EMV Payment Technology For Florists

We've recently had some questions about how the EMV payment standard affects florists. It is a important subject for any merchant (especially with the October deadline coming into view), but the flower business really is different.

Here are a few key points about EMV and how it relates to retail floral:

EMV transactions require three things: a credit card with a chip, a cardholder that knows the PIN, and a special EMV terminal that can read the card, allow the cardholder to enter the PIN, and confirm the result.

The technology makes it almost impossible for someone to make a fraudulent card-present purchase using a counterfeit, stolen or otherwise compromised card.

The EMV standard only protects the florist from liability for in-store card-present purchases made with a counterfeit, stolen or otherwise compromised card. In-store card-present transactions represent a relatively small percentage of overall sales for the typical flower shop. The use of counterfeit, stolen or otherwise compromised in-store is an even smaller percentage of that.

The EMV standard does not protect online/ecommerce transactions or telephone orders. Typically 70%-90% of the sales in retail floral are handled over the phone or an an commerce website and they will never qualify as EMV. As a florist you are much less affected by EMV than regular retail.

As of the deadline a florist can, if they wish, continue exactly what you are doing now with the equipment that you already have. Nothing stops working.

What does happen is that there is a shift in liability. Before the deadline the losses from a fraudulent card-present transaction fall back on the payment processor or issuing bank. After the deadline they will fall back on whichever party is least compliant, in most cases the merchant.

If your system is secure and has never been breached it does not become any less secure or more susceptible to a breach after the deadline.

Even the ABA expects only 50% of retail to be on EMV by the end of the year.