What is EMV?

EMV is a standard for the inter-operation of integrated circuit cards (chip cards) used for authenticating credit and debit card transactions. EMV is the acronym for “Europay MasterCard Visa”, the three card associations that initially collaborated on the development of this standard.

The EMV standard defines the interaction between chip cards and point of sale (POS) terminals. EMV based card systems are being introduced in a staggered fashion throughout the world and the first stage to its introduction in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean is through the acceptance of chip cards at merchants.

What are the benefits?

The purpose and goal of the EMV standard is to allow interoperability between cards and EMV-compliant POS terminals throughout the world. The two main advantages to switch to an EMV based card system are:

  • Greater protection against fraud for cardholders versus magnetic stripe card transactions
  • Greater control in offline transactions approvals

How EMV affects merchants?

Effective October 1st, 2012, Visa® and MasterCard® established that all merchants located in Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC Region) must have a POS terminal capable of processing chip cards using the EMV standard or else the merchant will be exposed to the risk that neither VISA®(1) nor MasterCard®(2) will defend the merchant against chargeback.

It is important that merchants understand the correct method of processing chip cards. Before making any sale, the merchant must visually verify the cardholder’s card. If it is a chip card, the merchant should follow the EMV-standard procedure that corresponds to the POS terminal used to make the sale.


For POS terminal related questions please call 787-751-1401 or 1-800-981-9401. For any other question or matter please reach us at 787-773-5150 or via e-mail at info@popularmerchant.com

EMV Additional Information