What to know before Oct. 1 EMV liability shift

September 30, 2015

WASHINGTON (9/30/15)--Thursday marks the effective date of the “liability shift” for payments system participants using EMV card technology.

EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard, Visa, cards utilize an embedded chip to transfer payment information, with authentication provided by the use of a PIN and cryptographic algorithms.

Oct. 1 marks the date when major card companies will shift liability for point-of-sale, card-present to the entity that is the least EMV-compliant. If either the merchant or card issuer is the cause of the transaction occurring without use of an EMV chip, that entity will be held financially liable for any resulting fraud.


EMV Migration Forum graphic

If neither or both entities are EMV compliant, the fraud liability will remain unchanged.  

Tomorrow’s liability shift date contains an exception for transactions conducted at automated fuel dispensers, those most be compliant by Oct. 1, 2017.

A number of resources are available for those with questions about EMV technology. Those include:

  • News Now, which has published a number of articles, including one on what to look for when issued an EMV card, one focused on the implementation process and one on the card security road map for 2015 and beyond;
  • CUNA’s CompBlog, which provided a breakdown of the technology, as well as information from card issuers as the technology and its rollout developed over the past few years;
  • Credit Union Magazine, which provided a list of tips to prepare for EMV card integration;
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration, which has a webinar on EMV and small businesses scheduled for Oct. 14, as well as an archived webinar about payment fraud trends and the EMV migration;
  • MasterCard, Visa and American Express each have dedicated EMV information pages; and
  • The EMV Migration Forum is a multi-industry body that addresses EMV introduction issues and concerns.