EMV Chip Cards Reduce Incidents of Fraud, According to Visa

Jun 25, 2019

As of early 2019, EMV chip cards have continued to increase share and the number of incidents of fraud have dropped significantly in the U.S., according to Visa.

The Details on Visa’s Numbers

Recently, Visa reported that 3.5 million U.S. merchant locations accepted EMV chip cards as of March, which was an increase of about 400,000. There were 3.1 million in December 2018. Chip-based payment volume totaled $81 billion in March on 1.94 billion transactions, according to Visa.

Between September 2015 and December, counterfeit-fraud dollar volume at merchants that have completed their EMV upgrades was down by 76%, according to Visa. Counterfeit fraud for all merchants is down by 49%, Visa states.

These figures show exactly what regulators hoped to see.

Understanding the Genesis of EMV

In October 2015, cards were required to be equipped with EMV, which stands for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa. Computer chips and technology are used to authenticate EMV chip-card transactions.

The move was made to this global standard in response to numerous large-scale data breaches and alarming spikes in counterfeit credit card fraud. The goal of EMV cards were to protect shoppers and curb fraud.

What the standard did was shift liability. Under these standards, merchants must accept financial responsibility for counterfeit fraud that occurs from any transactions that occur because the store’s point-of-sale terminal was unable to read EMV cards’ chip.

Though numbers show that EMV are highly effective at reducing counterfeit fraud, criminals have shifted their focus to online and mobile transactions, as well as identity fraud.

The Difference Between EMV and Swipe Cards

EMV cards are considered more secure over the more traditional credit and debit cards with magnetic stripes. Cards that are swiped contain unchanged data, which allows anyone who gains access to the data gain the sensitive information of the card and cardholder. This is why cards with magnetic stripes are targeted by fraudsters. Magnetic stripe cards allow them to quickly and easily convert stolen data into cash repeatedly.

When a person pays with an EMV card, its chips create a one-of=kind transaction that can’t be used more than once. For example, if a counterfeiter tried to steal chip information from a retailer’s point-of-sale machine, the person would not be able to easily duplicate the data because of its uniqueness. Therefore, if the fraudster tried to use it, it would be denied.

It is important to note that EMV technology does prevent fraud by making it harder for counterfeiters, but it doesn’t prevent data breaches from occurring.

Other Visa EMV News

Despite the positive news on the reduction of fraud cases, the overall number of active Visa U.S. EMV credit cards, fell to 205.1 million in March. In the three prior months, there were 213.6 million. In March, Visa-branded EMV debit cards totaled more than 303 million, which was up slightly from 297.5 million in December.

Visa reported that seasonality had to do with figures, noting that use is often higher during holiday months.

In Conclusion

Though EMV cards have done what they were set out to do, they have not completely eliminated fraud. As card schemes, merchants, and regulators attempt to tighten up security, fraudsters will continue to look for new opportunities and loopholes. Everyone must continue to stay one step ahead of counterfeiters.


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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

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