Everyday American consumers (this means you and your patients) swipe their credit and debit cards through mag-stripe readers that leave them vulnerable to fraudulent activity. Mag-stripe Point of Sale (POS) devices account for 40% of breaches1 in industries where terminals are used to take payments, including in healthcare. With such a high percentage of fraudulent activity occurring at the point of sale device, this is an obvious area to target for improvement for all businesses accepting payments around the time of service, including your practice.

One common form of fraud occurs when the private information embedded into the magnetic stripe on the back of a consumer’s credit or debit card is compromised and used to make fraudulent purchases. Today, the vendor of the card, the credit/debit card companies, are financially liable and responsible for this fraudulent activity. In an effort to minimize their risk, the major card companies have been driving a US technology shift to the adoption of a concept known as EMV (“Europay, Mastercard, Visa�.

Overall, EMV is a HUGE bang for the buck; with fairly simple to understand innovation comes a much more secure approach to payments. The chip on the card itself provides encryption not available today, but added security comes when consumers set up their accounts for EMV compliant cards; they create a PIN number that is paired with the chip on the card. In order to complete a payment transaction, the user must have the card with the chip physically present; they then “dip�the card into the point of sale device and enter the PIN paired with it.

Want to see the dipping process in action? I often refer to this tutorial – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hz9HKNj1-m8

Starting back on October 1, 2015 the party involved in a fraudulent transaction (merchant, credit/debit card company or payment processor) with the least EMV compliant technology will assume complete liability. Ultimately, this means that if you want to reduce the risk your practice ends up responsible for the financial repercussions of fraudulent activity, you need to replace your current mag-stripe readers with EMV compliant terminals. The good news is that most of the terminals equipped to support EMV dipping typically come with other benefits as well, such as NFC technology. NFC stands for Near Field Communication and is the secure technology behind Apple Pay and Google Wallet.

Another thing to note, consumers will also push for the shift towards EMV. As merchants in other industries, such as retail, make the switch in masses, your patients will become more familiar with the benefits of EMV and come to expect it when providing payment.

Don’t wait any longer; each day you are not EMV-compliant you are at risk. Medfusion can help you find the best terminal options and how you can get your hands on them!


  1. http://www.pymnts.com/news/2015/pos-systems-remain-favorite-targets-of-cybercrime-at-least-in-us/#.VXg0as_BzGc


Tags: ,