Intrix Blog :TSG Survey – Just 34% of US Merchants will be EMV-ready by Oct. ’15

By Jeff Connors
Chairman and CEO
May 5, 2015

In one of our recent blogs, Senior Vice president of Sales Joe Radest talked about the market status of EMV and where we stand today. He noted that while the original plan was for widespread adoption of EMV by October 1, 2015, we at Intrix believe it certainly will not occur on that date.

Well, we’re not alone.

The Strawhecker Group (TSG) recently released survey results showing only 34 percent of US merchants will be EMV-ready by the October 2015 deadline, and just 53 percent of merchants are expected to be fully compliant by 2017 – more than 15 months after the deadline. TSG’s sample included 33 merchant acquirers that process payments for 2.16 million merchants, or approximately 25 percent of the U.S. market. See the Infographic below!

And if you’d like to learn more about EMV and how Intrix can help you prepare for the coming deadline, just give us a call at  (855) -546-8749.

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Intrix Blog: 4 Key Highlights from Transact 15

By Jeff Connors 

Chairman and CEO

April 16, 2015

 

blog.4.16.2015I recently returned from Transact 15, the annual gathering of payments industry professionals. This year’s show, which took place in San Francisco, attracted the largest attendance in ETA (Electronic Transactions Association) history. More than 4000 payments industry leaders, from over 20 different countries, converged on the Moscone Center, proving that this has become a truly global event for the industry.
 
 
 
 
The experts and panelists featured at the gathering highlighted the latest trends, developments and innovations in payments technology.  Among the most widely discussed topics were payment security, politics and policy, POS innovations, the hot topic of mobile payments and the future of payments.

Reflecting on the show, I came away with here are the four key highlights from my perspective:

  1. Internet of Things is set to revolutionize payments

    One of the highlights of the show was the keynote address which provided a fascinating look into the future of payments. Intel’s SVP Doug Davis spoke about how the ‘Internet of Things’ is set to revolutionize payments and create new business models. With our Intrix Payment Gateway we are well-situated to serve customers as the Internet of Things develops and evolves.

  1. The move to EMV – where are we?
    In October 2015, the EMV transition is due to take effect in the United States. The ETA’s CEO, Jason Oxman sat down with Mike Cook, SVP and Assistant Treasurer at WalMart, to talk about the impact merchants may encounter by implementing EMV. Cook mentioned that he feels the EMV rollout will be delayed for credit transactions, as it’s been delayed in other markets. He noted that the challenge of the EMV rollout will be toughest on small businesses that will have to decide on the financial investment in new hardware.We will be watching this closely and will keep you apprised.
  1. The brave new world of mobile payments
    With the advent of giants like Apply Pay, Google Wallet, and Microsoft all fighting for the mobile payments space, TRANSACT was abuzz with possibilities about risk in this new payments world. The constant need to monitor what your merchant’s activities, both past and present, is necessary. With every new channel, regulation or intermediary that is introduced, the risk multiplies. This is another area that we will watch closely.
  1. Emerging payment trends in encryption and tokenization

    End-to-end encryption, and tokenization were widely discussed throughout the conference as essential components for securing payments in the increasingly mobile, interconnected world. Partnering with a company like Intrix that provides strong encryption and tokenization capabilities can help provide a competitive edge.

We now look ahead to CNP Expo in Orlando, Florida, May 18-21, where we are looking forward to further opportunities to forge new relationships and meet with our existing partners.

Intrix Blog: The Market Status of EMV—Where do we Stand Today?

By Joe Radest
Senior Vice President of Sales
March 30, 2015

 

Card for blogMuch has been discussed recently in the news and in publications about the “Chip Cards” which are known in the industry as EMV (EuroPay, MasterCard, Visa).  EMV was originally developed in Europe and was launched/adopted in Canada as a means to authenticate a card present transaction thereby reducing fraud at the counter.  I mention the counter because EMV is essentially chip read and it will initially require a signature and eventually a pin as adoption increases between all parties – issuers, processors, merchants and consumers.

