Did you know that the credit and debit cards we use today will be replaced with “smart” cards within the next three years? Did you know that if you are not ready to accept these new cards, you will be liable for any fraudulent transactions?
The cards we use every day have a simple magnetic stripe on the back that encodes our account number and other information. We have all seen stories on the news where criminals use “skimmers” to record this data as we swipe our cards through the card reader.
To combat this type of fraud, Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) joined forces to develop a new standard for high security cards. These cards can be referred to as EMV, chip or smart cards. EMV cards contain a small processor that encrypts data, such as our account number, to prevent skimming attacks. The magnetic stripe card will quickly become a thing of the past.
What does all this mean for you and your practice? At a minimum, your practice will have to undertake the purchase of new POS equipment and be trained in its use. For example, you do not swipe an EMV card through the POS’s card reader. Rather, it is inserted and left in the card reader until the transaction is complete.
Preparation for these new cards must be accomplished no later than October 2015 or you will assume the liability for any card fraud committed. So plan now for upgrading.
A simple checklist would include:
- How many POS devices does my practice have?
- What is the cost of EMV-ready POS equipment from my merchant services provider?
- When can I obtain an EMV-ready POS device from my merchant services provider?
- Is my merchant service provider ready to accept EMV transactions?
Unlike so many things, there is time to prepare for the switch to EMV. Begin work with your merchant services provider to develop your implementation plan.
Check back for updates and blog posts on coming changes in mobile and web payments.
Image credit: Smart Card Alliance