Business Banking EMV Information for Businesses

Looking for information about EMV technology?  Maybe we can help.

On this page you will find information about EMV technology and the card payment industry’s move to EMV terminals and chip cards.

Firstly, what is EMV?

EMV (an acronym for Europay®, Mastercard® and Visa®) is a global technology standard for credit and debit cards. EMV terminals scan a computerized chip embedded in the card (cards are commonly referred to as chip cards). Customers insert the chip card, chip side up, into an EMV terminal. The terminal then reads the chip in the card to ensure that the card is valid, and processes the transaction. The card stays in the terminal until the transaction is complete and never leaves the sight of the customer.

Secondly, what does it have to do with me and my business?

On October 1, 2015, card companies like, Visa®, Mastercard®, American Express® and Discover® initiated a “shift in liability” for fraudulent transactions made in "card present" purchases. 

In short, the shift in liability changes the financial responsibility, to either a business or card provider (bank or credit union), should a fraudulent transaction take place. The rule for which party is left with the liability depends on the level of technology in place. Basically, the entity with the least amount of technology is left liable. For example, if a business has implemented EMV terminals but a card provider has not supplied chip-cards to their customers, then the card provider is held liable for a fraudulent transaction during card-present transactions. If the consumer presents a chip-card and the terminal is not EMV enabled, the liability falls on the business.

What it means for businesses.

Many major retailers have already upgraded their point of sale terminals to include EMV transaction capabilities. However, it was projected that nearly 40 percent of businesses had not upgraded systems by the liability shift deadline. Since the liability for fraudulent transactions falls on that business for not having an upgraded terminal, the potential costs could be heavy.  Take the EMV check-up below to see if you are EMV ready.

What it means for consumers.

While many other regions in the world have had EMV cards for decades, people in the United States are still very unfamiliar with the technology and what it does. Banks and card companies have distributed chip cards to their customers. Still, about 70 to 80 percent of consumers in the US were not equipped with an EMV card by October 1, 2015. Many banks urged customers to request a new card before their current cards expired in order to have more secure purchases.

What it means for Middlesex Savings Bank.

Beginning in September 2015, Middlesex issued new debit cards with chip technology to current debit cards customers (businesses and consumers).  Going forward, all new debit cards issued will be EMV enabled chip-cards.  With the addition of the chip technology, we are changing our debit card relationship from Visa® to Mastercard® to deliver new benefits and enhanced security.

The bottom line.

The liability shift began on October 1, 2015. Businesses were wise to be ready sooner rather than later.  Avoid the rush by taking steps to upgrade your payment processing technology now – a reliable and certified EMV-enabled system provides customers with safer, more efficient transactions while ensuring your business is protected.

Take an EMV check-up.

  • Is your credit card terminal enabled for reading a chip card? If not, you may want to contact your credit card processor to find out about upgrading your terminal.

  • Explore options with your sales representative to make sure you have the right type of equipment for your needs.

  • Compare lease arrangements with purchase options to determine which route is better for your business.

  • Ensure the equipment you have can handle all your processing needs, but isn’t packaged with services that aren’t necessary for your business.

  • Review your current processing and equipment lease contracts to be sure you know the end date.  Often lease arrangements continue, even if you choose a different credit card processor.

  • Are your employees properly trained on how to process a chip card? Check out some of the websites listed below.  Several include EMV user diagrams and videos.

As the deadline has passed, EMV education efforts are widely available.  Here's a look at some other sites we think are helpful:

Still interested in learning more about the card industry's shift to EMV technology or Middlesex's Merchant Services programs?  Contact Patty Chisholm, Vice President, at 978-344-5020 or via email at