Caucasian woman with engagement ring using pin pad to complete credit card transaction

What is EMV?

EMV (Europay Mastercard and Visa) is a worldwide payment system technical standard providing enhanced security protocols for card present transactions.  In the United States, a card present EMV transaction is where a customer inserts a debit or credit card issued with an embedded microprocessor “chip” into an EMV card reader.  The EMV reader encrypts the credit card data and then transmits the encrypted information to the selected gateway or processor. This technology replaces the older magnetic card swiping readers extensively used in the past. According to EMV in the U.S. (2020 update), “fraud losses have decreased 87% in March 2019 compared to September 2015 before the U.S. shift to EMV cards.”


Along with the adoption of EMV in the U.S., credit card companies shifted the responsibility for disputed charges from credit card issuer to merchants including hotels.  Prior to this change, credit card issuers assumed more of the responsibility for fraudulent charges because of the difficulty of proving the customer actually used the card.


Merchant Charge Backs Decrease With EMV Terminals

Josh Kreider is the General Manager and owner of the Canyon Motel and Sherwood Motel in Wellsboro, PA, and the Crystal Springs Inn and Suites in Towanda, PA. Kreider stated, “After installing EMV terminals in our hotels, I would never go back.  I currently get a handful of room charges disputed out of a total of 30,000 room rentals per year.  Of those disputed, I win 90% of them because of EMV.”

Kreider uses Skyware Hospitality Solutions Property Management System (PMS) with a built-in interface to EMV terminals.  “With Skyware, I connect my guest reservation directly to my guest registration paperwork and my EMV payment system making all of key components work together in one system.” Kreider explained.  “With the cost of some EMV terminals being less than $300, it is just not worth the risk of not adopting EMV.” concluded Kreider.


Bad Actors Know the System

Unlike fast food restaurants or stores with small dollar transactions, hotels could face significant unexpected charges.  Certain bad actors know that if a merchant is using a magnetic card reader for processing credit card transactions instead of an EMV terminal, it is an invitation to a possible all-expense paid free stay.

Fraudulent purchases are extremely difficult to accomplish with EMV cards because it is nearly impossible to counterfeit the microchip.  Magnetic stripe technology exposes information the card holds to any card scanner.  Bad actors can easily obtain that data and create fake credit or debit cards and use them fraudulently at merchant establishments.  Still, even with all of that understanding, 25% of all merchants in the United States are estimated to continue to use the older magnetic stripe technology.


Using EMV Terminals Reduces Cost

Merchant transaction charges for EMV transactions are also less compared to magnetic stripe reader charges largely because of the cost of fraud.  In addition, the cost of resources and staff time required to investigate, document, and respond back to the credit card processor on any charge-back disputes is dramatically reduced.  According to Kreider, “All I have to do is show the credit card processor, the card was present because I used an EMV reader and the payment dispute is thrown out. My loss with credit cards is no longer a concern for me as a manager due primarily to EMV.”

On October 15, 2015, the world of credit card processing for hotels was changed forever. This was the date when responsibility for fraudulent charges shifted from credit card companies to the merchants who do not have EMV. For hoteliers, this shift could be catastrophic – unless you invest in the right software credit card payment systems like Skyware Payment Systems in association with Skyware Property Management Software. According to Michael James at the Carousel Group “Implementation of the Skyware Payment Systems EMV technology not only makes me sleep better at night but also saves me money in transaction fees”.


The author, Bob Palloni, is the owner and co-founder of Skyware Hospitality Solutions, a Hotel Property Management Software (Skywaresystems.com) in meeting the demanding requirements of the hotel industry. The solution is a single-entry point automating hotel operations on a real time basis. Skyware uses the latest technology to provide an enterprise solution that incorporates a full-featured hotel property management system, activity/spa scheduler, online booking engine, account receivable and yield management—all within a single database.




Skyware Payment Systems is an all in one program that installs an accredited EMV technology payment system directly integrated into a comprehensive Property Management System. Skyware Payment System takes advantage of the best performers in the credit card industry to provide a seamless, reliable and easy to use solution without the exposure to chargeback losses and fraudulent activity.

The key benefits of using Skyware Payment Systems are:

  • Hotel Property Management Software integration.
  • State-of-the art EMV devices.
  • Single vendor provider from deployment to support.
  • Easy to use plug and play technology with minimal training required.
  • Less expensive transaction fees.
  • Reduced charge backs.
  • Better interchange rates.

Whether you have a large hotel in Mid-town Manhattan or a small resort in a desired beach location your Property Management System and your Payment System should work together to provide you a simple, easy-to-use technology that eliminates your exposure to fraudulent activity and reduces your transaction fees. Skyware Payment Systems is designed to do just that. Hotels regularly choose Skyware because of its leading-edge technology and unparalleled customer service. Please contact us today at 877 759-9329 extension 350 if you are interested in learning more about our technology.