Newsletter Sign Up

Back to recent Share This
September 15, 2018 | Articles |

Chip Cards, Risk and Parking Operators

Chip Cards Reduce Costs and Risks for Parking Operators


In 2015, the U.S. payment card industry shifted liability for fraudulent credit card transactions from banks to merchants, where chip card-reading equipment may have prevented the theft. This action prompted many retailers to change their transaction terminals to chip-card (EMV) devices.

According to EMVco (the chip standards organization), in 2017, 41.2 percent of U.S. transactions were chip-based — more than double 2016’s rate of 18.6 percent. Statistics for parking are lacking; however, industry insiders recognize that parking is trailing most other retail on EMV adoption. – EMV chip card

Added Security and Compliance

and Compliance Owners and operators should consider installation of a Payment Card Industry Point-to-Point-Encrypting (PCI P2PE) solution. This is a chip-reading system that has been certified as compliant by an independent auditor sanctioned by the PCI Council.

Besides security, another benefit of PCI P2PE deployment is relief from PCI’s secure networking requirements when auditing or self-assessing your payment system, further reducing cost and risk. Here are some reasons why parking has lagged other retail and a summary of where it stands today.


“A 2017 IBM Security study indicates that stolen-card transactions may ultimately cost an owner or operator about $225 each.”



For a period of time after the liability shift, parking’s unique requirements (unattended, outdoors) entailed few market-ready options. Not so today:
Most parking equipment vendors have EMV solutions ready for installation.



The first chip solutions had transaction times of eight or more seconds — far longer than patrons were used to. With initiatives such as VISA’s Quick Chip, transaction times are now comparable to legacy solutions.



It’s true that parking sees less fraud than other types of retail: No one is selling stolen parking from the trunk of their car.

However, we see a trend where some individuals are protesting high-value parking charges where the terminal was not chip-enabled, which generates charge-backs to merchants.



The initial cost for an EMV-capable terminal ranges from $1,000 to $3,000, in addition to ongoing transaction fees from a certified payment gateway.

On the other hand, a breach may involve thousands of cards. A 2017 IBM Security study indicates that stolen-card transactions may cost an owner or operator about $225 each.

Considering trends in chip technology adoption, we encourage parking owners and operators to procure PCI P2PE chip solutions. The benefits are too great to ignore.


Brian McGann, PCIP is a consultant at WALKER CONSULTANTS and a certified Payment Card Industry Professional by the Payment Card Industry – Security Standards Council.

Email him at


As printed in PARKING September 2018 Issue.  Click the link to the left to view the current issue.




Related Services

How can we help today?

Get In Touch ›