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UPDATED: EMV Questions? We’ve Got the Details.

UPDATE: 10/2/2015  10:31 AM CDT
We met with Chase Paymentech yesterday to discuss our position on EMV certification and would like to share some updates based on that conversation.

EMV Certification
Due to Ascend’s early start and continued persistence to get certified, we’re further along in the process than literally 99.99% of the other systems that process with Chase Paymentech.  We’re in the home stretch of this process with them, but it will likely be several weeks before we are fully certified and able to push out an update to you.

Some Perspective
There’s no shortage of information online about the liability shift.  We’ve sorted through a lot of it.  Here are some interesting statistics about the state of the industry in the US right now:

What Should You Do?
The language states that if a chip card is processed by magnetic swipe and that charge is deemed fraudulent, the “least compliant party” between the merchant and processor will be held liable.  You should make sure you are as compliant as possible by following these steps:

  1. Make sure you’re on the latest version of Ascend
  2. Order and Install the new payment processing devices
    • NOTE: Only devices purchased from us will work properly. Devices acquired elsewhere WILL NOT work with Ascend
  3. Be vigilant when processing credit cards (especially those with chips)
    • If the card is not signed, require a photo ID
    • If the card is signed, request to see a photo ID
      • For Visa/MasterCard cards, you can ask for a photo ID but cannot require one
      • However, you can still compare the signature on the card to the signed slip and follow protocol if they don’t match
    • As always, don’t take credit card payments over the phone from customers you don’t know

If you follow the above steps, you’ll decrease the likelihood of being found the “least compliant party” in the unlikely event of a fraud claim.

We’re Sorry
Though we’ve done our best to ensure you were updated by yesterday, we missed that deadline.  We’re sorry about that.  We, like you, are frustrated with this situation.  We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we move forward with this initiative.

Thank you for being a great group of retailers.  We look forward to getting back to talking about new and exciting features in the near future.


Original Post: 9/28/2015

With the October liability shift approaching, here’s an update on where we’re at with credit card processing.

When will the new devices arrive?
The new devices have begun to ship.

How do I setup the new devices when they arrive?
The first thing you need to do is upgrade to the Fall 2015 release of Ascend.  Once you’re upgraded and have the new devices, you can follow these instructions to install them yourself.  Not comfortable with that?  That’s fine.  Give the Ascend Support Line a call and we’ll happily assist you.  You should unplug your current swipes and pin pads from your computer before installing the new devices.  We recommend storing them in a safe place for a few months as backup.

How will they work?
At this time, payment processing on the new device will work just like it did with your old devices.  When a card is swiped, a paper copy of the signature receipt will still print out.  When a debit card is swiped, pin entry will happen on the new device, but the messaging will be the same as it was before.

The next few versions of Ascend will include updates that take advantage of the many features this new device offers (store-branded default display, line item display during the transaction, electronic signature capture, NFC payments, customer-driven workflows, etc.).  But for the time being, things will work just like they did before.

When will they work for EMV (chip) cards?
We continue to do everything we can within our power to get EMV Certified with Chase Paymentech as soon as possible.  Once our certification is complete, we will push out an updated version of the Fall 2015 release that includes EMV support.  We do not at this time know exactly when this will happen.  The industry is scrambling to deal with this change, and this has unfortunately been a complex process involving several 3rd parties and changing timelines.

What should I do if I’m not EMV-ready in time for the October 1st liability shift?
You should take steps to mitigate your exposure to fraudulent transactions.  Ask for a photo ID when processing card transactions, especially for cards that contain a chip.  Verify that the last four digits on the card match the last four digits recorded on the payment screen in Ascend.  Taking these steps will help minimize the likelihood you’ll be the victim of fraud.

Follow this blog for additional updates and keep your eye out for the next Ascend update notification.

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10 responses to “UPDATED: EMV Questions? We’ve Got the Details.”

  1. Ian christie says:

    Do you know when we will be able to use other payment processors other than chase paymentech?

    • Eddy Cevilla says:

      Hello Ian,

      At this time we have no plans to integrate with any other payment processor. Though it’s certainly possible that integration comes at a later date.

  2. Keep in mind that, according to your agreement with MC/Visa, it is illegal to require ID when taking a signed credit card. In some states, it is now illegal to even ask (due to racial profiling issues).

    • Eddy Cevilla says:

      You’re right, Mike. MC/Visa/Discover/Amex all have different language when it comes to this point. However, none of the networks explicitly ban a retailer’s ability to simply ask for identification.

      We’ve reached out to Chase Paymentech for clarification on the issue above, but from what we can tell, if a card is signed, MC/Visa prohibit retailers from *requiring* an ID to accept the card. If the card is unsigned, retailers must ask the customer to provide a government issued ID and have the customer sign the card immediately.

      Discover and Amex are a bit more vague with the requirements of signed cards, asking retailers to simply “verify that the customer is the card member.”

      You can find more information here: http://goo.gl/60AUjB

  3. ascendsupport says:

    Here is a link to the MasterCard Transaction Processing Rules Manual. Page 65 starts the acceptance procedures.
    http://tinyurl.com/omws9pt

  4. Michael says:

    Since we have no other options then chase paymentech as processor and Ascend is not ready to accept EMV cards, who is responsible for the liability shift?

  5. ascendsupport says:

    If I missed this in a previous post I apologize. But…Can you clarify where the liability will fall until Ascend is ready for chip processing. Is Ascend assuming the liability since it’s not ready and we’ve known for years this was coming?

    • lnatvig says:

      For cards that don’t contain a chip, which is the majority of the cards that are out there right now, there is no change in where the liability will fall. For cards that contain a chip but are processed with a swipe, the liability falls on the “least compliant party.” We have been in continuous contact with Chase Paymentech and are meeting in-person with them tomorrow to get clarity around what this means. For example, if Ascend has done the work to be compliant, but cannot get certified because Chase Paymentech and/or the Credit Card companies are unable, who is considered “least compliant”?

      This has undoubtedly been and continues to be a confusing and frustrating time for us all. We’re hoping to have more information in the days to come.

      In the meantime, here’s a good article that helps put things into perspective: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2015/09/30/chip-credit-card-deadline/73043464/

  6. Bryan says:

    Are we supposed to receive our terminals any time soon? WE ordered back at Trek World and just today received the new scanner we ordered.

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