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The Many Barriers to Becoming EMV Compliant

Jason Stump, CIO & VP-IT, Affinity Gaming

By now, most of us, even as consumers have become familiar with the all-too-common process of checking out at any one of our favorite retailers not knowing whether to swipe or insert our credit cards into a chip reader. Why all the confusion?

EMV (which stands for Euro Pay, Mastercard and Visa), the global standard for credit card processing started requiring establishments to be chip compliant by October 1, 2015. The goal was for consumers to receive replacement credit cards with chips by this date; however even some well-known and respected retailers such as Target, Home Depot, and Walmart did not make the October 1st deadline.

​  At Affinity, we are taking a cue from these proven practices and are in the process of implementing similar security measures 

The reason why this deadline was missed? The rollout proved to be much more entailed than previously anticipated. Although chip-enabled credit cards offer much more effective technology for deterring credit card fraud, the systems needed to be put in place in order to switch over to this new transaction method were both time-consuming and expensive.

For example, within the Gaming industry, many vendors are months behind in being able to help the hospitality industry become compliant. Casinos depend on their vendors to keep their systems updated. On the Oracle & Infogenesis Point of Sale system the configuration was easy and we were able to utilize the hardware that we already own. However, the Oracle Opera & Agilysys hotel systems still lack EMV support when using Freedom Pay.

For any company still weighing the pros and cons of becoming compliant, we would highly recommend working quickly with your payment processor and vendors to install the necessary hardware and software to become EMV compliant. All of Affinity’s properties point-of-sale terminals are now operated on chip-enabled technology which means we are no longer liable for fraudulent credit card transactions; opposed to the old system where we were responsible for thousands of chargebacks every month.

For consumers, although the transaction time is a bit slower (seven seconds longer to process a chip-enabled card), they’re reassured that this upgraded system is much more secure than swiping (which leaves credit card information vulnerable to installed card readers).

Although new to the U.S., the EMV chip-enabled system is actually commonplace in Europe and Canada, where your credit card cannot leave your side. At Affinity, we are taking a cue from these proven practices and are in the process of implementing similar security measures where payments can be processed by our servers remotely insuring your credit card never has to leave your hand.

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