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This catch phrase from the late 1960’s TV series and the 1998 movie Lost in Space was heard whenever the family encountered any danger. The Robot would signal the impending or approaching danger. I want to be the first to warn each and every dentist that on October 1, 2015, you face the first deadline in converting your credit card terminals to a CHIP system. While this is a soft date and it is expected that most retailers will be in compliance by the end of 2015, your concern should be for the consequences of not converting your credit card protocols and equipment.

EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, a global standard for inter-operations of “chip cards” and authenticating credit and debit card transactions. The purpose and goal of the EMV standard is to create a global standard for card security through the chip that is inserted into the card. There are two major benefits of moving to smart-card-based credit card payment systems: Improved security with associated fraud reduction, and the possibility for finer control of “offline” credit-card transaction approvals. EMV chip card transactions improve security against fraud (Europe has had this technology for over a decade and the US is way behind) compared to the magnetic stripe card transactions that rely on the holder’s signature and visual inspection of the card to check for features such as a hologram. The processing time is comparable to online transactions, in which communications delay accounts for the majority of the time, while cryptographic operations take comparatively little time. The supposed increased protection from fraud has allowed banks and credit card issuers to push through a “liability shift” such that merchants are now liable as of October 2015, and any fraud that results from transactions on systems that are not EMV capable.

THE TAKEAWAY: You will need to update any terminal that is not EMV ready, no later than October 2015. Any merchant (THAT IS YOU) failing to upgrade their technology will carry 100% of the fraud liability.

THE SOLUTION: Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you have already gone to and become part of the largest community of like-minded dentists in the world, those that want to preserve the independent practice of dentistry. You will find BEST’s alliance partners will give you the pricing that large national corporations get so that we can create a level playing field as we work in this new dental economy. It costs nothing so go take a look.

My fear, when it comes to any deadline and especially this CHIP change and the resulting hardware acquisition, is that companies will pop up and take advantage of the fear factor and try to sell us the solution at an exorbitant price. The biggest price is not the cost of the terminal. You will find your current credit card vendor is willing to send you a new CHIP terminal for free. What you don’t realize is that they have been over charging you for your processing fees, transaction fees, variances in rewards cards, and interchange fees for years. Once again, we dentists are being taken advantage of, and we are too out of it to realize what’s going on. Like the dental suppliers that lower their prices to national dental corporations and save them 40-60% on supplies and equipment, we are being charged too much for our credit card business. Yep, I’m mad as hell again. Every rock I turn over reveals another way we are being taken advantage of. One of our BEST for Dentistry Alliance Partners has come up with a low cost solution, as well as giving each of us the ability to secure a 1.99% credit card processing fee with no transaction fees or hidden costs. Go to, sign up, and click on the EPS alliance partner’s logo. This couldn’t be any easier.

Michael Abernathy, DDS
972-523-4660 cell
[email protected]