EMV systems are capable of three different transaction types: contact, contactless, and mobile. Contact and contactless payments use EMV smart chip cards, while mobile payments use mobile wallet applications on smartphones.

What are EMV contact payments?

As the name implies, contact payments rely on physical contact between the card and the terminal. In a contact payment, the card user inserts, or “dips,” the EMV card into the terminal for the duration of the transaction. As a result, this kind of transaction is often called “chip-and-dip.” Depending on the CVM used during the transaction, it may also be called “dip-and-PIN” or “dip-and-sign.”

Process

To begin a contact payment, the card user dips his or her EMV card into the terminal. The card must remain in the terminal throughout the duration of the payment, from initiation until POS system approval.

The transaction will proceed in much the same way as traditional magnetic stripe card transactions proceed. Once the transaction is initiated, the cardholder will be verified and the transaction will be approved. After the transaction is approved in a contact EMV payment, the card user may safely remove the card from the terminal.

Compatible CVMs for EMV contact payments

Contact payments are compatible with all cardholder verification methods: offline PIN, online PIN, signature, and no CVM. The direct interface between the card and terminal allows the merchant to use both online and offline CVMs.

Potential problems with EMV contact payments

Because U.S. consumers are used to the traditional swipe-and-sign or swipe-and-PIN transactions possible with magstripe cards, contact EMV payments may be viewed as inconvenient. Cardholders will need to be educated about proper payment procedure. Card-issuing banks and merchants share the responsibility for informing the consumer and ensuring smoother transactions.

Interested in accepting EMV contact payments?

Host Merchant Services offers EMV solutions for business owners. If you’re interested in getting a head start on the rest of the U.S. market, contact an HMS sales representative today and ask about our EMV-compliant equipment and processing options.

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