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The Green Sheet Online Edition

March 11, 2013 • Issue 13:03:01

Readers Speak

EMV migration hurdles

We have a question about your article, "Fraud, data breach concerns drive EMV support," [The Green Sheet, Feb. 11, 2013, issue 13:02:01]. You said, "[I]n April, all U.S. acquirers and processors must be able to support merchant acceptance of Europay/ MasterCard/ Visa (EMV) chip cards ... or face increased liabilities from card fraud."

Will that be done internally by each company somehow or will merchant terminals need to be switched out? You said, "According to EMVCo, the company that manages the standard, 40 percent of all terminals deployed outside the United States were EMV compatible in 2011." How are we at this point in the United States - so far behind the eight ball? What does it take to make terminals EMV compatible?

Sarah Pottinger


Your questions are pertinent and raise complex issues. In short, the United States is behind on EMV because U.S. banks haven't really bought into EMV. A big reason is that EMV requires chip cards; the United States has been wed to mag stripe cards for decades and has built a huge infrastructure around mag stripe cards. (Chip cards took hold first in Europe because the telecom infrastructure wasn't sufficient to support authorization networks.) For more history, read some of the early stories on EMV in The Green Sheet's archives.

As for who is responsible for what with regard to terminals, that will depend at least in part on the acquirer-merchant agreement. For some merchants the switch will at least require new card readers because many old terminals still in place can't read chips. For additional insights, visit the EMVCo site, www.emvco.com. Thanks for reading The Green Sheet.


My ISO won't pay me, what should I do?

You know those horror stories we all hear about some ISOs? You know, the ones that won't pay your residuals? I have a $1.2 million restaurant - over $4,000 in margin - and the ISO ... doesn't want to acknowledge the responsibility to do what's right, that is, pay back residuals and get current. Repeated phone calls to the owner ... go unanswered. Any course of action you might suggest?

Shane Capstone
Merchant Level Salesperson


This looks like the kind of situation for which consulting an experienced payments attorney would be appropriate. While we do not endorse specific individuals or companies, we can provide names of professionals to interview, so you can evaluate them.

Our long-time contributing writer Adam Atlas is one such qualified attorney. You can reach him at 514-842-0886 or atlas@adamatlas.com, www.adamatlas.com. Other possibilities include Holli Targen, htargan@jaffelaw.com, www.jaffelaw.com; and Paul Rianda, 949-261-7895, www.riandalaw.com. Also, two firms that have been listed in our Resource Guide are Biggins Law, 877-817-8700, www.bigginslaw.com, and Michael A. Brewer, 949-679-6060, www.brewerlawyergroup.com/cclitigation.

There are certainly more payment attorneys than these. The important thing is that you confirm that the attorney you select to help with this dispute is reputable and has payments industry experience.


A research tool par excellence

My husband and I have more than 15 years of combined industry experience, so we have a ton of knowledge, but when one of our vendors sent over a new ISO agreement a few weeks ago your website became a go-to guide for what we wanted to get rid of and what we wanted to keep, and even add, to our contract.

At the end of the day, we were sent a contract that allowed the company to terminate our agreement "for any reason or for no reason at all," and in the event of termination of the agreement, residual compensation would cease. I caught that myself, but there were so many other things that we knew to look for, but we had no idea what to do about it once we found it.

The multiple articles about ISO agreements and the abundance of information we found on your site saved us thousands of dollars on attorneys going through the contract with a fine tooth comb. Instead, we were able to make all of the changes we wanted and send it in to our lawyer for a final review. Everything we found on your site held up perfectly, and our lawyer was very impressed with the contract we put together.

Kiersten Humphrey
Merchant Services Provider


We are delighted you were able to use our online archives to research issues pertaining to ISO and merchant level salesperson contracts, as well as to gain insight on how to resolve problems. We are also pleased that you didn't forego the final step of having your lawyer review your contract; our articles do not constitute legal advice, and there is no substitute for the keen eye of an experienced payments industry attorney when it comes to interpreting the fine print.

Thank you for relying on The Green Sheet to help you prepare for your contract negotiations.


end of article

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