September 4, 2012

EMV is Coming – Don’t Panic!

Back in January, Shift4 CEO Dave Oder wrote an Executive Insight article about EMV (Chip and PIN) payments coming to the U.S. At that time, the details were a bit hazy and all we knew for certain was that by 2015, U.S. merchants were supposed to have EMV in place. Dave’s outlook on the situation was grim: “It’s going to be a mess.”
Today, it’s clear just how enormous an undertaking the EMV migration is going to be… and how it still isn’t going to solve most of the issues it was aimed at solving to begin with.

But, don’t worry too much; the good news we shared back in January is worth repeating:

Luckily, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Because of Shift4’s unique Universal Transaction Gateway® (UTG®) capability, POS application providers that now support US debit can support Canadian debit, Canadian EMV, and will be able to support US EMV without making any significant changes to their software. Basically, those with certified interfaces to Shift4 will be able to do 1/20th of the work to gain 100% of the capability. Merchants who use software interfaced to Shift4’s DOLLARS ON THE NET® will get US EMV support as a part of their existing agreement; no new fees, no new rates. Also, because Shift4’s solution will continue to use TrueTokenization® for security, merchants can rest assured that they remain secure.

To guarantee that you are ready for US EMV, make sure you are using Shift4’s DOLLARS ON THE NET and that the POS/PMS software you are using is interfaced to DOLLARS ON THE NET. Also, make sure that you don’t purchase EMV devices without checking with Shift4 (remember, each device must be independently certified).

One last thing; don’t purchase an end–to-end solution from anyone other than Shift4, as there is no guarantee the terminals or devices that currently support end-to-end will be viable for U.S. EMV.

In January, we encouraged you to wait for an end-to-end (or point-to-point) solution that would guarantee your future compatibility with U.S. EMV. At the time, we hadn’t yet released our solution, but we’re happy to announce that Shift4’s Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) solution is now being rolled out.

If you’re using another P2PE or E2EE solution, or have been considering implementing P2PE on top of our TrueTokenization®, now is the time to get on board. Contact to add your name to the priority development list and get first dibs once the solution is up and running. Only Shift4 can provide tokenization and P2PE with absolute bank and processor independence. If you’re using another vendor’s P2PE solution, you will lose your transaction data if you ever need (or want) to change processors.

U.S. EMV implementation will be difficult, but if you make sure your systems are interfaced to Shift4 and are compliant, we’ll do all we can to make your transition as easy and painless as possible. Sure, merchants across the nation will have to add new devices – but, with any luck, that’ll be the only major step you have to take.