Is Your Practice Ready For EMV?


The evolution of EMV technology is something that will impact every business that accepts payment cards. EMV (which stands for the original founders Europay, MasterCard and Visa) is a global card security standard that has been widely adopted outside the United States to combat counterfeit cards and fraud. The United States is in the process of migrating from traditional magnetic stripe technology to chip technology following EMV standards. EMVCo, which is owned by American Express, JCB, MasterCard and Visa manages and maintains the EMV specifications.

Since April of 2013, acquirers and processors have been required to support acceptance of EMV chip transactions. In October of 2015, any practice that does not process 75 percent of its transactions through an EMV-enabled terminal must assume the liability for fraud.

How does EMV work?

At a very high level, there are two basic types of EMV certified transactions: “Contact” and “Contactless.” A “Contact” EMV transaction is a chip card that must be inserted into the terminal. A “Contactless” EMV transaction (using a card or Smartphone) can be tapped on the POS terminal or a peripheral device. With card present transactions, either a signature or a PIN is required. Most US processors have opted for “chip and signature” cards; “chip and PIN” is more prevalent in Europe.

The EMV Migration Forum reports that an estimated 17 to 20 million chip-enabled cards had been issued in the US by the end of 2013. The group expects another 100 million or more chip-enabled cards to be issued in 2014.

How Will EMV Impact Your Practice?

Practices that have not adopted contact chip technology by October of 2015 will be liable for losses linked to card fraud, if EMV chip technology could have prevented the fraud. Hospitals, physicians’ offices and all other healthcare providers that accept credit or debit cards for payment are strongly urged to upgrade their equipment at some point before the liability shift.

How Can You Get Ready for EMV?

Now is the time to begin to adopt EMV protocol, ahead of the October 2015 deadline. EMV compatible terminals are now available and can be implemented in your place of business. Start planning to replace your current terminal, whether hardware or virtual, computer-based systems.

Regions that have transitioned to EMV already have seen drastic reductions in fraud losses. As the amount of fraud continues to rise in the U.S., an investment in payment technology is inevitable to provide a more secure environment for your patients to pay for appointments, medications and other services.


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Alan Brandfon is the Managing Partner of Priority Payment Systems Atlantic and holds an M.B.A. in Accounting. Alan obtained his C.P.A. in 1992 and has worked in the financial industry for over 22 years. Mr. Brandfon’s major focuses include increasing cash flow, collecting receivables, decreasing bad-debt expense, lowering credit card expenses and offering a myriad of payment solutions to all businesses.

Mr. Brandfon presently sits on the Advisory Board of Governors at the Boca Raton Resort and Club, a Blackstone company.