EMV is a contactless (over the air) method of transmitting secure payment and confidential information in the credit card industry. Credit cards using EMV will often not have to be swiped to complete a transaction. Over 80 countries currently use some form of EMV. The United States is one of the last countries to implement EMV. It is not widely used in the US today. However, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover have all announced plans to begin using EMV in the US. You can read more about EMV at the official website here.
So, what does this mean if I'm a business owner and don't currently have a way to take EMV payments? Simply put, it means you will have to change some equipment and procedures. In most cases, it will not be an abrupt change and should have little, if any immediate impact on your business. Most of the credit card company roadmaps predict required acceptance to begin over the next 1-3 years. Most businesses change credit card processing equipment and hardware every 2-3 years. In all likelihood, you will be able to work those changes in over time.
One thing to consider is the increase in mobile transactions. If your business takes payments or plans to take payments on an iPhone, iPad or android device, you will probably have to upgrade your software and replace whatever card swiper / card reader you have today. Again, this will probably not be a sudden change, and you can take time to evaluate options and costs to find something that fits your needs.
On that note, if you're looking for advice for mobile payment processing, let us help. We have iPhone and iPad solutions for retail, cafe, restaurants and mobile trucks. We'll help you with an iPad cash register solution from start to finish.