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Medical Practices Need to Upgrade Credit Card Terminals

July 14, 2015

Creditcard_and_EMV There are many changes taking place within the healthcare industry on Oct 1st, 2015. From ICD-10 upgrades to debit and credit card terminal enhancements, if your medical practice isn’t following the new mandates, you can be held financially liable for any fraudulent financial transactions that take place. It’s important to understand that medical practices aren’t the only ones at risk for fraudulent activity. Any entity that accepts debit and credit cards as a form of payment needs to update its terminals on a regular basis. After all, the more secure the technology, the more secure the transactions are.

What type of terminal upgrades do medical practices need to implement?

Understanding the terminal upgrades that need to take place is fairly simple. While most credit card terminals these days are used for swiping cards with an electronic card swiper, the new cards that are being distributed to consumers have a EMV chip (also know as Europay, MasterCard and Visa) inside of them, meaning terminals need to be upgraded so they can read these chips.

How does an EMV card work?

There are two basic forms of EMV cards. One type of EMV cards requires the user to both swipe the card and enter a PIN, but the card reader must be able to read EMV chips. The other type of EMV card requires the reading of the chip as well as a signature. It is the chip itself that makes the cards more difficult for thieves to steal the data.

Can EMV terminals prevent fraud?

EMV terminals should not be mistaken for a primary security tool, meaning just because your medical practice updates its terminals doesn’t mean it’s completely safe from fraudulent transactions. However, being that EMV terminals do support both types of EMV transactions — chip-pin, chip-signature — your medical practice won’t be liable for any fraudulent activities.

When is the best time to update terminals in a medical practices?

Is there ever a good time to update your terminals? Probably not, but it’s highly advised to have them updated during an office holiday or on the weekend when your practice is closed. As far as how soon you need to update them, the sooner, the better. The deadline for updating the terminals is October of 2015, so starting the process now is highly advised. Not only does starting the process now allow you to be in compliance with the deadline, but it also provides ample time to remedy any issues that may become present during the upgrade process.

Is the rest of the world already using EMV?

To put it simply, yes, the rest of the world is already using EMV cards and terminals. In fact, roughly 40 percent of the world’s debit/credit cards already have the chips installed in them, and 70 percent of terminals outside the United States have the capability to read EMV cards. Among all transactions that take place across international borders, it is predicted that 62 percent of them include an EMV card and terminal.

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Is the deadline really going to stick?

You’ve probably heard time and time again that you need to upgrade your terminals to read EMV cards. Truth is, though, in the United States, there’s not a high percentage of EMV cards. Still yet, though, you should take notice to the fact that times are changing. EMV cards will become more prevalent through 2016, and as far as the deadline goes, yes, it’s going to stick. If you don’t make the necessary upgrades to your terminals, you can and will be held liable for any fraudulent activities that take place via your terminals.


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