October 1, 2015, all businesses that accept in-person credit card payments must be able to accept new EMV-compliant credit and debit cards, or risk being responsible for card fraud losses.
EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) cards are smart cards; often referred to as Chip Cards or IC Cards, which store their data on integrated circuits rather than magnetic stripes. An EMV card offers up a powerful secure way to make payments around the world. A typical magnetic credit card can be easily duplicated and has been a cause for increased theft and fraud. Countries that have been using EMV cards are experiencing less fraud because it is virtually impossible to clone these cards. The United States is one of the few industrialized nations that have not fully transitioned to this technology.
Rather than your staff swiping a patient’s card, these new EMV cards never leaves the patients hand. The card is inserted into a terminal or accepted via a wireless connection. The patient then either enters a PIN number, or signs the terminal to complete the transaction. Contactless EMV cards and enabled cell phones are even easier to use and create a faster checkout process.
Beginning in October, a “liability shift” will occur when a chip card is presented to a merchant that has not adopted a terminal that is certified for chip card acceptance. This means that the liability that was typically assumed by the card issuer will be now assumed by your office, if you do not employ this technology.
Be sure to determine whether your Point of Service terminals are EMV capable. It’s possible that your terminal is up to date or you simply need to download a software update to be EMV enabled. Keep in mind that this new technology is also being introduced to your patient with the implementation of their new payment cards. Take time to train your front desk team on the use of this technology. A trained team will provide a better experience for your patient, reduce the potential of card fraud, and it will enhance your ability to get paid – it just makes Sen$e!
Mike DeVries is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™, Enrolled Agent, and a Certified Healthcare Business Consultant focusing on helping healthcare professionals. If you would like to learn more about becoming a client, contact Mike at www.vmde.com.