EMV and Winter Newsletter

Keep an eye on your mailboxes because the Check-Inn Quarterly Newsletter is on the way! The winter newsletter includes an article about GDS and our friends at Innlink. Another article discusses software, service, and hardware suggestions such as online reservation interfaces and the Advanced ID Scanner to consider before business starts picking up towards springtime. There is also an important article regarding EMV.

EMV (Europay, Mastercard, and Visa) is a standard slowly being adopted in the United States. There are several ways to adopt EMV, but they all generally revolve around the ability to accept chip card transactions. The United States is in the beginning stages of incorporating the chip and signature standard. This means that certain businesses will soon have the ability to read information from the credit card using the embedded chip (instead of the magnetic stripe) and will then have the customer sign a receipt.

The purpose of chip cards is to help reduce the prevalence of card-present counterfeit/stolen card transactions. Chip cards are very difficult to counterfeit. However, EMV does not change anything regarding card-not-present transactions or non-fraud related payment disputes. More importantly there is NO requirement that businesses adopt EMV and the chip and signature standard. There is no current end date to the issuance of magnetic stripes on credit cards. At this point, swipe and signature transactions will remain a common standard in the United States.

However, there is a liability shift occurring in October of 2015 that has been put in place to help encourage businesses to adopt chip and signature. The liability shift only effects card-present counterfeit/stolen card transactions. The hospitality industry as a whole will likely be among the last industries to certify and fully move to EMV because the occurrence of these types of transactions at hotels is very low. The COO of Fortis Payment Solutions, our preferred vendor for credit card processing services and experts in the hospitality industry, has only encountered one single instance at a property in the past three years that reported a card-present counterfeit card transaction.

The hospitality industry has a much more complex set of compliance regulations and businesses involved in credit card transactions than retailers do. There is an enormous amount of work for banks, retailers, card issuers, processors, and point of sale (POS) and property management system (PMS) companies to complete in order to fully adopt EMV. Many of the businesses involved in the process are focusing their early efforts on retailers rather than hospitality.

Due to the tremendous amount of work left to be done, along with the fact that card-present counterfeit card transactions at hotels are very rare, and because acceptance of chip cards is completely voluntary in the United States, there is no reason to be concerned about not being able to accept chip cards at your hotel by October of 2015.

Innsoft will be working on certification for EMV in the coming year and we will continue to post relevant information regarding EMV and chip and signature. We encourage all of our customers to reach out to Innsoft Support and your credit card processor if you have any questions. If you are unable to reach someone knowledgeable about EMV with your current credit card processor, we highly recommend Fortis Payment Solutions. Give Innsoft a call or fill out our online request form for a referral to Fortis.

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