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How Does Apple Pay Compare To EMV?

Credit card fraud is on the rise and major data breaches are becoming more common.

Against this backdrop, businesses across the country are rushing to make their payment processing more secure. Two of the most popular solutions are EMV (Pin & Chip) and Apple Pay.

  • EMV is the older of the two technologies. Each credit or debit card comes embedded with a special security chip. When making purchases in a brick and mortar retail environment, customers will insert these chip cards into an EMV reader where a unique authorization code is issued.
  • Apple Pay is a mobile payment technology. Customers upload their credit card details into their iPhones or iPads. When at the cashier, they wave these devices across near field communication (NFC) terminals to create a connection and make a purchase.

Both of these payment solutions offer greater security than traditional magnetic stripe credit cards do.

EMV chips are difficult to clone, which is why EMV technology is mandatory in most parts of the world. NFC requires close proximity, and in order to authorize a transaction, users provide a biometric fingerprint scan through Apple's Touch ID.

But which payment technology is better for your business?

Major Differences between Apple Pay and EMV

Although EMV is the older and more established of the two, it's enjoyed relatively limited success here in the U.S. However, this is rapidly changing since Visa and MasterCard mandated that EMV card readers be used at all U.S. brick and mortar retail businesses as of October 1, 2015.

The one upside is that EMV enabled terminals can still process older credit cards that only have a magnetic stripe on the back. So secure or not, traditional transactions can still go through.

By contrast, Apple Pay only works with later versions of the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. And the merchant must have an NFC enabled terminal in order to accept payments.

Another important difference is tokenization. Although Apple Pay users upload credit card information to their devices, neither Apple nor retailers ever have direct access to sensitive financial data. All personal account numbers (PANs) are replaced with randomly generated IDs ("tokens") that are then used to authorize one-time transactions. This makes it very difficult for criminals to ever steal or clone a user's credit card information.

EMV cards can use tokenization, but this extra security feature isn't necessarily standard.

This is an important distinction — especially for e-commerce merchants.

In the online world, EMV's security technology becomes obsolete. With online shopping carts, there's no way for customers to use the embedded chip. And thus, EMV chip cards are no more secure than older non-chip cards. Apple Pay's tokenization works for all retail environments — both brick and mortar and online.

Which Payment Technology Should Your Business Choose?

Done correctly, you shouldn't have to choose between these two competing technologies. Tailored Transactions will provide your business with Free point-of-sale equipment that is both EMV and NFC enabled. That way, you will be able to process both Apple Pay transactions and those made with Chip & PIN cards.

Contact Us Today to learn how you can get started.

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