Visa and MasterCard Announce Six Month Extension for Canadian Merchants to Upgrade to EMV

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

Both card brands announced a six month extension for Canadian merchants to upgrade to EMV terminals before becoming responsible for fraudulent transactions taken by magstripe readers. Canadian merchants have until March 31, 2011 to make the upgrades before assuming the liability on non-chip devices.

While all the large Canadian merchants and many smaller ones have put EMV terminals and infrastructure in place, it’s still a big job to replace over 700,000 POS terminals and get everyone up to speed on the new approach. Gas pump readers are particularly expensive and, for many small gasoline retailers, it takes careful budgeting to plan for an EMV upgrade. Even the largest merchants are still getting used to EMV. Speaking to Walmart clerks during a recent visit to Canada, there is still some operational confusion for both clerks and cardholders.

From Visa press release:

Visa Canada and its Canadian card-issuing financial institutions, in response to requests from the merchant community, have assisted merchants by postponing the domestic chip liability shift’s effective date to March 31, 2011. This date signifies when Canadian merchants become liable for domestic card-present fraudulent transactions that may have been avoided by adopting Chip technology. Liability involving chip cards used at non-chip devices was originally slated to shift on October 1, 2010, but issuers will continue to absorb the liability for domestic transactions until March 31, 2011.

Visa and its clients recognize the complexity of the migration to chip payment technology by Canadian merchants. Merchants who are in the process of making the conversion will have additional time to implement chip-compliant technology and can temporarily delay the introduction of changes to their payment environment in the lead up to and during December, typically the busiest shopping period of the year. This postponement will not have any negative long-term impacts on chip migration in Canada.”

From MasterCard’s press release:

“While many merchants have already made the investment in migrating to chip, MasterCard heard through on-going dialogue that some merchants need more time to upgrade their point-of-sale terminals to accept chip-enabled cards,” says Oliver Manahan, Vice President, Advanced Payments, MasterCard Canada. “In response, MasterCard is extending the timeline to give them more time to make the necessary infrastructure upgrades.”

The migration to chip technology represents a forward-looking evolution of electronic payments systems designed to make an already safe payments system even more secure. While Canadian credit cards have robust security, chip brings additional significant security enhancements to Canadians.

Read full press releases here:

MasterCard Canada Extends Timeline for Chip Migration

Visa Canada and its Issuing Clients to Temporarily Postpone Chip Liability Shift

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