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If you are new EMV/Chip Cards, and you were used to the card swipe mechanism, here is a quick guide as to what has changed and how you process with Chip Cards.

First, EMV refers to the chip on the different credit cards. When the customer places the chip-enabled card into the device, the device provides the power to talk with the chip. Once the chip is up and running, it starts to talk with the POS (Point of Sale) system to determine what capabilities and options the merchant wants to support.

Visa Card with Chip on it

During the initial talking, the merchant tells the chip how much money we want to charge the card holder for. The card holder is given a set of prompts – one to ask which “application” or AID code to use (more on that in a minute), what language to use, if the amount is correct, and if the chip and merchant agree to validate a PIN number, the PIN number from the card holder.

The Application tells the POS system what credit card type is being presented and how it should be handled. It is possible the chip on the card can support multiple cards but typically you see an option for Debit or Credit, although they are termed cryptically. In one case, it might be US Debit and another option could be Visa Debit. In US Debit, a PIN number might be asked while the other mechanism will not ask for PIN number.

Once the EMV chip has the data back from the card holder, it is sent to the credit card processor with a series of data elements from the chip that it is communicating back to the card issuer. The card issuer will approve or decline the transaction and send back some communication for the chip to know about.

It is possible the transaction is approved but the chip could void the transaction based on the message that came back from the card issuer (be aware of this).

Once the EMV authorization is complete, the chip reader will beep at the user to remove the card and take it with them. There is a feature of the newer card reader devices that allow for the QuickChip option to run and when that is available, the card does not need to stay in the terminal after the amount is verified (and therefore the chip will not receive a message back from the card issuer).

Card Swipe Users: For those that entered an amount, swiped the card and then pressed the Authorize button, the EMV process is slightly different.

EMV Process: Once you enter the amount, you just press the Authorize button and the transaction process/sequence will start. Please have the customer wait until the “Waiting for Customer” message is displayed on your screen to avoid any problems with processing EMV transactions.

If a customer swipes a card with a Chip in it, the card reader is required to have the customer insert the card. If the card cannot be read, swiping the card can be used as a fall back.