Citizens have been known to pay court fines with stolen credit cards. Don’t believe it? The Michigan Department of Corrections recently charged a 25-year-old man with fraud after he attempted to pay his probation restitution with a stolen card. The incident serves as a reminder that courts and government agencies are not exempt from credit card fraud. The good news is that fraud has been declining due to EMV (Europay, Mastercard®, and Visa®) chip cards and point-of-sale (POS) card readers. EMV enabled payment devices offer the courts a viable solution to help prevent credit card fraud within card-present environments.

What Is EMV?

The EMV standard has been available internationally for some time and was adopted in the United States in 2015. This global standard employs microchip technology for authentication embedded on the card, rather than traditional swipe cards with magnetic strip authentication.

What Are the Benefits of EMV?

When hackers are able to steal magnetic strip data, it can be used over and over for fraudulent purposes. In contrast, EMV makes use of point-to-point encryption (P2PE). The chips on EMV cards create a new and unique code for each transaction at the POS, which is used for that specific transaction only. If a hacker breaches the POS and steals the data, it will be useless. As research director Julie Conroy of financial industry research company Aite Group explains, “These new and improved cards are being deployed to improve payment security, making it more difficult for fraudsters to successfully counterfeit cards. It’s an important step forward.”

How Do EMV Card Readers Help Courts?

The widespread adoption of EMV cards in the United States means that more people will become familiar with and look for EMV card readers when making payments. According to Visa’s December 2016 chip card update, last year saw a 92% increase in Visa chip cards compared with the previous year. Courts that offer EMV card readers provide a secure and simple on-premises payment method that enables citizens to pay quickly and conveniently. And EMV card readers provide security for both the payer and payee—Visa reports a 52% decrease in counterfeit fraud at chip-enabled merchants in September 2016 alone (compared with September 2015).

Securely Collect Court Fines On-Premises

At nCourt, we are continually working to make payment processing easier and more secure for you and the paying citizens you serve. This evolution includes offering Payment Card Industry (PCI)-compliant EMV devices that use point-to-point encryption to enable quick and secure countertop payment on-premises.

Please contact nCourt for an initial consultation and evaluation of your current payment process. We’re here to help!