As the October 2015 deadline for the transformation of U.S. credit and debit cards from the current magnetic strip cards to smart cards embedded with an EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) chip approaches many issuers will likely choose the chip-and-signature option for credit cards instead of chip-and-pin which is safer more common in other countries.
Issuers have stated that the chip-and-pin technology poses challenges that could make the transition difficult. Also, many issuers reported that they don’t have the ability to process online chip-and-pin transactions. In addition issuers want to keep the transaction flow similar for customers to ensure that their credit cards remain in use.
There is little debate that both methods are much safer than the current one. Chip-and-signature and chip-and-PIN EMV create a unique code for each transaction making it secure. Chip-and-pin however takes the security a step further protecting against situations such as loss and theft.
The essence of the debate between the two comes down to business operations. Economically many issuers feel that chip-and-signature provides the safety and security required while not creating unnecessary expenses.
Two giants in the industry, Visa and MasterCard, have taken opposing views. Visa supports the chip-and-signature option in an effort to not risk consumer backlash, while MasterCard is vying for the chip-and-pin option in favor of the stronger security it provides. There are also many merchants that support chip-and-pin technology based on the argument that the move to EMV should elect the most secure technology.
Either way a change in technology will require upgrades. Many merchants’ systems, terminals, software and hardware will all have to be updated. While the upgrades will be cumbersome they aren’t impossible and many see them as necessary for the safety of card transactions.
Tech support will certainly become critical as these changes are made to the systems. Tech support businesses will likely see an increase in their business. A tech support merchant account would allow a business to process transactions easily and quickly.
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