The U.S. is playing catch-up with Europe when it comes to EMV (a joint effort between Europay, Mastercard and VISA) adoption. EMV card technology has already been implemented in Europe, Australia, and Canada. However, the cost of updating cards and terminals has slowed the process in the U.S. Read on to ensure that your hotel operation won’t be playing catch-up when it comes to complying with EMV adoption standards.

The Upside of EMV. The goal of EMV is to better protect U.S. merchants and consumers against card fraud and hacks. EMV cards are embedded with smart chips that hold information similar to a magnetic stripe card but with greater security. With EMV in place, hotels and guests achieve a win-win – enjoying a more secure environment while becoming less of a target for hackers.

EMV Timeline. Beginning in October 2015, a liability shift will be in effect in the U.S., making banks responsible for fraud when a magnetic stripe card is used. While this October 2015 is not a hard deadline, it provides a timeframe against which banks and merchants can individually assess their own fraud risks and migrate to EMV based on what makes sense for them.

Prepping for the shift. While EMV may not impact your hotel operation today, it will soon. How prepared are your properties? Is research or prep-work underway to ease your entire operation’s transition? Hotels of all sizes must undergo various levels of device and software compliance certifications with each card brand to ensure that EMV payments can be accepted under the proper regulations and requirements. Now is the time for hotel operators to arm their properties with a cloud-based hotel operating system that will be prepared for EMV. Ensure that your current cloud-based provider has the resources and expertise in place to handle EMV and ongoing PCI compliance on your operation’s behalf.

Hotel operators simply cannot ignore the impending shift. If guest data is breached, it can devastate the hotel’s financial stability and reputation. Consider your hotel operating system to be your best friend in complying with the impending EMV adoption. By investing today in the right EMV capable technologies and partners, hotels can ensure they are well prepared while avoiding headaches surrounding the October 2015 liability shift.