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EMV Credit Card Readers Not Fully Functional

BEND, OR -- Merchants are still in the process of switching over credit card machines, despite an October first deadline. Businesses without the new EMV card readers are now liable if fraud occurs on a customer’s card. But, Ray Spreier, Chief Information Officer for Mid Oregon Credit Union in Bend, tells KBND transitioning to the new technology is no simple task. "Any part of that transaction chain that is not EMV compliant bears the liability. So, we’ve seen this mad scramble to suddenly update point of sale terminals. And, I don’t think people realize all the moving parts that are between the place where you insert, or used to swipe your card, and the financial institute that’s actually approving the transaction based on the balance."


And, he admits many retailers have seen delays. "So, in a lot of cases, it would be the merchant software systems maybe have not been updated, or aren’t ready to handle the nature of the EMV transaction compared to the old style transaction. What we see at the point of sale is relatively easy, it’s just a different terminal - you just get rid of 'Box A' and replace it with 'Box B.' But, until all that software is placed all the way back into the financial institution, you can’t really support the EMV security." A recent Wells Fargo survey revealed about a fifth of small businesses nationwide have no plans to upgrade. 


Spreier says once the new technology is fully functioning, customers shouldn't ignore their own personal responsibility. "I think the general maxim that any consumer should be looking for in handling your finances is what I refer to as “total visibility,” and back that up with control. Most card issuers and most financial institution online banking systems now offer live alerting. So, the minute a transaction hits your card or account, you can get an email or a text message alerting you to that fact. And you can get balance alerts and other things." 
To hear more of our conversation with Ray Spreier about EMV technology, visit our Podcast Page


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