TechnologyCredit Card Switch: Is Your Hotel Compliant?

Credit Card Switch: Is Your Hotel Compliant?

Following the nationwide EMV liability shift on Oct. 1, in-person credit card transactions in the United States are safer and more secure than ever before. Instead of swiping credit cards, vendors will be required to scan a high-tech chip that creates a unique code for each transaction. This means consumer information will be more difficult to duplicate, leading to increased data safety. Additionally, the widespread use of EMV (Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) microchip technology protects vendors—including hoteliers—from liability in cases of fraud. And, now that the country has finally caught up with global security standards, the long-term maintenance and success of the program is of the utmost importance.

According to Karen Cox, vice president of payment and retail solutions at Toronto-based payment processor, Moneris, U.S. vendors are in a very advantageous position as this solution spreads throughout the country. “Because the United States adopted EMV technology after other major markets, there have already been solutions developed for common issues, making the process easier,” she explains.

Most properties have already installed the POS hardware that include chip readers, but as the new EMV systems are fully integrated, hoteliers may need to add new processes during transactions. “You have to prove that the card is at the hotel for the transaction, so even if guests book with a credit card online, they may need to present the card during check-in and either sign or enter their PIN,” Cox says.

However, once the system is adopted and processes have evolved to facilitate the technology, keeping EMV technology up to date should not be an issue for most hoteliers. “The chip technology is very solid,” Cox describes. “There will likely be software updates, but if the properties keep up with the regular maintenance and renewal processes, they shouldn’t have any issues.”

While some hotels may not be using EMV technology yet, Cox recommends that these entities implement the systems as soon as possible. She adds that hoteliers who don’t know where to start should partner with a provider that can provide end-to-end solutions for the EMV shift.

Kate Hughes
Kate Hughes
Kate Hughes, Editor, LODGING Magazine