FAQ: U.S. Transition to Chip and Pin Card

By Tak Lay

Director, U-Haul Self-Storage Affiliate Network

With the U.S. payment processing industry’s plan to transition to Chip & Pin cards, some of you may have questions about the change. With that in mind, I have decided to share my response to frequently asked questions I received about EMV and Chip & Pin cards.

What is EMV?Sample chip card

EMV, which stands for, “Europay, MasterCard and Visa”, is a global payment system based on microchips embedded in debit cards or credit cards. The U.S. payment industry is now adopting this system to help reduce fraud. This type of card can be identified as a traditional payment card with a gold square that looks like a circuit placed somewhere on the front, in addition to the standard magnetic stripe on the back of the card. EMV cards can be issued by banks to require either “Chip & PIN” authentication or “Chip & Signature.” 


What security does an EMV card give?

The chip card generates a unique one time code for each transaction. It means the cards can not be easily copied like traditional magnetic stripe cards. It’s an additional layer of authentication to the card, reducing the chance of counterfeit fraud.

What is happening in October 2015 with EMV?

Major U.S. credit card issuers MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express, will be shifting certain fraud liability to whomever is the least EMV-compliant party in a fraudulent transaction. Issuing banks are ramping up production and issuance of EMV cards to avoid this liability, while many merchants likewise are updating their point of sale to accept EMV cards to avoid the same liability.

Inserting chip card into terminalDo you need a special payment device to accept EMV cards?

Yes. With EMV cards, you do not do a swipe on a payment terminal like a traditional magnetic strip card. Instead you have to insert the card into a slot in the payment device for the duration of the transaction. Therefore, you will need a payment terminal that has the slot to be able to accept EMV cards.

Does U-Haul Self-Storage Affiliate Network have a payment terminal that will accept EMV cards?

We are currently working on an EMV-enabled payment terminal that will interface with WebSelfStorage. 

When will U-Haul Self-Storage Affiliate Network have an EMV capable payment terminal available?

We do not have a specific date of when the payment terminal will be available. It is currently being worked on and will be available as soon as possible.

How much will the new payment terminal cost?

The price for the terminal has yet to be determined.

Will my facility be liable if counterfeit fraud occurs after October 2015?

The facility will only be liable for fraud if the location was provided an EMV-enabled payment terminal and instead of inserting the card into the EMV slot on the payment terminal, the card was swiped. 

U-Haul Self-Storage Affiliate Network has not made an EMV payment terminal available yet. Will I be liable after October 2015? 

U-Haul Self Storage Affiliate Network is diligently working on releasing an EMV-enabled payment terminal as soon as possible. However, during this time, if counterfeit fraud occurs after October 2015, and we do not have the new terminal available, the liability will not fall on the facility.