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How the EMV Chip and Liability Shift Affects Your Dental Practice

How the EMV Chip and Liability Shift Affects Your Dental Practice

Whether you’re familiar or not with EMV, the way your practice processes credit cards changed on October 1st, 2015. If you are not familiar with the impact of EMV on your practice, check out our FAQ below.

What is EMV?

In short, EMV is the answer to the large scale data breaches we’ve seen in the last couple years. 

EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, but is more simply known as the small metallic square chip present on new credit cards. The computer chip creates a unique code for every transaction; so in the event a unique code is stolen or hacked, it cannot be used for another transaction. EMV is a progression away from credit card magnetic strips, as they contain a code that never changes; thus allowing the code be used repeatedly by unauthorized persons.

How does the EMV chip affect my practice?

Major payment brands (like MasterCard and Visa) have already initiated a liability shift in who is financially responsible for the cost of credit card fraud. This shift was effective October 1st, 2015. 

In the past, credit card companies assumed all costs associated with credit card theft. However, new regulations state that whoever has the oldest technology will be responsible. For example, a merchant who doesn’t have the hardware to process the new “chip and pin” transaction can still run a credit card as “swipe and sign.” However, if fraud occurs from that transaction, the merchant is responsible for paying all associated fraudulent costs. The same also works in reverse. If a merchant is equipped to handle “chip and pin” but the issuing bank hasn’t yet provided the new cards to its customers, the bank is responsible for any potential fraud.

So simply put: If a patient with an EMV card falls victim to fraud due to a transaction in your practice and you don’t have the chip reader, you are legally and financially responsible for all associated costs.

How can I prepare and protect my practice?

Contact your payment processor so they can help determine if you need new hardware or not. The process is fairly quick and simple. For more information, check out NerdWallet’s five steps to get EMV compliant.

Who can I talk to about this transition?

We’ve been partnered with Premier Payment Solutions for over 10 years, and trust them with our own financial processing. Our friend at Premier has offered to provide assistance to our clients; so contact him and reference that Medix Dental sent you. He is happy to answer questions and may even be able to save your practice a significant amount of money on credit card processing. Please contact us to request Dave’s contact information.

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