EMV Liability Shift

Why you need to read this:

The October 1, deadline has passed, and merchants are now liable for most types of fraudulent “card present” transactions!
But no need for alarm. Fidelity is here to educate and assist you in ensuring that you are compliant.
(Btw, EMV is for “card present” only. So if you only key in and never swipe cards, then EMV does not apply to you)

What is EMV?

An EMV card is not swiped. It is “dipped” into a special port on a compatible terminal or card reader.
EMV will reduce fraud in “card present” transactions in 2 ways:

  • CHIP protects against COUNTERFEIT cards - An EMV card includes an embedded microchip and can’t be re-encrypted. This makes the card nearly impossible to counterfeit.
  • PIN protects against LOST OR STOLEN cards - If a card has a PIN, it will ensure that it belongs to the person using the card, and is not lost or stolen. (The requirement of PIN will vary from card type to card type)

The USA has migrated to the EMV system, and was the last developed country in the world to do so.

What is the EMV “liability shift”?

  • Due to their great losses, the processing banks are no longer willing to assume the responsibility for transactions that are not EMV compliant
  • As of October 1, 2015 the liability for any fraud committed on a swiped card with an EMV “chip” is the responsibility of the merchant, unless they have EMV compliant equipment

What if I do nothing?

Nothing will happen… until you are hit by fraud or counterfeit transactions. The shift is not any more mandatory than putting a lock on the front door of your business. It’s just plain common sense.
If you do get hit by fraud, you may be 100% liable for the consequences.

How can a merchant be compliant?

If you swipe cards, you must ensure that you have EMV compatible equipment:

  • Your equipment must have an EMV card reader, or “dipper”
  • Your equipment must be certified by your processing bank
  • You will need to ensure that the software installed on your equipment is updated
  • You will need to have the capability to support PIN # encryption


  • Most terminals or equipment currently on the market are not 100% “good to go”. Even if you have verified that your equipment is compliant, you may still need to install new software once it is available by the bank for your specific terminal.
  • EMV needs to work across platforms between equipment manufacturers, gateway providers, and processing banks.
    Just because your equipment looks like it is EMV compliant does not mean that it is.

What you need to do:

Call Fidelity today to become EMV compliant: 855-794-­7348

1.­855.SWIPE.IT (794-­7348)
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