 

Originally the plan was for widespread adoption of EMV by October 1, 2015 when EMV was announced a few years back.  Unfortunately, as we roll closer to that date, I believe it certainly will not occur for a number of reasons:

  • Card Issuing Banks– These are the banks that issue credit and debit cards.  They face significant costs in issuing cards. Consider that the typical magnetic stripe card costs a bank in the neighborhood of $25.00 fully loaded – card number issuance, plastic embossing, mailing, etc.  A chip card is significantly more expensive than magnetic stripe to produce and the early EMV cards will consist of both magnetic stripe and chips to provide flexibility of use at the point of sale for consumers.
  • Card Acquirers (Payment Processing Companies)– Acquirers are in the midst of gathering the data requirements to support EMV since they will need to program their networks to support chip based data.  As they write the “certification code,” they will then decide which hardware “payment devices” will be initially certified for EMV with additional hardware being certified at later dates.
  • Hardware Device Manufacturers– The Payment Terminals & Device manufacturers – such as Verifone, PAX, Ingenico, and Magtek — have all created “EMV Capable” terminals and peripherals. But capable means just that.  It does not mean they are EMV certified and will be ready to handle EMV transactions day one, week one or month one of a processor’s launch.  There will be a certification queue to validate a terminal and/or peripheral to be certified to support EMV transactions.  Be very cautious of any payment processing professional saying “this terminal is EMV certified/compliant” because that would be incorrect.
  • Consumers– That’s you and me. Right now, pull out your credit and debit cards in your wallet. How many have chips on the front of them?  Did you recently receive a new card that did not have chip?  If the answers are no chips in my wallet and my new card was only magnetic stripe enabled, then you are the majority of card holders.  As I noted in the first bullet, the cost for chip cards are significant for the “Card Issuing Banks.”  Some issuers have started deploying chips cards but those are on their high earning card accounts – typically commercial level on the business side or high spend on the consumer such as “Black, World Elite” type cards.
  • Merchants – Ah, now onto the majority of the audience of this piece. You are certainly not the last, but it was worth covering the landscape first to then relate to what you can expect.  Remember you are a consumer, so recall the above first.  Now onto the business end of your life – the card acquirer is determining which devices will be EMV certified in phase 1, 2 and on.  So we waiting for what hardware device before we can make a recommendation to you.   As of today we await!

As EMV certifications roll out, you have the commitment from me and Intrix to keep you abreast of the latest details.  Hopefully we will be able to provide you with more than one choice. Our ideal solution will be a device supports EMV, magnetic stripe and even NFC (Near Field Communications).  What is NFC?  You have heard of Apple Pay, MCX, Google Wallet, those are all NFC enabled mobile wallets.

I hope this clears up some of the mystery surrounding EMV.  Unfortunately, misinformation exists in the market. So, if someone talks to you about a terminal that is now EMV certified/compliant, it would be worth questioning them further or reach out to me for clarification.  For those of you using software that is integrated for payments, it’s even more important to be careful as devices that route via a payment gateway are not the same as a countertop credit card terminal.

Joe

Intrix Blog: Consumer Survey Infographic—Path to Payments

By Jeffrey Connors
Chairman and CEO
January 29, 2015

 A new survey commissioned by Verifone entitled “The Path to Payments” polled Americans to see where they stand regarding current and new forms of payments. Favorite payment methods?  EMV adoption? Awareness of NFC payments?  It’s all covered here in this Infographic.

While I don’t want to spoil the Infographic below for you, let me say that the survey revealed that more than half of respondents—53%–felt it was important for stores to install devices that enable consumers to pay  with their smartphones, indicating wide receptivity to mobile pay options once available.  Not surprisingly, the desire for mobile payments access was higher among those 40 and younger.

The takeaway:  how we shop and how we pay for things in the future, will probably be a good bit different from how we’ve done things in the past.
We should all pay attention to the data.

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Intrix Blog: EMV Chip Cards: The Future of Payments Infographic

By Jeffrey Connors
Chairman and CEO
January 9, 2015

 

While most countries around the world have switched to EMV, the U.S., as we know, has been one of the few holdouts. But with recent data breaches and millions of credit and debit card information being comprised, consumers are starting to demand chip cards from issuers. Adding to the pressure, effective October, 2015, merchants who don’t update their technology will have the liability of credit card fraud shifted to them.

With these thoughts in mind, I found a new infographic by the EMV Migration Forum titled, “EMV Chip Cards: The Future of Payments” quite informative and thought you would too. From the infographic, you’ll learn what the migration is and when it will happen; the security features of chip cards; what will change for consumers; and how the payment process works with EMV.

Prepare your business for this change by learning the facts on the EMV migration.

Give me your thoughts.

Jeff

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Intrix Blog: What is NFC and Why is it Important?

By Jeffrey Connors
Chairman and CEO

With the recent Apple Pay announcement, allowing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus users to pay using Near Field Communication (NFC) at participating retailers, the dream of making payments using our smartphones at the corner store may soon be closer to reality than ever before.

So, what is Near Field Communication anyway and how does it work? These are questions that many consumers will have as they hear more and more about the technology – and here are some of the answers.

Blog-NFCNFC technology is simple. It’s a short range, low power wireless link evolved from radio-frequency identification technology that can transfer small amounts of data between two devices held a few centimeters from each other. In order for NFC to work, both devices—say your smartphone and a payment terminal at your local drug store—have to have NFC chips and antennas embedded in them.

