Shift in credit card fraud liability has occurred

EMV (Europay/MasterCard/Visa) will eventually replace the magnetic stripe on credit cards that has been the standard in the United States since 1960, and dental practices should be ready for this transition. Acceptance of EMV will not technically be mandated for practices that accept credit or debit cards, but a shift in fraud liability began in October.

Now, all businesses, including dental practices, must be ready to process EMV on their point-of-payment devices or be ready to accept liability from fraudulent transactions through EMV cards. According to the ADA, "After October, businesses may be liable for the cost of fraudulent transactions if they are not using a device that accepts chip cards to prevent fraud. Specifically, the liability for a fraudulent transaction may go to the dentist whose equipment is not EMV-compliant."

Credit card issuers began issuing cards with EMV chips in 2013.  Processors were next, requiring them to have the technology in place to accept merchants who were utilizing EMV transactions by April 2013. 

EMV technology uses dynamic data (versus static data that is on a magnetic stripe and is easily stolen these days) and will reduce credit card fraud and identity theft. EMV has already replaced magnetic-stripe cards in 60 countries (including Canada and most of Europe), and the card associations (such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express) have all announced phase-in plans for the EMV technology for the United States.

Practices that use a magnetic-swipe terminal to process a chip card will be responsible for the cost of the transaction if someone uses a lost or stolen credit card in your office.

Dentists should contact their card processor to find out what they will need to do. If a dentist has already upgraded their terminal in the last few years, they might already have EMV-Capable equipment and just need the EMV application download in order to accept the new cards.  Or they may need new equipment. 

CDA has an "Evaluating a Merchant Credit Card Processor – Checklist" resource available on cda.org. Visa and MasterCard also have chip acceptance resources available on their company websites.

For more information, contact CDA Practice Support at 866.232.6362.

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