With October being such an important month for the optometry profession, the Vendor Relations Committee would like to emphasize the changes occurring around the EMV credit card Liability Shift and the potential ramifications. If a company fails to upgrade, the liability of risk is shifted from the card company to the business merchant. The priority of the Vendor Relations Committee is to distribute information on these changes and recommend the Doctors of TSO partner with a reputable credit card processor to make these necessary changes in their practices.
One partner option for TSO offices to consider is TransGlobal Payment Systems. Located in Houston, TransGlobal Payment Systems is a full service credit card processor providing merchants 24/7 award winning customer service and technical support. They provide a variety of credit card processing services as well as customized solutions to fit all business requirements.
What is EMV and why does it matter?
Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) developed chip cards to make transactions more secure. Instead of processing limited data like a magstripe card, EMV technology allows dozens of pieces of non-static information to be transferred between the card, the terminal and the financial institution that processes credit card transactions for the merchant.
EMV chip cards can be identified by their embedded chip on the front of the card. They also have a magnetic stripe on the back, but in order to protect yourself from any liability, you need to insert any chip cards presented to you in the card reader during all transactions.
The chip technology eliminates most of the risk of credit card skimming, a common practice for thieves committing credit card fraud. Fraudsters use a card-reading device to skim credit card information from a traditional magstripe card and load it onto a prepaid card. However, with an EMV chip, the card’s many pieces of data change for each transaction. Therefore, any skimmed information would be useless for the thief.
EMV cards have two major card verification methods: chip-and-PIN and chip-and-signature. Chip-and- signature, which allows you to verify your identity with a signature, is the most popular method in the U.S. due to its low cost and ease of use.
Chip-and-PIN cards, which are verified by a four- to six-digit PIN, are more widely used in Europe. Because it is more difficult to replicate a PIN than a signature, chip-and-PIN cards are thought to be more secure, and certain overseas merchants only accept PIN-capable cards. If you’re planning on traveling internationally, you may want to consider a card with a PIN.
If your credit card isn’t chipped yet, it likely will be soon. Beginning on October 1, 2015, a policy change called the “liability shift” will occur, placing the blame for fraudulent transactions on the issuer that doesn’t issue chipped cards and merchants that don’t accept them.
As it stands now, issuers alone are typically liable for credit card fraud, but now the blame will go to whichever party is not EMV capable, or it will be shared if both parties neglected to update. While neither issuers nor merchants are being forced to upgrade to EMV technology, they have a strong financial incentive to do so.
Payment Solutions Manager, TransGlobal Payment Systems 713-494-7741 Cell