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EMV, Mobile Payments, and the Future of How Consumers Pay

November 10, 2015

A host of changes are coming to consumers and businesses. EMV cards will be mandatory within a few years, creating a more secure way to pay with cards, and services like Apple Pay and PayPal are sparking a mobile payment craze. Soon, consumers may be able to leave their wallets at home in favor of electronic and mobile payment methods.

EMV Cards

EMV technology is quickly becoming a buzzword in the consumer marketplace. This technology makes paying with a card faster and more secure. By October of this year, most cardholders in the United States will have an EMV enabled card. The cards feature an EMV chip, which stores and protects card data. Unlike magnetic strips, which transfer cardholder data when swiped, EMV chips allow for several layers of authentication.

When an EMV card is used for payment, the data is automatically encrypted with a unique code, each time. The magnetic strip on previous cards holds static data, which can be copied with a card reading device. Copying cardholder data is not a possibility with EMV technology.

So what does this mean for consumers? Instead of swiping your card in the traditional sense, EMV card readers will have you inserting your card into a device. You will then input information while your card is still in the device, and you may be asked to authenticate the transaction with a signature or PIN number. EMV cards will still have a magnetic strip, enabling them for use with merchants who haven’t made the switch.

Mobile Payments

While EMV cards offer impressive security advances, mobile payments are the epitome of the forefront of technology. They’re fast, secure, and look futuristic. This technology works because of NFC chips, which are inside mobile phones and wearable smart technology. NFC chips transfer banking and payment data and let you interact with payment authentication right from the phone. The data can be transferred by simply holding your phone over an NFC reading device.

Other mobile payment systems, like Apple iBeacon and PayPal Beacon, connect information over a Bluetooth connection. When you walk into a Bluetooth enabled store, your phone will vibrate to let you know it’s synced to the app. The app will show you store inventory and floor plans, available discounts, and other store information. When you’re ready to purchase, the cashier simply checks your registered account picture to confirm your identity before taking the payment. In the future, authentication may involve retina or fingerprint scans at the cashier.

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