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9 Tips on EMV Fraud Liability Shift for Merchants

The nationwide adoption of EMV chip cards and processing technology brought a major change in the US. This was something different from what people used to have – mag stripe cards. Are you a merchant interested in EMB fraud liability in the US? Just keep on reading this article and you’ll learn more about it.

EMV Liability Shift in the US

EMV was implemented in the US a few years ago. As in other countries, the goal was to reduce card-present fraud in the US. For POS (Point of Sale) transactions, the majority of US payment networks implemented EMV fraud liability shifts in October 2015.

Some networks implemented or announced liability shifts for ATMs and/or automated fuel dispensers (AFDs) as well. The AFD or automatic fuel dispenser was an exception. Its fraud liability start date was set for October 2017.

October 2015 was applicable across all global payment networks. American Express and Discover, as well as MasterCard and Visa were among them. The fraud liability shifts for ATMs came into effect in October 2016 for MasterCard. When it comes to the other payment networks, the fraud liability shifts took effect from October 2017.

Let’s take Visa chip cards. They protect in-store payments through the generation of a unique, one-time code. The latter is required for the approval of transactions. Thanks to this feature, it becomes virtually impossible to counterfeit cards. As a result, in-store fraud is being eliminated.

With all this in mind, you, as a merchant, should take the right steps to protect your business from payment processing fraud. Working with a reputable payment processor like, you can enjoy the best security and protection for your online business. EMB, #1 high risk credit card processing company in the US, can help you with EMV fraud liability and provide unmatched chargeback protection in the industry.

The counterfeit card liability shift refers only to transactions where the user presents a counterfeit magnetic stripe to a POS terminal that doesn’t support (at a minimum) contact chip EMV. Let’s move forward and find out more details concerning the EMV fraud liability for merchants.

EMV Fraud Liability for Merchants

Here are important tips on EMV fraud liability for merchants:

  1. The US is the only country where counterfeit card fraud is increasing on a consistent basis. The shift aimed to encourage faster adoption of EMV payment technology.
  2. The liability shift is focused on incentivizing chip protection. Merchants get liability protected once they get a terminal and start accepting chip cards. This is just vice versa for issuers.
  3. What about a chip card being used at a traditional magnetic stripe-only terminal? If the purchase is a counterfeit transaction, the merchant will be held liability. The reason is that the issuer has made the investment in chip technology for the purpose of making transactions more secure, while the merchant didn’t invest in upgrading to chip.
  4. What about a chip card being used at a chip-enabled terminal activated by the merchant? If the purchase is a counterfeit transaction, the merchant won’t be held liable. The issuer will still be responsible for counterfeit fraudulent activities.
  5. The EMV liability shift doesn’t refer to card-not-present (CNP) transactions, as well as lost and stolen fraud. In these cases, you deal with the existing liability and chargeback rules.
  6. What about a magnetic stripe card being used at a magnetic stripe terminal? The issuer will be held liable for fraud.
  7. If a Mastercard, American Express or Discover Card is used to commit fraud, the issuer will be held liable for chargebacks, unless the card is a PIN credit/debit one, and the accepting merchant wasn’t able to process the card as a chip card and had to swipe the mag stripe instead.
  8. Even if your most payments are completed online, you’ll still be held liable for the in-store payments, unless you own a gas station.
  9. Merchants who aren’t ready yet, shouldn’t worry. October 1, 2015 was the official date of the liability shift, which will be applicable if fraud occurs. However, in case you haven’t made the transition to EMV yet, choose the right time for you and do it.

The EMV liability shift is called to protect the entity offering an added layer of security. Also, it holds the other entity offering less secure systems responsible for payment fraud.