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Do You Accept Credit Card Payments from Your Clients?


How Chip-Enabled Cards Could Affect You

You’ve probably already heard that the United States is transitioning to full adoption of EMV (Europay MasterCard Visa) chip-enabled cards to reduce credit card fraud. The change is coming October 1, 2015, so we wanted to remind you about EMV and what it means for you. 

Prior to October 1, if businesses swipe a counterfeit or stolen card, the bank assumes the loss. To encourage businesses to adopt the more secure technology of EMV/chip cards, a liability shift is going into effect on October 1, 2015, where card issuers plan on shifting that loss to merchants.

So if a massage therapist without an EMV-capable terminal accepts a payment for a $150 massage from an EMV chip-enabled card and it turns out the card was stolen or compromised, the therapist would have to repay that $150. If the therapist did have a new EMV terminal and someone used a stolen or compromised card, the merchant would not be responsible for the loss. Liability now falls on the person who is the least EMV compliant. The merchant has an EMV-capable terminal, but the bank did not send out a new EMV card to the client; therefore, it would be the bank’s loss.

If you feel like you’re not ready for the change, you’re not alone, according to Dave Garboski, president of ABMP’s partner CellCharge. “The crazy part is that very few EMV terminals have been certified,” Garboski says, “so the selection of EMV terminals is very low. The number of issued EMV cards with chips in them is also very low.”

For practitioners who only accept keyed payments (i.e., you key in the transaction instead of swiping a card), we wanted to let you know that the upcoming EMV changes only apply to card-present transactions. The EMV changes should not affect you, unless you plan on processing EMV cards.

If you’re a CellCharge customer and ABMP member, feel free to contact Garboski with questions at 866-735-5292 or