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Understanding Payments

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Two years after the EMV deadline for U.S. Merchants, Auriemma Consulting Group, a boutique management consulting firm, has identified six notable EMV trends: Counterfeit fraud claims have.

EMV is a technology designed to add additional security for merchants and consumers when processing card-present transactions. The initials stand for Europay, Mastercard, Visa.

EMV has helped to drastically reduce card-present fraud in Canada. With new technologies and payment security methods, EMV has pushed the ball forward for safer transactions and eliminating card-present credit fraud in Canada. Let's look closer into the details of EMV technology.


What kinds of credit card transactions are common?


Transactions in which no physical card is present such as telephone, online, and in-person with no card.


Transactions in which a physical credit or debit card is inserted into a payment terminal.

In many cases over the years, fraudsters will find ways to manipulate the machines used to take card-present transactions. EMV has reduces that risk by adding more security measures during these kinds of payments (more on this below).

When did EMV come to Canada?

Canada joined the global EMV migration in 2008 in an attempt to curb a growing trend of card-present fraud issues among retailers and local businesses.

After 2008, the rate of fraud within card-present transactions would significantly change.

So, it's now 2015, what exactly happened with the integration of EMV? A brief history:


Card-present domestic debit card fraud in 2008 - $104,500,000.00

Card-present domestic credit card fraud in 2008 - $162,239,525.00

The migration to EMV terminals and chip cards didn't happen overnight. It took a few years for all consumers and merchants to update their devices to the new standard.


Over this year, consumers had new chip cards delivered to them courtesy of their issuing banks.

Merchants were required to upgrade terminals for the new technology, roughly a $200.00 investment per terminal.

Card-present domestic debit card fraud in 2015 - $16,200,000.00

Card-present domestic credit card fraud in 2015 - $51,315,783.00

Card-present domestic debit card fraud in Canada was reduced by 89.49%

Card-present domestic credit card fraud in Canada was reduced by 68.37%

So why did EMV change so much, and what is so special about this EMV era?

Two technology upgrades

The majority of card issuers offer NFC capability to newly issued EMV chip cards. The majority of debit/credit card users will gain access to tap technologies upon receiving their new EMV card.

2FA – Two-factor authentication on EMV chip cards

Two-factor authentication adds an additional step to security. Users gain access to accounts through a two-stage series. Stage One relies on providing an item the user possesses, and Stage Two is when the card user enters another item that is known by memory. Chip & PIN.

Smart technologies

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EMV chip cards are smart devices. Each payment creates a unique transaction ID that cannot be replicated. Unlike the simplicity behind reading and producing false magnetic strip cards, EMV chip cards require additional effort and cannot be replicated with the same ease.

Out with the old, in with the new

EMV Chip cards have a number of processing options which are up to the discretion of the issuing bank. Each card can be transacted with Chip and PIN, inserted and accompanied by a signature once the card is verified, as well as be 'swiped' using the traditional method of “swiping” of the magnetic strip for dated terminals.

So what are the big changes to transactions?

No More Swipe

Customers classically swipe the magnetic strip from their payment card through the side of a payment terminal. This is the traditional way to process a credit card transaction, and it's being phased out more and more every year.

Chip and PIN

The action of inserting a credit or debit card into a payment terminal, followed by entering a unique PIN.

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Chip and Signature

The action of inserting a credit or debit card into a payment terminal, followed by signing the receipt.

The important takeaways for consumers and merchants within the United States

1. Credit card fraud in domestic card-present transactions is steadily declining in Canada. Within 5 years of EMV migration, fraud rates dropped over 40%. EMV duplication is too costly and time consuming for the criminals.

2. Consumer payments are evolving as pressure for additional security measures and the cost of fraud increases. Issuing banks have assumed the consumer cost of cards by shipping one-time replacements free of charge.

3. The end cost for consumers is the learning curve along with a brief pause during transactions. Cardholders must adapt to inserting card chips into a payment terminal opposed to the merchant swiping the magnetic strip.

4. Merchants are required to update their payment processing hardware in order to avoid unnecessary liabilities. EMV capable terminals are typically equipped with dated technology to process magnetic strip swipe cards.

The expected 100% growth in card not present (CNP) fraud by 2018 threatens small and medium businesses as well as enterprises, and companies need to shore up their data and customer analytics now to stem the tide.

That’s a huge number, more than double the expected 2015 CNP fraud total, but history supports it. CNP fraud rates have gone up dramatically in every region that has already implemented EMV technology. Five-year rates for card-not-present fraud rose by 100% in the UK, 233% in Canada, and more than 360% in France after EMV adoption. How can US merchants guard against this incoming wave of CNP fraud?

Verify your transaction data. Work with a payment service provider that offers comprehensive tools for authentication of identity, address, and card data. That includes CVV and CVV2 settings. As more criminals move into CNP, it’s crucial that your business has access to the most up to date methods for spotting stolen card numbers and stolen identities.

In-house screening should also be more stringent and more focused on cross-border transactions. International transactions already carry a higher risk of fraud and chargebacks, and that’s expected to increase as part of the overall CNP fraud boom. When in doubt, call the customer and verify the data. Building detailed and up to date internal negative and positive reference files will speed up the manual screening process over time.

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Analyze your customers’ behavior. Of course, skilled criminals can produce authentic-looking data to push a fraudulent transaction through. Behavioral analytics can combat that by evaluating customer behavior in real time. Carol Alexander of CA Technologies describes behavioral analytics as a form of “advanced authentication” because it can determine if the cardholder is really who he or she claims to be. People’s online behavior patterns usually don’t change dramatically, so a change in known cardholder behavior during shopping and checkout can flag a transaction for further screening.

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Hide all transaction data. Now is the time to review your company’s overall data security practices, especially transaction data transmissions. Even if your company doesn’t store cardholder data, you can still be vulnerable to theft when transaction data is transmitted. Unless you’re compliant with PCI-DSS standards, you’re liable for potential fines of thousands of dollars per month if customers are victimized by a breach in your network. The easiest way to ensure ongoing PCI-DSS compliance is to partner with your payment service provider, who should be able to give you the tools and advice needed to validate compliance.

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Other strong data-protection tools are tokenization and encryption—and merchants can’t just assume they’re automatically provided by their payment gateway. If your company doesn’t already use P2PE (point to point encryption) and tokenization, now is the time to talk with your payment processor about getting those tools implemented. P2PE shields your customers’ card data, from the point of interaction to the processor.

Tokenization adds another layer of security by removing the original card data from the transmission altogether and replacing it with tokens that are useless to anyone who manages to crack the encrypted transmission. Together, tokenization and encryption can help your company achieve PCI-DSS compliance, lower your risk profile, and protect your customers.

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Adapt as the landscape evolves. Two-factor authentication was supposed to be a widely adopted tool for data security, but it creates friction that leads some customers to abandon their carts or pay by methods that don’t require the extra authentication step, and many cardholders never opt in. Now 3D Secure, the authentication protocol that underpins Verified by Visa, MasterCard SecureCode and Amex SafeKey, is moving toward risk-based authentication based on real-time analysis of transaction data. The new approach requires stronger authentication on transactions that appear to be high risk without requiring cardholders to first enroll in the program.

Based on the experiences of other countries that have adopted EMV, we know more CNP fraud is coming to the U.S. We know how to reduce it. And we know that CNP fraud is always evolving, so our anti-fraud practices must always evolve, too. Merchants and other players in the US payments system need to stay alert, batten down the hatches, and be ready to pivot as the fraud landscape undergoes big changes this fall and over the next several years.

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