Last week, in our blog post “4 Key Questions to Consider in Determining Your Campus’s EMV Strategy” we shared some information to help you develop your EMV strategy, as well as the ideal time to implement this initiative.

By now, we hope you have a clearer understanding of the issue, and answers to the questions:

  • How many devices will you want to replace?
  • How much will it cost to replace these devices?
  • What is the total volume of card-present fraud you experience on campus?
  • When would it be advantageous to replace devices? (Keep in mind training, peak volumes, etc.)

If your school has determined that your exposure to the liability for card-present fraud is too excessive to delay the implementation of EMV, you will likely be one of the early adopters. According to a recent survey by The Strawhecker Group, only 27% of U.S. merchants are expected to be in a position to accept EMV payments by October 1, and only 44% by the end of the year! This is not a bad thing, but you’ll want to work closely with your payments software provider and/or your processor to ensure the hardware and software your campus requires is ready. You’ll also want to think through additional training for your staff, who will likely have to educate payers on how to use the new EMV cards.

If you have determined that your campus’s exposure to liability for card-present fraud is minimal and that you are in a position to select the most opportune moment to upgrade, there are many things you can do to start to prepare for this implementation. One of these items is to ensure that your campus has processes in place to help mitigate card-present fraud today.

Here are some relatively quick and easy ways to prevent card-present fraud at the point of sale:


Check the signature on the back of the card.

The signature is there so that the cashier can compare the signature on the receipt to the signature on the back of the card. This is not the most effective means of catching fraud, however, because often signatures on electronic key pads differ drastically from the signature on the back of the card.

Ask for a photo ID.

Again, not the most technologically innovative solution to preventing fraud at the POS, but certainly effective. Make sure the information on the government (or student) ID matches the information on the card that is being used for the transaction.

Enter information from the front of the card.

Most counterfeit cards have a discrepancy between the information on the magnetic stripe and the information printed on the front of the card. You can catch most counterfeit cards by requiring the cashier to enter some information from the card to complete the transaction. Often the last four digits of the card number or the CVV2 are used for this purpose. With our CASHNet® Cashiering solution, we require the last four digits of the card to be entered.

Subject all payers to a polygraph test.

Just kidding! Wanted to make sure you were still paying attention.

The Importance of Training

With new POS hardware and new ways to make payments, there is a high probability (at least in the early stage of this migration) for confusion at the point of sale. Therefore, it is important that your staff is trained on these new factors so that they may assist payers who experience difficulties.

Schedule an EMV 101 intro session.

Use an hour meeting to cover the various aspects of EMV. You’ll be surprised how much your team will appreciate the overview. Cover what EMV is and why it exists. Explain how the transaction works. Please feel free to repurpose the information we’ve provided to you, or simply perform a web search on the topic. There is a ton of information out there to help you teach this session. YouTube is particularly helpful, as there are videos that show exactly what an EMV transaction looks like; both chip and PIN and chip and signature.

Don’t forget NFC!

Because many of the new EMV peripherals will have near field communication (NFC) capabilities, don’t forget to explain what an NFC transaction is and how it works at the point of sale. Use examples like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay to drive home the point. Again, there are numerous videos online that walk the viewer through how these work.

Perform some test transactions with your cashiers.

There’s no substitute for practice! Once your new EMV devices have been set up, show people how to perform a transaction.
Remind your cashiers to remind your payers! While it is unlikely, there may be an instance where the payer leaves their card in the machine upon completion of the transaction. Many machines beep when the transaction is complete, but leaving the card in the machine during the transaction is new for the payer, and could result in a card that has been inadvertently left behind. Training the cashiering staff to look for this will ensure it doesn’t happen.

Share support numbers with your cashiers.

Make sure the support numbers for your payment software providers, device manufacturers, and/or processors are easily accessible in case something goes wrong.

I hope this gives you some insight to help you think through how you can prepare your staff for your new EMV devices, and how you can further mitigate card-present fraud until then.

To find more valuable information about EMVCo chip payment, visit www.emvco.com.