Last October, the payments industry adapted an EMV liability shift in the United States. Banks have issued millions of the new secure chip cards and cardholders are growing accustomed to the new ‘chip & dip’ checkout process. All in all, the card-present merchant environment is a safer place. These new processes and security benefits will be particularly impactful for pharmacies…
The Data Security Threat
Independent pharmacies, traditionally, have had to be highly conscious of security. Security, as with most businesses, is a consideration for payments. A number of technologies (EMV and others) have been implemented to protect sensitive cardholder data. For industries related to health care, as are pharmacies, security measures are crucial for protecting patient records. The pharmacy is something of unique business model and requires redundant measures to keep information safe.
The EMV Liability Shift is not a law or a mandate. Rather, it is a change in who the parties within the payment chain consider “responsible” if a data breach occurs – namely, whichever party did not implement the highest degree of fraud-prevention security when it was available. This fact alone speaks to why pharmacies should implement EMV payment acceptance.
Large Retail Pharmacies are on Top of EMV
Sophisticated retail pharmacy operations, not surprisingly, were early adopters of EMV. Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Kroger and Kmart – just to mention a few – swiftly implemented acceptance of chip cards, resulting in a more secure payment experience. Smaller independent pharmacies can take a cue from these bog box competitors.
The State of EMV
Presently, there are 600 million EMV chip cards in the United States. Industry surveys from The Strawhecker Group suggest that around 40% of merchants are prepared to accept EMV cards. Pharmacies are likely ahead of that average. Analysts predict that over 70% of merchants will be EMV-enabled by year’s end.
Considering the security benefits, the liability shift and trends in the pharmacy industry, EMV implementation should be a high priority for IT and security professionals in the pharmacy field. Learn more about security and EMV solutions for pharmacies at https://www.openedgepayment.com/pharmacy/edgeshield/.