One of the primary uses being touted for NFC technology is NFC mobile payments. By tapping your phone on a contactless payment terminal in a shop, train station or restaurant the merchant is able to identify your account and take payment through an app on your phone.

NFC offers a huge potential for marketing. You can, for example, tap your phone against an NFC-equipped movie poster or sticker, as long as the paper is embedded with an NFC chip, and more details about the movie will pop up on your phone’s web browser. Also, your smartphone could simultaneously store loyalty cards, coupons, tickets and boarding passes, so you could use your NFC smartphone to transmit and receive data in those accounts too.

And while consumers can already use a tap-to-pay method with some newer credit cards, it’s even faster and easier to use the Smartphone that’s most likely already in your hand rather than digging around for the wallet that holds the credit card.

Is NFC secure? NFC mobile payment provides greater security than plastic cards. NFC technology has varying layers of security, depending on the use case and the hardware. When you link your NFC smartphone to your credit card, your data is actually stored in a tiny part of the hardware. This could be in the SIM card, but it could be elsewhere in the phone, too. And this data is encrypted. On top of that you often have to punch in a personalized PIN on the phone in order to make a payment. And if your phone is stolen, you can freeze or disable your payment account

While NFC acceptance has been a mixed bag in the US to date, we expect that to change. Prior to the launch of Apple Pay, the adoption of NFC-capable registers was climbing at a slow but steady pace.

Now, we believe that the inclusion of NFC technology in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is a big step forward for the use of smart devices in commerce. It is important merchants have the POS platform they need for both EMV card payments and secure, NFC-based commerce. This will ensure that they will be able to unlock the potential for exciting new experiences between merchants and consumers.

Bottom line is that for a long time NFC was a promise, but finally it seems it will be a promise kept. Are you ready for NFC?

Intrix Blog: Whitepaper – EMV and Chip Cards – Key Information For Anyone

By Suzanne Coleman
Chief Technology Officer
December 4, 2014

There has been a lot of discussion in the media about EMV, or chip-card technology.  Generally, the information available to consumers is minimal, and really doesn’t provide much insight into what a chip card is or how this new technology affects them.  For merchants and software developers, much of the information available is too technical or detailed to be useful.

Intrix has developed a paper intended to address these information gaps.  The Intrix paper on EMV explains the terminology (EMV, Chip and Signature, Chip and Pin).  It also explains, in easy to understand language, how the chip card is used in the retail environment, what the consumer will experience, what the merchant will experience, and what application developers need to know.

Excerpts from the paper:

What is EMV? ICC? Chip And Pin? Etc…?

There are many terms being used in relation to the topic, but they all boil down to use of a credit card that has a circuit chip embedded in it.  This chip is called an Integrated Circuit Chip, hence the term “ICC”.  This technology was developed via a joint effort between EuroCard, MasterCard and Visa, hence the term “EMV”.  Cards with this chip will perform some authentication of the person presenting the card before an actual authorization request occurs.  Cardholder authentication may include the use of a PIN, hence the term “Chip And Pin”.  The PIN is not always applicable; sometimes a signature is used, hence the term “Chip And Signature”.  They all boil down to the use of cards with an embedded chip, with that card being inserted into a card reader device.

Key Points For Merchants

There are a number of key factors of which merchants should be aware.

Effective October, 2015, the rules of who accepts the risk for fraudulent retail transactions will change to be the same as the rules for eCommerce and Mail Order Phone Order (MOTO) if the transaction was not initiated using EMV.  Currently, a retail, swiped transaction that is approved by the card issuer will be funded by that issuer if the card is found to be fraudulent.  With the risk shift, that risk moves to the acquiring bank (the merchants bank) unless the merchant used an EMV terminal for the transaction.  Acquirers will pass along the risk ownership to the merchant when the risk shift goes into place, so the merchants will be responsible for those fraudulent charges.

EMV is only relevant to merchants who perform card-present transactions, it does not apply to eCommerce.

Merchants using Point Of Sale systems or other software need to check with their software providers to determine when their systems will be ready to support EMV, and what equipment those software vendors have implemented.

 

Click here to get the Intrix Technology Whitepaper – What is EMV?

Intrix Blog: Money20/20 – The Changing World of Payments

By Jeff Connors, CEO
November 25, 2014

money.20.20
I just recently returned from the 2014 Money20/20 payments conference in Las Vegas. This year’s show, which brings together aspiring innovators to shape what money will look like in the year 2020, had over 7,000 people in attendance.

