Visa Launches EMV Chip Education Tour for Small Businesses

20-city tour designed to help small businesses understand how and why they should prepare for accepting chip payment cards

Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) today launched its 20-city tour to educate small businesses and consumers about payment card chip technology (also known as EMV technology). The Small Business Chip Education Tour will commence at the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Small Business and Entrepreneurial Showcase in Austin, Texas. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from payments industry experts and connect directly with merchants who have already migrated to chip technology. They will also have an opportunity to see demonstrations of how chip technology works at the payment terminal to protect sensitive account information from risk of fraud.

“Visa is supporting merchants and consumers through education to ensure a seamless transition to this new technology”

While chip implementation in the U.S. is underway, a recent study conducted by the Aite Group found that one-third of small- and medium-sized merchants are still unaware of chip technology.

“Visa is supporting merchants and consumers through education to ensure a seamless transition to this new technology,” said Ramon Martin, head of global merchant sales and solutions at Visa Inc.

Martin added, “We know that time is a valuable resource to small business owners and we designed the Small Business Chip Education Tour to bring the most critical information on chip technology to merchants directly. In cities across the country, we will set up educational sessions to explain how chip technology can protect consumers from fraud, and how businesses can offer it in their stores.”

Chip education and adoption is critical, because as of October 1, 2015, liability for counterfeit fraud on Visa chip card accounts will shift from the chip card issuer to business owners who have not upgraded to chip-activated terminals.

“For small businesses, running smoothly and protecting their customers is of top importance, particularly in the digital age,” said Javier Palomarez, the President and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “At the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, we are proud to partner with Visa to bring the Small Business Chip Education Tour to small business owners throughout the country, and will continue to inform our membership on the benefits of chip technology.”

How Chip Cards Work

When inserted into a terminal, a chip card generates a unique, one-time code needed for the transaction to be approved. Because this code changes with every transaction, even if the card data is stolen, the information can’t be used to create counterfeit cards because the stolen code would have already “expired.” This feature makes EMV chip card data a less attractive target for criminals to steal. According to a report by Aite Group, counterfeit fraud in countries such as Australia, Canada and the U.K. decreased by 50-75 percent after merchants and financial institutions adopted chip technology.

Business and Consumer Education Campaign

The Small Business Chip Education Tour builds on Visa’s efforts to educate consumers and businesses about the role chip plays in a multi-layered approach to securing the payment ecosystem. Visa has partnered with financial institutions, business groups, media organizations, consumer advocacy groups, and others for in-market events throughout the U.S. The next event in Visa’s Small Business Chip Education Tour will be held in Orlando, Florida, in partnership with the Orlando Chamber of Commerce on April 3, 2015.

In addition to in-market events, the Small Business Chip Education Tour will also host webinars that will be made available on the company’s dedicated chip website, www.Visachip.com.

“As the largest segment of merchants in the U.S., it’s critical that small businesses understand how chip technology works and what it means to the protection of their business and the data of their customers,” said Kim Lawrence, senior vice president of Corporate Initiatives at Visa. “This is a technology that has already been widely adopted in many markets, and has proven to significantly reduce the incidence of fraud at the physical point-of-sale.”

Visa has also recently launched an online toolkit to help businesses make the transition. The toolkit, available atwww.VisaChip.com/businesstoolkit includes a step-by-step guide to adopting chip as well as videos, infographics, and other resources to help merchants make the seamless transition to chip-activated terminals.