Most people now have EMV chip cards. Which is great, because their adoption marks an important step toward reducing credit card fraud in the United States. Magnetic-stripe cards are old (like 40+ years old). Their extremely outdated technology makes them particularly susceptible to counterfeiting, so it’s high time to sunset them. Chip cards, on the other hand, have more sophisticated security features to help catch fraudulent activity.
But if you’ve paid with a chip card, you’ve probably noticed there’s a drawback: they’re pretty slow to process. Granted, this is all while the chip technology is working to spot anything fishy, which is a good thing. So while you should always opt for a chip card transaction over a magstripe transaction because it’s more secure, the sluggishness is pretty noticeable.
The fact that chip cards can be a less-than-ideal experience is what will accelerate the adoption of another new payment technology: NFC mobile wallets like Apple Pay. Contactless (NFC) payments take just seconds, a fraction of the time required for EMV and magstripe transactions. They’re also more convenient — no more fishing for wallets.
Another advantage? NFC payments are just as secure as EMV payments. They’re authenticated, meaning they contain multiple layers of dynamic encryption to protect cardholder data. An Apple Pay transaction is also protected by iPhone fingerprint technology, so even if your phone is stolen, no one can get into your mobile wallet.
As more and more people start to realize that NFC payments are just as secure as chip cards but a lot faster and more convenient, mobile wallets will become more popular. We’ve seen this trend in countries that have already adopted EMV. And in the United States, the trend-setting millennial demographic is starting to use NFC more and more. A recent Accenture survey found that 23 percent of millennials use contactless payments at least once a week. And at the Coachella music festival this year, more than 10 percent of all card transactions on Square’s readers were contactless.
So when you’re evaluating which POS to go with, it’s a smart idea to invest in one that accepts both EMV chip cards and contactless payments like Apple Pay. Having the right solution in place helps you provide the best, most secure customer experience possible, and ensures that you can make every sale. The Square contactless and chip reader is simple to set up (it works with the mobile device you already have) and is just $49.
Learn More About Square
Square creates tools that help sellers of all sizes start, run, and grow their businesses. The new Square reader accepts all forms of payment, including EMV chip cards and NFC mobile payments like Apple Pay.