I want to recap a few key themes so that you can appreciate the evolution of the space and how it will impact you.

 

  1. It has to happen–tokenization. There are coming changes to the way your plastic card will work as the US begins to adopt the EMV cards. The so-called “chip-and-signature” switch will be accompanied by new terminals at merchants, and payment industry experts expect many merchants will opt for NFC-capable terminals when they upgrade.

 

  1. Apple Pay hot topic in mobile payments.One of the hottest topics was the recent launch of Apple Pay and what it means for the industry. The Apple Pay introduction has cut through a lot of the discussion going on over the past few years by inking deals with Visa, MasterCard, large banks, etc. and creating something that’s easy for consumers to use. The big question on everyone’s mind: are you going to pay by waving your phone in front of an NFC terminal at checkout versus using your physical card?

 

  1. Turmoil continues in crypto-currencies. Bitcoin is the best-known name, but there are others. Here money is virtualized, encrypted and exists outside of a central banking systems. Banks, of course, are very interested in what this means. I expect a lot of turmoil about crypto-currencies.

 

  1. Still a thorn in one’s side—electronic payments. Why is it still so hard for me to send you $50 or $100 or whatever from wherever I am? And why is it still so hard for millions of businesses to invoice, pay, and track the flow of money between each other. Solutions exist, but it’s getting everyone on the same page that’s the problem.

 

These are just a few of the many trends. Hopefully this gives you a glimpse into a future that will directly impact all of us.

Intrix Blog: CTO Suzanne Coleman Featured in ISO & Agent Magazine Visionaries Advertorial

By Jeffrey Connors
Chairman and CEO
September 25, 2014

swcolemanTake a look at the September/October 2014 issue of ISO & Agent Magazine which has just come out! Intrix Chief Technology Officer Suzanne Coleman is featured in the Payments Gateway Visionaries and Q &A advertorial series where she discusses her views on the growing importance of payment gateways for all types of commerce—from brick and mortar retail POS systems to ecommerce.

Coleman states how important it is for ISOs to offer gateway services in addition to traditional merchant services to help ward off merchant departure. By offering both services, ISOs can decrease costs for their customers and thus increase stickiness. And providing a single point of contact for merchants and decreasing costs in the process can be a compelling differentiator versus other ISOs.

The article outlines how to choose a gateway, what interfaces to look for, real benefits of Level 3 processing and Hosted Payments Pages, implementation of tokens, value of shopping carts and integration of applications to a gateway.

“Choosing a gateway for your business is important; choosing the right gateway is critical,” Coleman points out. One of the key items to look for is the ease of integrating the gateway to a website or application. “This process can take months with many gateways or processors—but it doesn’t have to. With the Intrix tools set, for example, it can be done in just a few days.”

To check out the full article and Coleman’s thoughts, click on the PDF below.
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Intrix Blog: CEO Perspective: Apple Pay—an Excellent Step Forward

By Jeffrey Connors
Chairman and CEO
September 15, 2014

Jeff ConnorsAs I’m sure you’ve heard, Apple in its Tuesday product launch came out with a new product called Apple Pay. From my perspective, this is an excellent step forward in furthering the development of mobile payments. And, I believe, the major beneficiaries of this development will ultimately be the consumer and the retailers frequented by them.

Today, there are approximately 300 million mobile devices being used by American consumers who carry more than one billion debit and credit cards. Many consumers would like to use their smartphone to complete the buying experience. And Apple’s adoption of the NFC standard will further that specific objective.

Apple’s use of a tokenized approach (Intrix was one of the early adopters of tokenization) in their latest line of smartphones and adoption of the Visa standards for tokenization and EMV is a major step in the right direction and a further catalyst for continued growth of the mobile marketplace. What’s more, in developing partnerships with the major payment industry players, Apple clearly understands the complexity of the industry and is addressing one unique aspect of the ecosystem—replacing the swipe with a touch and go smartphone approach.  Although immediate restrictions exist as to how fast this approach will be adopted, my view is that, over time, adoption will be significant.

Given the Industry’s current move to a chip and pin EMV POS or terminal environment as utilized in the rest of the world, Apple’s timing is very strong. With NFC being included on future systems being purchased, Merchants will avoid the need for a second costly replacement terminal. I’m proud that Intrix has, and will continue, to support the adoption of NFC and EMV technology and a variety of consumer friendly devices that reduce the amount of marketplace fraud.

What’s most exciting about Apple’s announcement is that for Intrix’ key customer—the Merchant—Apple Pay will help mitigate unnecessary fraud while enhancing the overall customer experience. Apple is a highly innovative company whose actions today will further enhance credit card growth and the continued move away from paper checks. It is the natural next step in the evolution of the payments industry.