Optix Merchant Group
EMV Chip Cards
EMV “smartcards” are a secure way of processing credit and debit cards based on microchip technology. Our solutions are equipped to help your business accept chip payments. EMV chips transmit data just as magnetic strips on cards transmit data. However, payment terminals don't read EMV chips the same way they read magnetic strips.
A card with an EMV chip typically must be inserted into the slot of a payment terminal, which then reads the chip's data and verifies the card as authentic. You then must wait for the purchase to be authorized. This process is known as "dipping."
By contrast, making a purchase by sliding a card with a magnetic strip through a card reader is called "swiping." The magnetic strip also transmits data that enables authorization of a purchase and verification of a card. A swiped transaction may be a bit quicker than a dipped transaction, but it's not quite as secure.
One key difference between an EMV card and a magnetic strip card is that the EMV card produces a unique code for each transaction but the magnetic strip does not. As such, it's harder for fraudsters to steal data to produce counterfeit cards. That's why merchants and card issuers prefer EMV transactions, even though they are more complicated than magnetic strip transactions.
Most cards in the U.S. depend on chip-and-signature capabilities. In this type of transaction, a cardholder must provide a signature to complete a transaction. Outside the U.S., chip-and-PIN transactions are more common. In these transactions, a cardholder enters a four-digit PIN to validate a payment. Chip-and-PIN transactions are considered more secure than chip-and-signature transactions.
Another way to use an EMV card is as a contactless payment method. If the card has this capability, you can tap it on a payment terminal or wave it near the terminal to complete the transaction. A contactless transaction doesn't require a PIN.