What is EMV?

EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, Visa. EMV cards, also known as chip cards or IC cards, utilize a chip for a more secure, in person transaction. EMV is already in use in many places throughout the world, including Europe, Asia and Canada. Chip card use is intended to make card present fraud very difficult or impossible.

Standard cards utilize only static information, which is found on the magnetic stripe on the back of the card. It is the combination of stored data on the strip and chip on the card, along with either entering in a PIN or signature, which makes card present fraud difficult.

What will happen on October 1, 2015?

Starting on October 1, 2015, there will be a liability shift. This is not a mandate to begin using chip card readers, though merchant providers are promoting with strong language that has raised concerns for many.

What does liability shift mean?

After October 1, 2015, you may bear the cost of a fraudulent card present transaction. The issuing bank bears responsibility for fraud today. After October 1, that will shift.

The most important thing to focus is how this liability shift affects you. Please note that as a merchant, you are only liable for a card presents transactions when ALL three of the following conditions have been met:

  1. The patron uses an EMV card to make an in person purchase.

  2. You are unable to process an EMV card using an EMV certified terminal and instead use your USB swipes or manually enter in the card number.

  3. The transaction is reported as potentially fraudulent.

Transactions that do not meet these 3 criteria are not in question and fraudulent transactions will remain the responsibility of the bank.

In summary, there are a couple things that we need to focus on when we think of October 1, 2015 and EMV chip cards:

  1. All three criteria listed above need to be fulfilled for you to be liable for the fraudulent transaction. In addition to the patron needing to have a chip card and you lacking the terminal to process, the transaction must be also be fraudulent

  2. Chip cards and EMV technology is new to the United States and therefore will take some time to find its way into every purchase point in every place consumers make purchases. It will also take some time for card issuers to reissue every single card every single customer has in their wallet. There will an adjustment time for all – card holders, card issuers and merchants alike.

TicketForce is concerned about any new technologies and offers the following three (3) options.

  1. Continue to process card present transactions as you do now and be prepared to monitor the number of fraudulent chargebacks that involve an EMV card. You will still collect a signature for the transaction and may win back the chargeback.

  2. Obtain an EMV certified terminal from your merchant provider and process EMV transactions outside of the ticketing system. You will set up a payment type in the ticketing system for the EMV terminal to balance and separate these transactions.

To set up a payment type, go to TicketForce System Configuration -> Ticketing Settings -> Payment Types and click Create New Box Office Payment Type.


When processing an order and the patron uses an EMV card for payment, select the EMV payment type from the Box Office Payment Type drop down. Then swipe and process the chip using the terminal.

3.     Establish a merchant account with Vantiv and obtain the related EMV readers that integrate with the ticketing system. We have completed an API directly with Vantiv so that you may continue to process any card, including EMV cards with ease and full integration.

Option 1 is the least intrusive and is our recommendation as we wait for PayFlow Pro to complete integration with EMV technology.

If you have any other concerns, please contact your Client Services Representative.