What Transit Agencies Must Know About the EMV Requirement

By John Swanson, senior solutions architect for Xerox Transport Solutions

Transit agencies will increase their liability risk for credit/debit card fraud if their fare collection systems do not accept chip payments by October 2015. Known as EMV — short for Europay, MasterCard and Visa — the new standard adds a proven layer of security at the moment of transaction. The EMV-enabled cards are vastly more secure than swipe-the-stripe cards.

Xerox experts discussed the upcoming EMV migration at a recent meeting of the American Public Transportation Association.  Here’s a brief recap of the discussion that I led.

What if transit agencies don’t accept chip payments?

Card associations want to help combat fraud, so they have requested that transit agencies change to the new EMV requirement by October 1, 2015. If the agencies don’t migrate, they will be liable for any sales on a stolen card. In simple terms: The card association won’t reimburse transit agencies for fraudulent charges if they haven’t changed over to the EMV requirement.

Why don’t transit agencies want to change over?

It’s expensive. If an agency already has velocity checks or other systems in place to combat fraud, the benefit of having card agencies reimburse fraudulent charges may not be worth the cost of replacing all of the equipment, hardware and software. It might not be in their best interest because they don’t really have a fraud problem.

What does Xerox suggest?

Most new specifications request these new systems, which is the right approach. However, EMV is only one way to combat fraud. There isn’t one solution that will completely eliminate fraud, which is why it is important to have an integrated approach that minimizes the risk to the agency and the riders.

Make sure you partner with a company that stays on top of security and makes it a priority. That way, you can relax a little, knowing that your provider is properly managing payments and private information.

Xerox delivers EMV-compliant systems, unless otherwise requested. All of our fare collection solutions are EMV-certified and fully compliant, affirming our commitment to help our clients prevent fraud.  For more information, send an email to: TLGmarketing@xerox.com

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