
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How should I prepare?
Contact your processor or terminal provider today to discuss how to upgrade to chip-enabled terminals. Ask about accepting other secure payment technologies, like contactless and mobile payments such as Apple Pay™ and other mobile wallets. Be sure to work with your employees to get them familiar with chip cards and how to use them.
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How much will it cost me?
The cost to upgrade your terminal varies. It depends on factors like the terminal you choose and additional tasks needed to integrate chip-enabled terminals into your network. Your processor or terminal provider can give you more information about your options and costs.
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Will chip cards help prevent all fraud?
No technology is foolproof. But chip cards can help reduce fraud from counterfeit, lost, or stolen cards and potentially reduce the number of chargebacks.
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What other steps can I take to reduce fraud?
Consider other fraud-preventing technologies, like encryption and tokenization. Encryption scrambles data to help protect it as it moves through the payment transaction. Tokenization substitutes data with unique identifiers, or 'tokens', which protect stored customer data.
Back to top
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Chip Card Technology (aka EMV)?
Chip card technology is an industry standard to help fight fraud. Chip Cards store information in a secure, embedded chip. American Express started issuing chip cards in the U.S. in 2012 and we are working to ensure our cards use this technology in the future.
Back to top
How do chip cards work?
A chip card is inserted (rather than swiped) in a chip-enabled terminal to verify the data. A signature or PIN helps ensure the card belongs to the customer. During the authorization process, a unique one-time-use code is created. The transaction is then authorized by the card issuer or the terminal itself.
Back to top
What are the benefits of chip cards for merchants?
Chip cards can help to reduce fraud, so merchants could see fewer disputed transactions, which will potentially lower fraud-related expenses. Plus, you can increase the confidence of your consumers because they can feel more secure with their transactions.
Back to top
What do chip cards mean for my fraud liability?
Starting October 2015, all major card networks will institute a fraud liability shift in the U.S. This means that whichever party (business or card issuer) has the least secure technology may be liable for certain types of fraudulent transactions. To help avoid this liability, work with your processor or terminal provider today to upgrade to chip card technology.
Back to top
What's the difference between chip-and-signature and chip-and-PIN verification?
Signature and PIN are methods to confirm the card belongs to the customer. At the time of sale, the terminal will indicate if a signature or PIN is required and what steps to take next. While chip cards themselves help prevent counterfeit payment card transactions, PIN verification also helps prevent transactions attempted with a lost or stolen payment card.
Back to top
How should I prepare?
Contact your processor or terminal provider today to discuss how to upgrade to chip-enabled terminals. Ask about accepting other secure payment technologies, like contactless and mobile payments such as Apple Pay™ and other mobile wallets. Be sure to work with your employees to get them familiar with chip cards and how to use them.
Back to top
How much will it cost me?
The cost to upgrade your terminal varies. It depends on factors like the terminal you choose and additional tasks needed to integrate chip-enabled terminals into your network. Your processor or terminal provider can give you more information about your options and costs.
Back to top
Will chip cards help prevent all fraud?
No technology is foolproof. But chip cards can help reduce fraud from counterfeit, lost, or stolen cards and potentially reduce the number of chargebacks.
Back to top
What other steps can I take to reduce fraud?
Consider other fraud-preventing technologies, like encryption and tokenization. Encryption scrambles data to help protect it as it moves through the payment transaction. Tokenization substitutes data with unique identifiers, or 'tokens', which protect stored customer data.
Back to top
"The chip works well and it was a seamless changeover. We wanted to make sure we stayed ahead of the curve in technology and in what we offered to our customers. My staff also loves it."
-Starbase Optometry, New York, NY
Hear from other small merchants who have upgraded

What upgrading to chip-enabled terminals can do for your business

  • Help reduce counterfeit, lost, or stolen credit card fraud.
  • Increase customer confidence.
  • Reduce operational costs as a result of fraud.
  • Align your business with the global standard to fight payment card fraud.
Things to consider as you upgrade and work with your processor or terminal provider.
What kind of terminal should I get?
What kind of terminals accept contactless cards or mobile payments like Apple Pay™?
What else do I have to do besides purchasing a new terminal?
When can I expect to complete the upgrade process? Will it be in time for the fraud liability shift taking effect October 2015?
How much will upgrading cost me?
How can I leverage technologies like tokenization and encryption to help prevent fraud?