EMV Myths and Scams

Sep 17

On October 1, the liability for counterfeit credit card charges made with a chip enabled card shifts from card issuers to merchants that don't use EMV technology, including restaurants. However, all this really means is that if a criminal pays with a chip enabled counterfeit credit card at a restaurant that doesn't use an EMV card reader, the restaurant will be responsible for that charge-back. Implementing EMV technology in your restaurant is NOT REQUIRED. There is no government regulation requiring you to have EMV technology, and there is no security council or other entity enforcing EMV usage. There is no list of companies that aren't EMV compliant. If you haven't implemented EMV technology, you will still be able to process credit cards after October 1. These are just a few of the myths that are out there about EMV and the October 1 deadline. Unfortunately, we've received reports from TRA members of companies calling and claiming they are checking on EMV compliance by small businesses, including restaurants. In Houston, a company called Coastal Pay called a TRA member and said FirstData had contracted them to check EMV and PCI compliance for all small businesses and restaurants. They asked to schedule a time to come to the restaurant to check the credit card machine because their records showed the restaurant was not EMV compliant. The caller claimed that because the restaurant was not EMV compliant, it will be classified as a high risk merchant, will pay exorbitant fees, and on October 1 will not be able to accept any credit cards. The individual was very aggressive and tried to use scare tactics to intimidate the restaurant operator. Be sure your managers and employees are informed and know that if anyone calls or comes to your restaurant claiming they are there to €˜check the credit card machine for EMV compliance' that it is a scam and the person should be asked to leave immediately. Heartland, TRA's preferred partner for credit card processing, has put together a short white paper outlining what restaurants need to know about EMV. TRA published a story about EMV in Restaurantville magazine, and there is also information on the TRA Blog. If you have any questions about EMV, please contact TRA's general counsel, Kenneth Besserman.


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