EMV stands for the three companies that created the technology – EuroPay, Mastercard, and Visa. In a standard credit card transaction, the merchant types the amount, you swipe the magnetic strip on your credit card, then scrawl your signature on a receipt. The main problem? That magnetic strip contains static data that can easily be stolen and passed around, increasing the likelihood that your gym-goers will be vulnerable to fraud during a point of sale (POS) transaction in your gym.
With a chip-based credit card, this process changes. Rather than swiping a strip, you slide the chip into a terminal and type in your PIN code. Like the magnetic strip, the chip contains data. However, the chip's data isn't static – it changes every time you use it. This makes it substantially more difficult for scammers to take advantage.
Why Do We Need EMV?
Despite being one of the most technologically advanced nations on the planet, the USA leads the world in credit card fraud. While other nations such as Canada and Australia have reduced credit card fraud by moving to EMV technology, the USA continues to see instances of credit card fraud rise. To put it bluntly: we're moving in the wrong direction, and EMV can change that.
The Effect on Gym-Goers and Other Consumers
When people come to your gym, they want to be focused on their workout. When they're doing squats, they need to be thinking about the mechanics of the movement – not about whether or not they're going to have to deal with their credit card company. Consumers expect businesses to take care of them, and by introducing EMV, another layer of protection will be added to the payment process. It's estimated that roughly 70% of consumer credit cards will support EMV by the end of 2015 – your gym can't afford to be left behind.
The Effect on Your Business
Naturally, you want your consumers to be as safe as possible – but switching to an EMV system has other benefits. First, you're protecting yourself. With the change in how POS transactions operate, the liability of who's responsible for credit card fraud will shift to the least compliant party. If you don't have an EMV system, that's going to be your business.
To be compliant, you'll need to change the POS hardware in your business. As a gym owner, your goal is to keep your customers safe. You want them to perform exercises using the correct posture, and you want them to keep their bank accounts safe as well. EMV helps you do that.