While you may not technically need an EMV chip reader to process card transactions for your patients, having one at your clinic can help reduce your financial liability and can help you offer greater security for your patients financial information.
This, in the long run, may save your clinic money and help you to improve the payment process for patients.
EMV chips were recently rolled-out by many U.S. banks, credit unions and other financial institutions. Now, it is very common for merchants to process payments using chip card technology instead of the more traditional magnetic stripe method.
Because many clinics are looking to save costs, having an older system that does not accept chip cards may make sense to some clinics. This choice, however, carries unique risks you should be aware of.
Keep reading for a short overview of chip cards and some of the benefits and disadvantages of chips or using magnetic stripe systems.
Why the chip on your card?
Credit and debit cards represent significant risks for consumers, vendors, merchants and card issuers. Security measures are taken to make these cards less risky for everyone involved.
While these cards are undoubtedly very convenient and have provided a variety of benefits to the world of commerce and payments, cards also package your financial information in a format that can very easily fall prey to fraudsters.
Card numbers can be stolen, identities can be swiped and perpetrators can make off with significant amounts of money very easily. That is why card issuers work hard to combat theft and keep these amounts to a minimum.
To reassure consumers, card issuers often assume liability for fraudulent purchases, if they do happen. Because of security and liability measures, consumers can shop and pay their bills confidently.
The chip is just the latest in the line of defense against fraud. EMV chip technology has been in use successfully for many years in Europe, Canada and elsewhere around the world before migrating to the United States.
The term “EMV” stands for Europay, Mastercard and VISA, the three companies that developed the technology together to help combat fraudulent card use.
EMV readers and clinic liability
The biggest reason why providers should consider getting EMV readers? Minimizing their own financial liability. EMV readers protect you from losing money due to card fraud. Unfortunately, credit and debit card fraud can end up adversely impacting chiropractic clinics.
When this happens, both you and your patients may lose money. In the process, you run the risk of losing your patients’ trust.
Thankfully, having EMV readers can help protect your clinic from financial liability. In the event that card information is stolen and used to commit fraud, clinics that process card transactions using EMV readers are not generally held responsible—assuming the EMV reader was used. In the case of fraud, you are not subject to a chargeback or a loss of revenue from transactions conducted at your clinic.
Ultimately, only you can decide if it is worth investing in an EMV reader for your clinic. Typically, these are available for a couple hundred dollars, so there is usually minimal cost involved in bringing some financial peace of mind to yourself and your patients.
Many of these readers also process magnetic stripe transactions, so you can still run older cards or use your reader if the chip reader is not working for some reason. In other words, obtaining a chip reader does not necessarily mean you cannot accept other cards.
It is a worthwhile investment for clinics looking to minimize the risk of chargebacks. With the broad use of chip cards in the United States already, it is reasonable to expect most patients to have cards that are compatible with your reader, too.
- Conn, Joseph. “Providers need to prepare for switch to chip cards.” Modern Healthcare. http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20150522/NEWS/150529958. Published: May 2015. Accessed: Jan 2018.
- EMV-connection.com. “EMV 101 for the Healthcare Industry.” EMV Connection. http://www.emv-connection.com/emv-101-for-the-healthcare-industry/. Published: September 2015. Accessed: Jan 2018.